Terri & Ian Dreyer Present at Shaping the City Symposium in Chicago

In December of 2021, The European Cultural Centre hosted the firstChicago edition of Shaping the City: A Forum for Sustainable Cities & Communities, in tandem with the 2021 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Broken out into two themes of conversation, “Shaping the CityChicago discussed the significant role that urban planning and design plays in molding the interaction of people with their cities and their wellbeing. The forum set forward new thoughts around the rights to the city, through a spatial, pragmatic, yet inclusive and sustainable approach. The forum tackled these themes by comparing completely different approaches in international cities, namely in Europe and the Americas.”

As an extension to their similar presentation in Venice a few months prior, NANO’s Founders Terri and Ian Dreyer presented “Existing, Surviving, Thriving: Bridging the Edge”, which was part of the “Re-Imagining the City” subtheme. 


“Existing, Surviving, Thriving: Bridging the Edge”

Within the current crisis of global climate change, we are being forced to evaluate, reflect, and ask ourselves, “Are the geographies, economies, infrastructures, and societies of yesterday and today adaptable for the environments of tomorrow?” There is an ever more clear and urgent call to action, as our future is tied to one that moves beyond the sustainable to the regenerative. Sustaining being the attempt to survive, but as a species we are driven to move past mere surviving to thriving.

In the past the typical model of thriving was advancement in a capitalistic model. More, and bigger most often replaced better. As architects, engineers, and planners the design that layer’s solutions within the single project is understood to be intrinsically of greatest value. The question then is what the desired solutions are and how might they be most effectively combined into placemaking that is worthy of investiture.

Only a hundred years ago, this country invested massive amounts of capital in the creation of transport systems. Unpublicized at the time was that a layer of that investiture was driven by a desire by some to divide the country along racial lines and create hardened boundaries to define the edges of communities. At this very moment, we stand at the threshold of another period of massive infrastructure investment. What are the imperative program requirements, the layers of priorities, that will be our children’s future?

Click here to learn more about the Shaping the City Symposium.