In or near Florida on Saturday, November 18? Consider attending Utopian Hours in Miami, which will be the first version of the city-making festival in the United States. Stratosferica, a nonprofit organization which produces content and events about urban topics, held the seventh edition of the festival in Turin, Italy, last month. Now, it is partnering with Future of Cities, a “mission-driven consortium invested in transforming the built environment,” to host a day of presentations and discussions about civic innovation.
Utopian Hours posits that cities are the sites where major advances in the face of the climate crisis and rising inequality will be addressed. “We are used to asking a lot from healthcare, scientific research, space exploration, economy,” Giacomo Biraghi, the festival’s co-director and a cofounder of Stratosferica, said. “But rarely do we ask the same from our cities. We want more—freedom, progress, money, green spaces, well-being … you name it—from our beloved cities, and we want it now.”
In Miami, Utopian Hours will begin with a panel discussion titled Making Miami. It will feature Tony Cho, founder of Future of Cities and a champion of regenerative placemaking; Matt Haggman, executive vice president at Opportunity Miami; Ximena Caminos, cultural placemaker and founder of The ReefLine; Meg Daly, of The Underline; and Raymond Fort, vice president of Arquitectonica. The conversation will be moderated by AN’s Executive Editor Jack Murphy.
A second group discussion will focus on regenerative placemaking. In addition to Cho, of Future of Cities, the talk will feature Emily Moody, director of Community Engagement for the Phoenix Jacksonville Arts + Innovation District; and Francois Alexandre, a Haitian American social entrepreneur and international & community leader in South Florida. Alexandra J. Tohme, director of the Regenerative Placemaking Framework with Cho Ventures, will moderate the panel.
Keynote presentations will offer a deeper dive into the work of five leaders: Ya-Ting Liu will share her efforts as New York City’s first-ever Chief Public Realm Officer; Jeff Kaplan will present Concept Neighborhood, a Houston-based real estate and placemaking company which prioritizes “hyper-proximity”; Philadelphia-based urban ethnographer Katrina Johnston- Zimmerman will share how she integrates feminism with urban planning through her consultancy THINK.urban and as cofounder of the Women Led Cities initiative; Luca Ballarini, co-director of Utopian Hours and cofounder of Stratosferica, will talk about his organization’s Precollinear Park and subsequent Corso Farini interventions in Turin; and Scott Francisco will demonstrate how his organization, Cities4Forests, connects urban and rural locations around the world to sustainably source timber for the creation of public landscapes.
The day’s activities will take place at Future Cities’ Climate + Innovation HUB, an event space in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood.
Registered architects can earn up to four learning units by attending Utopian Hours Miami.
AN is a media partner and continuing education partner for Utopian Hours Miami. Tickets are for sale online.