Greg Lindsay's Blog

December 08, 2021  |  permalink

A Week in the Life: The Economist, NAHB, CCA, and More

What’s it like to keep up a steady stream of virtual events while hitting the road again for in-person talks? Why, I’m glad you asked! Just to give you a taste of what my life has been like as of late, here’s a recent week-in-the-life of travel, events, and seeing long-lost friends.

November 30: I arise early — really early — to join a panel (screenshot above) hosted by The Economist and JLL on “Future-proofing cities.” I’m joined by JLL’s Walid Goudiard, Invesco’s Mike Bessell, the City of Paris’ Marion Waller, and The Economist’s Vinjeru Mkandawire to discuss 15-minute cities, climate migration, building resilient housing and other subjects near and dear to my heart. (You can watch the replay here.)

That afternoon, it’s off to Dallas to speak to the National Association of Home Builders’ Multifamily Leadership Board the next evening.

December 1: I arise early — really early — again, this time for Henley & Partners’ 15th Global Citizenship Conference. I’m joined by the firm’s CEO Dr. Juerg Steffen and group head of business development Nirbhay Handa to discuss “The Robust Expansion of Investment Migration in the 2020s,” (video above) which, if we’re being honest with ourselves, will be the result of nations failing to create new paths to residence and citizenship while being all too happy to take the money of high net worth individuals. Still, I enjoy working with them because few firms are grappling with these issues in all of their ambiguity.

Leaving my hotel, I race to Crow Holdings to catch up with my friend Elie Finegold for the first time since the pandemic. Together, we tour the, uh, eccentric campus commissioned by billionaire Harlan Crow (no photos, but you can see for yourself), but not before hunkering down in a conference room to tape the season finale of NewCities’ threesixtyCITY podcast, this time with design critic and The Design of Childhood author Alexandra Lange on “the design of care.” (Listen on Apple Podcasts here.)

After lunch, it’s back to my hotel to prepare for my keynote to NAHB on “cities after COVID-19,” a convenient scaffolding to talk about… whatever I want to talk about. Compressing an hour’s worth of material into 30 minutes so as not to interfere with dinner (because being together in person is the point after all), I bring even more energy than usual, which primes some excellent conversations around the table later. (Photo below.)

December 3: Back in Montréal, I head over to the Canadian Centre for Architecture for one of its first post-pandemic in-person events, “Designing for A Future of Care.” Starring my Venice Architecture Biennale teammates Rafi Segal and Marisa Morán Jahn, along with NewCities executive director Dr. Paty Rios and CCA director Giovanna Borasi, the conversation centers on Rafi’ and Marisa’s Carehaus project, which is featured in the CCA’s current exhibition, “A Section of Now.” (Video below.)

Afterward, a few of us retired to my home for drinks and dinner — a relief to have (fully vaccinated) friends and colleagues over after all this time home alone.

December 7: Still in Montréal, I’m back on the air again to host the final installment of NewCities’ Greenfield Cities Alliance Dialogues, a series of in-person and virtual events exploring the future of master-planned urban megaprojects. Titled “Cities, Sovereignty, and Citizenship,” this session brought together NEOM’s Mansoor Hanif, H.E. Gabriel Abed, Ambassador of Barbados to the UAE, Estonia’s Director General of Citizenship and Migration Policy Ruth Annus, Na’amal co-founder Lorraine Charles, and The Cosmopolites author Atossa Araxia Abrahamian for a wide-ranging discussion of special economic zones, e-residency, nomad visas, web3, and the Metaverse. (Video at bottom.)

An hour after that roundtable concluded, Bloomberg CityLab published my piece warning against the danger of dark stores and the “dark city.” Just another week in the life.

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is a partner at the geo-strategic and climate advisory firm FutureMap, the senior fellow for applied research and foresight at NewCities, a senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, and a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative.

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