Vishaan Chakrabarti believes that cities — if they are designed to be sustainable, equitable and joyous — are the best hope for humanity.

Why you should listen

Vishaan Chakrabarti designs and advocates for a sustainable, attainable and equitable urban future centered around human connectedness. As founder and creative director of the global architecture studio Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, he leads complex design projects such as Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Refinery, Philadelphia's Schuylkill Yards, Ford Motor Company's Michigan Central Station project in Detroit's Corktown, major new campus architecture and a unique urban village in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In his 2013 book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America, he illustrates through hard data and soft cartoons why Americans would be more prosperous, sustainable, joyful and socially mobile in a more urban nation.

Chakrabarti served under Mayor Bloomberg as the director of planning for Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11, collaborating on efforts to save the High Line and rebuild the World Trade Center. He is currently on leave from his tenured faculty position at the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as the William W. Wurster Dean of the College of Environmental Design, the world's leading public school of architecture, landscape architecture and city planning. Prior to Berkeley, he was a professor at Columbia University for a decade. He lectures internationally, contributes articles and op-eds to the New York Times and has appeared on CBS, MSNBC and National Public Radio. Born in Calcutta, Chakrabarti holds degrees from Cornell, MIT and Berkeley.

Vishaan Chakrabarti’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Vishaan Chakrabarti

Countdown Summit

One planet: Notes from Session 7 of Countdown Summit

October 15, 2021

Follow Countdown on Twitter and Instagram • Subscribe to the Countdown newsletter After a week of hearing from the cutting-edge of climate action, we’ve filled our minds and hearts with ideas and solutions for a net-zero future. We gather for this final session of Countdown energized, curious and hopeful, knowing that we all share this […]

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Live from TED2020

Conversations on rebuilding society: Week 4 of TED2020

June 10, 2020

For week 4 of TED2020, leaders in international development, history, architecture and public policy explored how we might rebuild during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing protests against racial injustice in the United States. Below, a recap of their insights. Achim Steiner, head of the United National Development Programme Big idea: The public and private […]

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Live from TED2018

In Case You Missed It: Finding space to dream at day 3 at TED2018

April 13, 2018

TED2018 hit its stride on day 3, with talks from explorers of space and oceans, builders of cities and bridges, engineers of the future and many more. Here are some of the themes we heard echoing through the opening day, as well as some highlights from around the conference venue in Vancouver. Are we alone […]

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