‘On Cities’ Masterclass Series

Presented by the Norman Foster Foundation

The Norman Foster Foundation (NFF) presents the ‘On Cities’ Masterclass Series, a series of thirty-minute-long masterclasses which explores the most pressing and compelling topics related to contemporary cities. Given by twenty leading experts in the fields of architecture, urbanism, economics and mobility, this video series supports the NFF’s extensive educational programme by promoting an exchange of knowledge across a range of geographic and disciplinary perspectives.

Contributing speakers of the 'On Cities' Masterclass Series © Norman Foster Foundation

Although cities may offer significant advantages for inhabitants, urbanisation is widely regarded as one of the fundamental challenges for public health, social equity and sustainability. To meet these challenges, speakers touch themes such as urban leadership, equity, urban informality, urban food systems, urban sustainability, urban materiality, urban mobility, and urban economics, among other key topics.

In his introductory masterclass to the series, Norman Foster (President, Norman Foster Foundation) considers the future of cities and the crises that cities have overcome throughout their history, arguing that the current pandemic has accelerated important trends already in motion, such as a return to green and open public space and compact urban areas that provide inhabitants with services and leisure within a walking distance.

The contributing speakers include the following experts:

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr (Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone)
Joseph G Allen (Director of the Healthy Buildings Program
T. H. Chan (School of Public Health, Harvard University)
Deborah Berke (Dean, Yale’s School of Architecture)
Luis Bettencourt (Inaugural Director, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, University of Chicago)
Richard Burdett (Director, LSE Cities)
Vishaan Chakrabarti (William W. Wurster Dean, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley)
Robin Chase (Cofounder, ZipCar)
Fonna Forman (Founding Director, Center on Global Justice, University of California, San Diego)
Sou Fujimoto (Founder, Sou Fujimoto Architects)
Edward Glaeser (Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University)
Dirk E. Hebel (Professor of Sustainable Construction, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
Francis Kéré (Founder, Kéré Architecture and Kéré Foundation)
Anupama Kundoo (Principal, Anupama Kundoo Architects)
Kent Larson (Director, MIT City Science Research Group)
Giuseppe Sala (Mayor of Milan, Italy)
Carolyn Steel (Director, Kilburn Nightingale Architects)
Tim Stonor (Managing Director, Space Syntax)
Belinda Tato (Cofounder and Codirector, Ecosistema Urbano)
Theresa Williamson (Founder and Director, Catalytic Communities)

In light of the finite nature of the world’s resources, Prof. Dirk E. Hebel (Professorship of Sustainable Construction, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) explores the ways in which materials can be reused through ‘urban mining’, referencing the research of new recycled and organic materials in his masterclass, titled ‘Sustainable Materials’.

Watch the full ‘On Cities’ Masterclass Series on YouTube here.