Greg Lindsay's Blog

July 16, 2018  |  permalink

Summer Camp for Urbanists


It’s summer, which means it’s time for camp. While my eldest child is off to Maine for swimming and archery, I spent last month at urbanist camp, i.e. the early summer conference season. Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve been up to:

• Last month, I spent a week swinging through central(ish) Europe, starting in Berlin. After speaking to the Canadian/Dutch/German real estate investment trust Dream Global, they gamefully invited me along on a city-wide scavenger hunt in a 1962 Trabant. (That’s my teammate Oliver and I pictured with the car in front of the Reichstag above.)

From there, it was on to Prague for reSITE 2018: ACCOMMODATE (more on that here), where in addition to acting as this year’s guest curator, I also MC-ed and moderated. After that, it was onto Venice for the weekend to tour the Biennale d’Architettura and also my own exhibit in the Palazzo Mora. (More on that here.) What I learned: walking 10-15 miles a day and mainlining the current state of architecture is not technically “relaxing.”

• At the beginning of the month, I was in Riga for MadCity, which — now that reSITE is all grown up — has claimed the mantle of my favorite quirky cities conference. Besides giving a brief talk on the dangers of pricing everything (video here) there was champagne and oysters at 11 AM, disco, a hackathon — my team won, through no fault of my own — and al fresco drinking after 10 PM sunsets. Everything you want from adult camp.

• Earlier this spring, I paid a brief visit to Albuquerque to speak at a luncheon hosted by the local chapter of ULI at the suggestion of my friend and biggest supporter Todd Clarke. That offered an excuse to drive up to Santa Fe to check out Meow Wolf and unwind at Ten Thousand Waves before enduring a four-hour redeye home. (You know you’re traveling too much when your flights feel too short.)

• I started the season with an unprecedented home stand of talks for NAIOP, CoreNet, Smart Cities NYC, MSCI, the Urban Design Forum, WorkTech, and the MoMA Design — seven consecutive local events in two weeks! — all on some variation of “cities-as-a-service,” and how technology and mobility are reshaping our cities.

That’s all until September, but if you’d like to change that, by all means please drop me a line!


(L-R top: Sou Fujimoto; Elizabeth Streb; Elin Strand Ruin; Jeanne Gang; Martinn Barry; Radka Ondrackova. Bottom: Laura Flanders; Dara Huang; Michel Rojkind; Solene Wolff; Christine Nieves.)


(L-R: Solene Wolff; Liam Young)


(My winning hackathon team at MadCity.)

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is the director of applied research at NewCities and director of strategy at its mobility offshoot CoMotion.  He is also a partner at FutureMap, a geo-strategic advisory firm based in Singapore, a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

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