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Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA, is the Marc Holliday Professor of Real Estate and the Director of the Real Estate Development program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. In this new position he will lead and transform the graduate program in real estate development, as well advocate for smart growth policies locally, nationally, and internationally. Chakrabarti will oversee and refine the new three-semester curriculum, featuring a holistic emphasis on the acquisition of theoretical frameworks, practical core competencies, and advanced research abilities to prepare graduates for the challenges and opportunities of the real estate industry. For the 2009 academic year, the University of Virginia has also named Chakrabarti as the Jaquelin T. Robertson Visiting Professorship in Architecture. Chakrabarti is also the founding principal of Vishaan Chakrabarti Design Collaborative (VCDC, llc), an urban design, planning, and strategic advisory firm based in Manhattan. Formerly an Executive Vice President of Related Companies, Chakrabarti ran the design and planning operations for the firm’s extensive development portfolio. Through VCDC, Chakrabarti continues to advance the Moynihan Station project, as well as consult on the urban design effort for the Hudson Rail Yards. From 2002 to 2005, Chakrabarti served as the Director of the Manhattan Office for the New York Department of City Planning. In this capacity, Chakrabarti served as a senior adviser to the Office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Planning Commission on all urban planning issues throughout Manhattan. While with the City, Chakrabarti successfully gained approvals for major rezonings that will reshape the west side of Manhattan including the area surrounding the High Line. He also directed the City's design response to the State-led process for the reconstruction of Lower Manhattan in the wake of 9/11. Prior to joining the Department of City Planning, Chakrabarti was an Associate Partner for the New York Office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, where since 1996 he managed numerous global architecture and urban design projects including a number of Manhattan skyscrapers. Chakrabarti holds a Masters degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, a Masters degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and dual Bachelors degrees in Art History and Engineering from Cornell University. He is a Registered Architect in the State of New York. Chakrabarti serves on the Board of Directors of the Architectural League of New York, is a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission, and is an emeritus board member of Friends of the High Line. He is also a member of the Young Leaders Forum of the National Council on US-China Relations. Chakrabarti is a David Rockefeller Fellow and a Crain’s “40 under 40." Chakrabarti lives in Tribeca with his wife, son and daughter.
by Vishaan Chakrabarti • Oct 8 2010
We all of course know the story of Noah’s Ark -- of massive floods sent by a disgusted God to wipe out our corrupted civilization except for Noah, who, with his family, builds an Ark to save pairs of animals to eventually repopulate the planet. The contemporary take on the story has some new twists.
by Vishaan Chakrabarti • Sep 13 2010
Xenophobia. Unfunded entitlements. Anti-immigrant zeal. More retirees than workers. Crumbling infrastructure. Failing schools. Threats to burn books. Taken together, our national ailments have shaken my belief in a Country of Cities. I have argued on these pages that density and infrastructure, and the diverse ecology they engender, can lead us out of this recession to a greener, leaner nation...
by Vishaan Chakrabarti • Jul 21 2010
Consider some simple math about people and land. If all of Earth’s six billion people were to live at the...
As oil spills into the Gulf, blood spills in the streets of Greece, and cash spills from terrorist wallets into the hands of willing airline agents, one wonders who can clean up this mess. We tell our children to clean up after themselves, but can we...
by Vishaan Chakrabarti • Apr 21 2010
Vishaan Chakrabarti takes Jaime Lerner's transformation of Curitiba as a powerful call to action for designers to initiate change in architectural, ecological, political and urban terms.
by Vishaan Chakrabarti • Jul 2 2009
Coldplay may be wrong - just because we're losing may in fact mean that we're lost. We are at a crossroads as a nation, and currently, despite all the hope generated by President Obama, we're not yet on the right path. At the Federal level, one has to wonder if there is an Asphalt Lobby, because if there is, they must be partying like it's...
by Urban Omnibus • 1 Comment
Vishaan Chakrabarti walks through one of the city's favorite spaces. His reflections range from design details to regional economics to the relationship between infrastructure and density.