Just look around, and up: It may be time for urbanists to call this “the era of the megadevelopment.” A group of experts will convene at NYU Gallatin to consider this worldwide phenomenon, and the implications for democracy, displacement and the future of cities.

A megadevelopment rising in a forest of cranes

It may be time for urbanists to call this “the era of the megadevelopment.” Everywhere one turns, a rail yard is being transformed into a futuristic shopping district, highways are becoming greenways, and pop-up neighborhoods are being accessed through gated, securitized portals. From some perspectives, we are watching utopias take the place of underutilized urban land, while, from others, large-scale development reads as undisguised dystopia.

As megadevelopments rise worldwide, often financed by the taxes we pay, a group of experts will gather for a public forum on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 pm at NYU Gallatin (1 Washington Pl., New York, N.Y.) and will discuss: How much was the public involved in determining their outcomes, or in deciding whether a development was necessary at all? How are public benefits integrated into these plans and how beneficial are they in reality? What is the consequence of megadevelopments on democracy, displacement, and the city of the future?

Discussants include: Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Associate Professor, Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of Sociology, Rutgers-New Brunswick; Winifred Curran, Professor, Geography, DePaul University; Betty Y. Chen, Principal, BYC Projects, and former New York City Planning Commissioner. Moderator: Louise Harpman, Professor, NYU Gallatin,

The NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study event is part of Archtober, New York City’s Architecture and Design Month, organized by the Center for Architecture and UN-Habitat’s Urban October.  It is free and open to the public, and is wheelchair-accessible.