CitySpeak features the visionaries who are designing, building, and reimagining cities as we know them today.
From the shimmering skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the stuccoed bungalows of Los Angeles, cities across the globe develop through a familiar pattern. Like the cell cycle of an organism, buildings are constructed, demolished, and reconstructed in a chaotic choreography performed to the rhythm of each city.
Join host Max Masuda-Farkas as he interviews the people shaping the cities we love, right down to the parcel, block, and neighborhood.
CitySpeak is available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and all major podcast listening apps.
Yan Krymsky: Gas Stations in the Age of Electric Vehicles
With electric vehicles finally having their moment, what should car-centric cities do with their gas stations?
With nearly 600 gas stations dotting the Los Angeles landscape, the rise of the electric vehicle presents an opportunity for the city to repurpose a significant portion of its urban fabric. Yan Krymsky, a design director at Perkins&Will, discusses some of his ideas for what L.A.—and other car-centric cities like it—should do with its gas stations.
Eric Jaffe: Sidewalk Labs and Its Vision for Urban Innovation
Tackling sustainability and affordability in our cities with technology
Eric Jaffe is the Editorial Director at Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company with a plan to tackle sustainability and affordability in cities around the world. Eric joins Max to highlight some of the company’s revolutionary technologies.
Data and decision-making in the public sector
Ken Steif is a data scientist, city planner, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design, where he leads the school’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics program. In his new book Public Policy Analytics, he explains how the public sector can catch up to private industry in adopting data science to make wiser, more efficient decisions.
The City’s Sociologist
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University where she researches globalization and migration in the context of global cities, a term which she coined in her 1991 book of the same name. Professor Sassen looks back on the three decades since the publication of her seminal study and offers her predictions on what’s in store for cities in the decades still to come.
Restoring the Past Through Adaptive Reuse Architecture
Karin Liljegren is the founder and principal of Omgivning, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in adaptive reuse architecture, and a quick glance at Omgivning’s portfolio will reveal that it is at the forefront of this practice. Karin and Max discuss the special responsibility that the adaptive reuse architect holds as the chief conservator of a city’s architectural history.
Mortgage Banking and Lending During the Pandemic
Jonathan Lee is a Principal and Managing Director of George Smith Partners, a national provider of capital market services to the commercial real estate industry. Jonathan joins Max to discuss the impacts that the pandemic has had on real estate lending and the changes he foresees for the wider market as we emerge out of the pandemic.
The L.A. City Planning Commission: Where Developers and Neighbors Square Off
Samantha Millman is the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, the central forum for members of the public to voice their opinions on the real estate development projects under consideration in their city. As President, Samantha acts as both mediator and adjudicator, so Max sits down with her to learn more about what it’s like to try to facilitate meaningful dialogue between two groups that rarely play nice.
COVID-19, Convention Centers, and Our New Fear of Flying
Doane Liu is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development. His sole mission—to raise up Los Angeles’ status as a convention and tourism destination—has been dealt a serious setback ever since the coronavirus spread across the Southland. Max and Doane dig into the numbers and forecast just how long the decline in tourism might last.
Regulating Land Use During a Housing Crisis
Jim Arnone is in his thirtieth year as a partner at international law firm Latham & Watkins. As the firm’s Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department, Jim has helped his clients navigate the uncertain and treacherous terrain that is California land use law. Listen in as Jim chats with Max about housing, the California Environmental Quality Act, and his outlook on the future of land use regulation in the state.
The Local Economy Meets the Global Pandemic
In the season premiere of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas is joined over Zoom by Bruce Katz, co-author of The New Localism and Executive Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab. Bruce has spent his career churning out new ideas for how cities can maintain their preeminence as the engines of economic growth in America. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Bruce’s work has taken on a whole new urgency.
Eric Owen Moss
Tune in to the final episode of CitySpeak Season 1 for our conversation with renowned architect Eric Owen Moss.
Eric Owen Moss is the principal and lead designer of his eponymously named architecture firm Eric Owen Moss Architects Alongside his formidable portfolio of international projects, Mr. Moss is widely known for almost single-handedly designing the Culver City neighborhood known as the Hayden Tract, a fantasy world of experimental architecture. Tune in to the final episode of CitySpeak Season 1 for a conversation that reaches far beyond the bounds of architecture, from the effect of the Vietnam War on the young architects of that decade to how Mr. Moss’s design philosophy was born out of Homer’s Odyssey.
CitySpeak talks with Los Angeles Times arts and architecture writer Carolina Miranda about urbanism, local history, and more.
Carolina Miranda is an arts and architecture writer for the Los Angeles Times and has had her work featured in a wide range of national and international publications. Ms. Miranda’s writing embodies what art historian Barry Bergdoll defined as the purpose of architecture criticism to be “a bridge between the professional activity of the designing architect and the role of the citizenry.” In this episode of CitySpeak, Ms. Miranda dons her critic hat to talk urbanism, local history vs. history writ large, and the role of architecture criticism within the ever-changing narrative of urban development.
CitySpeak talks with Related California CEO William Witte about NIMBYism, his work with Frank Gehry on The Grand, and more.
William Witte profile defies easy classification—his over 30 years leading Related California’s extensive development portfolio of over 16,000 residential units followed after a long career in the public sector, serving as Deputy Mayor and Director of Housing under then San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, working for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and even training as an urban planner at the University of Pennsylvania. In this episode,
CitySpeak discusses LA's unique brand of urbanism with Frances Anderton of KCRW's DnA: Design and Architecture.
Frances Anderton is the host of the popular radio program DnA: Design and Architecture, a weekly show on KCRW public radio. Born and raised in the ancient, historic city of Bath, England, Ms. Anderton chose her decidedly less ancient home of Los Angeles after visiting LA in 1987 on a story for the Architectural Review magazine about the city’s young architectural vanguard. Since then, she has become one of the most prominent voices in defining LA’s unique brand of urbanism. The Rodney King Riots, how LA compares to the UK, and the perils of too much historic preservation—tune in to hear Ms. Anderton discuss these topics and more in this second episode of CitySpeak.
The 41st Mayor of Los Angeles talks with Urbanize about Measure R, SB 50, and his legacy as the “Subway Mayor”.
In the debut episode of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas interviews the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa. Dubbed by LA Weekly as “the Subway Mayor,” Mayor Villaraigosa was mayor from 2005-2013, promoting a new vision for Los Angeles as “a city of smart growth,” the fruits of which are just beginning to bear today. Listen in as Mayor Villaraigosa chats with Max Masuda-Farkas about everything from why cities are becoming more powerful than nations and how he wrangled the federal government to actually put its money where its mouth is on transportation.