Past Event: Our Fair City Virtual Conversation: In Between

When: Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 7:00pm

This event has passed.

The video above was recorded on Wednesday, January 27. In this virtual conversation, critic and editor Justin Davidson speaks with designer and urbanist Justin Garret Moore, landscape architect Kate Orff, and transit expert Shin-pei Tsay about reimainging public spaces in a post-COVID NYC. See the full event description below.

We hope you enjoy this recording. Please consider a donation to the Museum – of any amount – to support public programs at the Museum and help us continue our role as New York’s storyteller.


Streetscape adaptations during the pandemic have demonstrated both possibilities and pitfalls. Now it’s time to move from improvisation to planning. How can New York plot a wholesale reorganization of the way we use streets, more than a quarter of the city’s land, less as a grid of channels to sluice vehicles around and more as a collective outdoors where eating, commuting, playing, selling, working, and innumerable other activities all coexist. For the third session in our series, Our Fair City: Building a More Equitable New York, critic and editor Justin Davidson talks to urban designer Justin Garrett Moore, landscape architect Kate Orff, and transit expert Shin-pei Tsay about how we can reimagine all those vital public spaces "in between" home and work.  

This program will take place via Zoom Webinar. Registrants will receive the Zoom link the morning of the event. 

About the Speakers:
Justin Garrett Moore is a transdisciplinary designer and urbanist and the Program Officer, Humanities in Place at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He was previously the executive director of the Public Design Commission. He has extensive experience in architecture, urban design, and planning—from large-scale urban policies and projects to grassroots and community-based planning, design, and arts initiatives. At the Public Design Commission, his work focuses on prioritizing quality and excellence for the public realm and fostering accessibility, diversity, and inclusion in New York's public buildings, landscapes, and art. He is a member of the American Planning Association's AICP Commission, the Urban Design Forum, and the Black urbanist collective BlackSpace. Justin is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Yale School of Architecture. His social enterprise, Urban Patch, focuses on sustainable development through social and environmental design projects in the United States and Rwanda. He holds a Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida and a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University.

Kate Orff, RLA, FASLA, is Founding Principal of SCAPE and Director of the Urban Design program at Columbia GSAPP, where she is also a Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes (CRCL). She focuses on retooling the practice of landscape architecture relative to the uncertainty of climate change and creating spaces to foster social life, which she has explored through publications, activism, research, and projects. She is known for leading complex, creative, and collaborative work processes that advance broad environmental and social prerogatives, and became the first landscape architect to receive the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2017.

Shin-pei Tsay’s experience converges at the intersection in design and policy with a focus on sustainable and inclusive transportation. She is currently Director of Policy for Cities and Transportation at Uber where she leads a team focused on creating a sustainable and inclusive urban future. Prior to joining Uber, she founded Make Public, a social impact analysis firm that specializes in the public realm and was executive director of Gehl Institute, a non-profit that advocated for public life and public spaces. Tsay has also served as the deputy executive director of TransitCenter, a national foundation focused on improving urban transportation; director of the Cities and Transportation Program under the Energy and Climate Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; deputy director at Transportation Alternatives in New York City, and COO at Project for Public Spaces. Tsay served on the NYC Public Design Commission from 2016 to 2019. She taught urban design at Columbia University and Parsons School of Design and is currently a director on the board of the national non-profit ioby.

Justin Davidson (moderator) has been the classical music and architecture critic at New York magazine since 2007. He is now the editor of Cityscape as a part of Curbed/New York magazine.  He won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2002 and an American Society of Newspaper Editors criticism (ASNE) award. He has contributed to The New YorkerW.Travel and LeisureThe Los Angeles TimesSlate, and Salon, and has appeared on WNYC and NPR. He is the author of Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York (Penguin Random House, 2017). Read his recent article about the future of New York City here.  

This is the third event in our series Our Fair City: Building a More Equitable New York. For more information, click here.

Our Partners

Our Fair City is co-presented with Curbed.

Join MCNY!

Want free or discounted tickets, special event invites, and more?