Extreme Heat: Hot Cities

In November 2015, a crowd of architects and landscape architects, planners, engineers, and allied professionals in government, NGOs, research, academia, and more gathered together for Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World, the first event of its kind.

Hosted at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan and live streamed in Brooklyn at the New York City College of Technology, this day-long symposium addressed critical topics ranging from urban climatology to building materials, case studies to recommendations for the future. We revisited prior extreme heat events such as the 1995 Chicago and 2003 Paris category-defining heat waves, considered what has changed since then, and explored what can be done today to counter this increasing threat.

Thanks to the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), the full symposium is now available for viewing online for free:
Extreme Heat: Part 1
Extreme Heat: Part 2
Extreme Heat: Part 3

Over 30 of the most informed professionals, design practitioners, and officials currently working in this area contributed to this event, including:

  • Illya Azaroff, AIA, Associate Professor in Architectural Technology, Founder, +LAB architect PLLC, Founding Co-Chair, DfRR
  • Chris Benedict, Principal, Architecture & Energy Ltd.
  • Reginald Blake, PhD, Assistant Professor in biological sciences, CUNY – NYCCT
  • Pippa Brashear, Director of Planning and Resilience, SCAPE Landscape Architecture
  • Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, DPACSA CCNY, Founding Co-Chair, DfRR
  • Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Deputy Director, New York City Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency
  • Anna Dyson, Professor and CASE Director, School of Architecture at Rensselaer
  • Lindsay Goldman, Project Director for Age-friendly NYC, NY Academy of Medicine
  • Russell Hotzler, PhD, President, CUNY – NYCCT
  • Richard Keller, PhD, Professor, University of Wisconsin, Author, Fatal Isolation
  • Laurie Kerr, FAIA, LEED AP, Director of Policy, Urban Green Council
  • Eric Klinenberg, PhD, author of Heat Wave and Professor of Sociology and Director, Institute for Public Knowledge at NYU
  • Tom Matte, Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Surveillance and Policy, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Sabrina McCormick, PhD, Associate Professor, George Washington University and Senior Fellow, Wharton Risk and Decision Center
  • Emily Nobel Maxwell, NYC Program Director for Urban Sustainability, The Nature Conservancy
  • Amy Patel, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Commercial Key Account Manager, BASF Center for Building Excellence
  • Jeffrey Raven, FAIA, Associate Professor and Director of the MS in Architecture, Urban and Regional Design program, NYIT
  • Wolfgang Rieder, CEO and Founder, fibreC
  • Cynthia Rosenzweig, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Climate Impacts Group, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • James Russell, FAIA, Architecture Critic and Journalist
  • Porie Saikia-Eapen, AIA, FCIOB, Chartered CM, Director, Sustainability & Environmental Compliance, MTA HQ
  • Kurt Shickman, Executive Director, Global Cool Cities Alliance
  • Dmitry Smirnov, PhD, Project Meterologist, Dewberry
  • Anne Marie Sowder, Asst Professor in Construction Management – Civil Engineering, CUNY – NYCCT, DfRR Extreme Heat Program Chair
  • Brian Stone, PhD, Associate Professor and PhD Program Director, Georgia Tech University School of City & Regional Planning
  • Ed Toth, Director, Greenbelt Native Plant Center Seed Collection & Banking Program, NYC Parks
  • Juli Trtanj, M.E.S., Program Director, NOAA Oceans and Human Health Initiative
  • Melissa Umberger, Hazard Mitigation Project Manager, NYC Emergency Management
  • Jason Vollen, PhD, AIA, Principal, High Performance Building Group, AECOM
  • Neil Weisenfeld, Director of Strategic Planning, Con Edison of New York
  • Andrew Whalley, AIA, RIBA, Deputy Chairman, Grimshaw Architects
  • Rae Zimmerman, PhD, Professor of Planning and Public Administration, NYU



“Extreme Heat: Hot Cities – Adapting to a Hotter World” was created and developed by the Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY).

The symposium is presented in partnership with the AIANY Building Enclosure Council, AIANY Building Codes Committee, AIANY Committee on the Environment (COTE), AIANY Design for Aging Committee, AIANY Health Facilities Committee, AIANY Housing Committee, AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee, AIANY Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, American Society of Landscape Architects – New York Chapter (ASLA-NY), NYCCT Department of Architectural Technology, NYCCT Department of Construction Management and Civil Engineering, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency, NYC Office of Emergency Management, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, NYC Urban Heat Island Working Group, Rockefeller Foundation, Nature Conservancy, and Urban Green Council.

This event would not be possible without support from Autodesk, BASF and their Center for Building Excellence, Big Ass Fans, Pizzarotti IBC, Con Edison, Lance Jay Brown, and Perkins+Will.