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Upcoming Special Event

Rethinking the Urban Challenges of Tomorrow: a Danish Perspective

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 7:00-9:00PM

The Pit, School of Architecture, Carleton University (Building 22), 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa ON

Special sponsors: Carleton University, City of Ottawa and the Royal Danish Consulate General

Speakers: Stephen Willacy, Kolja Nielsen, and Lars Emil Kragh

This session explores how architecture can help kick start an urban renaissance and create spaces that add social, environmental and economic value to our cities.   Drawing on examples from the Municipality of Aarhus and innovative, award-winning projects such as The Iceberg, this lecture will examine what it takes to create environmentally sound urban and cultural developments without losing sight of the most important element – people. Danish architecture is known for its ‘People First’ approach, grounded in the principles of sustainability.  Despite its modest size, Denmark is recognized as a global leader in architecture and urban design.

Stephen Willacy, Chief City Architect of Aarhus

Stephen has combined practise as a partner at internationally acclaimed Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects with teaching and research as associate professor at Aarhus School of Architecture. Projects include award winning University of Aberdeen, Sir Duncan Rice Library and City of Westminster College in London. As Aarhus City Council’s chief city architect in the past five years Stephen works towards ensuring the city develops in a way where architectural considerations are held in the highest regard and contributes towards continued innovation in planning, urban design and architectural quality.

Kolja Nielsen, founding partner and CEO of CEBRA, Chairman of the board at The Danish Association of Architectural Firms, Member of the Danish Art Society, Architect MAA and Architect RIBA.

CEBRA is a Danish architectural office based in Aarhus in Denmark and in Abu Dhabi in the UAE. With a multidisciplinary international staff of 50, CEBRA has gained recognition through award-winning projects in Europe, the Middle East and Russia.

Most CEBRA projects are within the fields of education, culture and housing – thoughtfully designed in line with their mantra – architecture with attitude.

Lars Emil Kragh, Head of Business Development, the Danish Association of Architectural Firms.

 Danish Association of Architectural Firms is an organization of private firms of consulting architects. One of the Association’s current major strategic projects is to document the value creation of architecture through examples come from all over Denmark.  The project demonstrates good architecture can make a difference for the people who use the spaces.

Urban Forum encourages members to use transit and means of active transport. However, if you do need to drive, parking is available in lot P2. Campus map is available at:  http://carleton.ca/campus



In 1997, the Ottawa chapters of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI), the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA) and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) joined forces to present Urban Forum, a lecture series for their members as well as elected officials, students and the public at large in the Ottawa area. Four times per year, internationally known speakers and local experts address topics that reflect the challenges faced by the associations’ combined membership.

Since its inception, Urban Forum has hosted lectures on a wide variety of topics. Some lectures went on a road trip to other Cities such as Urban Diversity: Planning Multicultural Cities, What Makes Great Streets and Shaping Our Cities by Design. Given that Canadian cities face similar issues and can benefit from learning from each other, Urban Forum is taking a more national focus by partnering with its national counterparts to host lectures in major Canadian cities.

The objectives of the lecture series are to:

The lecture series has been successful in encouraging an ongoing dialogue between professionals, engaging elected officials, government staffs and the public to discuss new ideas and raising the profile of the professional associations. The free public lectures bring together people from different background to discuss issues of community interest. The audience tends to change with topics. The sponsors also vary with the topics. Each lecture contributes to a community debate that generates incremental and positive changes.

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