Reinventing Urban Infrastructure: Innovative Design Solutions

Now Available from APA Learn

This course is now offered on the APA Learn educational platform.

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 1.25

You'll learn:

  • How to track the definition and history of infrastructure—from soft infrastructure to hard infrastructure, from industrial to government infrastructure—and redefine it in the context of urban practices today.

  • Case studies that demonstrate different ways to approach the reinvention of infrastructure in culturally and historically conscious ways.

  • How to share new techniques and approaches for integrating defunct infrastructure in the landscape  and how to show the impact of reinventing infrastructure in regard to sustainable communities.

The term "infrastructure" is changing in the urban environment. It now encompasses a surprising range of physical and digital assets, from power plants, utilities, and mass transit to parks, the co-sharing economy, incubators, and social media. The interaction between "hard" and "soft" infrastructure is redefining the architecture and public spaces of our cities in surprising and radical ways.

While our understanding is transforming, leftover edges and deteriorating downtowns remain hobbled by outdated infrastructure. Elevated highways, crumbling bridges, former industrial waterfronts, and polluted brownfields choke the underutilized edges and decayed downtowns of our cities. They create barriers, hobble economic development, and divide communities. 

This session uses case studies to help you better understand innovative designs that reuse infrastructure and integrate it with communities in radical ways. The examples—which include historic warehouses, former industrial complexes, abandoned railway bridges, and decommissioned post offices—have combined contemporary design, adaptive reuse, and creative preservation to improve communities.  

About the Speakers

Julian Adams
Julian Adams is the Community Services Program Coordinator for the New York State Historic Preservation Office. A native of Georgia, he holds a Masters of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia at Athens. He started New York State service in 1988, when he took a job in the SHPO’s Technical Services Unit, overseeing rehabilitations and restorations across New York State under federal and state programs. During a sabbatical from the SHPO in 1995-1996, he worked with the Historic Natchez (MS) Foundation, overseeing low income housing development in historic neighborhoods, working with the local preservation commission and planning department, and assisting in heritage education. In 2000 he was named head of the Technical Services Unit. In 2005 he took a position as Sr. Architectural Historian/Historic Preservation Specialist with a nation-wide environmental consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas, working with military bases in their responsibilities under Federal Historic Preservation law. He returned to state service in 2006, and in 2013 was named Director of the Bureau of Community Preservation Services, overseeing several state and federal programs, including the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, Certified Local Government program, National Register, Survey, and Capital Programs review within the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, assisting communities, municipalities and the agency across New York State with preservation issues.

Jeffrey Shumaker
Jeffrey Shumaker is KPF’s Director of Urban Planning and Design. A recent addition to the KPF team, Jeffrey joins the firm from his role as the Chief Urban Designer for the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP). For almost ten years with DCP, Jeffrey worked to ensure a high level of design quality on projects across the city and helped shape plans for neighborhoods as diverse as Coney Island in Brooklyn, Hudson Yards in Manhattan and Hunters Point South in Queens. Jeffrey also worked extensively on the implementation of many of the city-wide initiatives coming out of PlaNYC and now OneNYC. Examples include working on the city’s first ever Street Design Manual and partnering with multiple city agencies in creating the groundbreaking Active Design Guidelines and subsequent Active Design: Shaping the Sidewalk Experience. Jeffrey also worked on the implementation of the Mayor’s Housing New York affordable housing plan, including a series of neighborhood studies located across the city’s five boroughs and zoning changes to promote the production of higher quality mixed-income housing. Prior to his role in public service, Jeffrey garnered more than 12 years of experience working in the private sector for a variety of architecture and planning firms including Skidmore Owings and Merrill in New York, Goody Clancy in Boston, Wallace Roberts and Todd in Philadelphia and his own practice, which he founded in 2002. Jeffrey holds dual Master’s Degrees in Architecture, Planning and Urban Design from MIT and a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Syracuse University. Jeffrey often lectures on design and has received numerous awards for his work from the APA and AIA including the 2016 Public Architect Award from the AIA New York Chapter and DCP’s Michael Weil Award, recognizing excellence in urban design in the public realm.

Regina Myer
Regina Myer is President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, responsible for the creation and construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park for the City of New York. As president since 2007, Ms. Myer oversees all aspects of the Park, including design, maintenance and operation. The 85-acre park stretches approximately 1.3 miles along the East River, and has transformed the formerly industrial Brooklyn waterfront into a civic space for all New Yorkers. Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the most significant public investments on the waterfront outside of Manhattan in the 21st century. Under her leadership, the Park has been the recipient of numerous awards from such organizations as the Municipal Art Society, the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects. Prior to Brooklyn Bridge Park, Ms. Myer was the senior vice president for planning and design at the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Borough Director for the New York City Planning Department, where she directed the comprehensive redevelopment for two miles of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg waterfront, the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn for high density office and apartments and numerous neighborhood rezoning efforts. She received her BA and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Annisia Cialone
ANNISIA CIALONE, DIRECTOR OF PLANNING FOR THE CITY OF JERSEY CITY Annisia Cialone serves as the Director of the Division of City Planning for The City of Jersey City. Prior to joining Jersey City in March of 2017 she was a Senior Associate at Perkins Eastman and Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut and Kuhn(EE&K). She has expertise in the management and design of large-scale urban design and strategic master planning projects for both public and private clients. Her experience includes large-scale mixed-use projects, transit oriented development, waterfront developments, higher education and cultural institutions. As program manager for Together North Jersey’s Local Demonstration Project Program she oversaw and managed a program of 18 Strategic Planning Projects. Rounding out her professional experience, Ms. Cialone has taught both architectural and urban design for summer programs at Amherst and Harvard Universities, served as a design critic at many universities including Columbia, City College, NYIT, and Parsons, and led Urban Design Workshops in both NYC and Jersey City Public Schools. Annisia holds degrees from The Cooper Union and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.