Urban Thinkers–Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett at the Future of Places conference

The on-going Future of Places III conference is a platform for discussion of the future of our cities and providing recommendations for The New Urban Agenda that will be decided at the Habitat III conference in Quito in 2016. This means the on-going event is a meeting for some of the greatest minds on urbanism today.

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Yesterday Saskía Sassen, a Dutch-American sociologist of Columbia University and noted for her analyses of globalization and international human migration, of which she has written numerous best-selling books. As I started in consulting on innovation environments in 2001, she was one of our early inspirations. In the speech below, she talks about who owns our cities today. Mrs Sassen is a great speaker so enjoy!

Saskia Sassen on Who Owns the City?


Following Saskia Sassen was Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. Sennett has studied social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on individuals in the modern world, and he made a brilliant speech about the new of a new charter for cities, where he argued the case that it is upon time to leave the rational Athens Charter formulated by Le Corbusier in 1933, for new ideas of more “porous” cities. I strongly recommend you to listen to this speech.

Richard Sennett on The Open City


After Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett’s talks, they answered questions from the world-known thinkers in the audience and some really interesting dialogue took place about the age of the knowledge workers and how this affects our cities, and also the need for counterbalance to closed communities.

Saskia Sassen and Richard Sennett debate

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