Ideal Cities: Master Plans & Dystopian Realities

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

The emerging coherence of smart and democratic cities

Masoud Ghandehari, New York University


  • Gabor Betegh, Professor of Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge University
  • Alexander Shermansong, NYU Wagner School of Public Service
  • Jill Harris, Policy and Strategy Counsel, Kings County District Attorney
  • Kazuhiko Ito, Senior Environmental Epidemiologist, NYC Department of Health 
  • Devyn Humphrey, Axis Partners, New York City
  • Kian Tajbakhsh, Author, The Promise of the City, Columbia University
  • Jackie Lu, Director of Analytics, New York City Department of Parks

With the ideal plans and dystopian realities of today's metropolis; looking through the lens of justice and ethics, identity and culture, space and boundaries, technology and data, governance and politics, health and education, economic influences and individual agency, we will converge our thinking on the following: In our plans for an Ideal City, how is justice, human virtue and enlightened governance manifested? How do we integrate and plan for social and environmental resilience in cities? What is the role of technology and data in adaptive strategies? How does the ideal city define and express our social contract? How do we reconcile this social contract with marginalized or disadvantaged communities? How do our systems of governance limit or expand our agency? How does collaborative consumption and the sharing economy serve the Ideal City? What are our best plans for the Ideal City? How are the cities of the future planning for the Ideal?