In Pursuit of a Viable Future: Everything Water 4.0 Symposium

October 30, 2017
American Institute of Architects New York Newsletter

Media Coverage

Blank Rome Government Relations Principal Alan Rubin recently presented on "Security & Risk" at the American Institute of Architects New York (“AIANY”) Everything Water 4.0: The Role of Water in Shaping Our Future event, which took place Saturday, October 21, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Center for Architecture in New York City. AIANY summarized the symposium in their October newsletter. 

Newsletter Excerpt:

“We are all here in pursuit of a viable future.”

This was the sobering introduction, offered by Spritzer School of Architecture Professor Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, to “Everything Water 4.0: The Role of Water in Shaping Our Future,” at the Center for Architecture. The day-long symposium was the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee’s fourth and final event in its series devoted to exploring the connections between civilization and the liquid humans can’t live with too much of, yet can’t live without.

Held just weeks before the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy flooding New York City, closing its subways and hospitals and killing more than 50 citizens—and in the midst of a particularly brutal hurricane season—“Everything Water” sought to provoke action. “We know [climate change] is happening,” Brown said. “But we’re not talking about it.”

The day’s panels of architects, nonprofit directors, lobbyists, and scientists did just that, arguing that while it may be too late to mitigate the worst of climate change’s many threats to the viability of our future, we can, and must, adapt to them.


Carter Craft, Senior Economic Officer at the Consulate General of The Netherlands, offered a long list of what he called “worries,” including his belief that New York City is currently faced with “a cultural inability to look at infrastructure.” On a panel devoted to “Security and Risk,” Princeton’s Michael Oppenheimer noted that New York has designated much of the post-Sandy money for simple repairs, not long-term planning for what will happen when the rivers rise again. “The incentives in the system are perverse,” responded The New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman. Alan Rubin of Blank Rome Government Relations agreed, saying, “The science is there. Social injustices will be dealt with. The issue is political will.”

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"In Pursuit of a Viable Future: Everything Water 4.0 Symposium," was published in the American Institute of Architects New York Newsletter on October 30, 2017.