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The New Allure of the City (and Some Unanticipated Consequences)

Lecture Center for Global Humanities Lecture Series

Alex Krieger

Alex Krieger

America is experiencing a city revival, long in coming for those concerned that our suburbanizing century had not produced the highest quality or most sustainable forms of settlement. Memories of mid-20th century urban decay have mostly faded. There is a partial return to the heart of the city from the places formerly seen as more hospitable to modern life. The city as spectacle is appealing to younger generations for whom suburban experience is commonplace and dull, and to older generations still active but desiring more diverse social and cultural contact then available across fences while mowing suburban lawns. A walk about town, an appreciation for something called “pedestrian urbanism” has gained favor, a welcome turn away from the reign of the car culture. The very attractions of city life are, however, bringing new stresses; population growth, congestion and rapidly rising costs of living, which if not dealt with wisely will diminish the long-term viability of this civic revival. The lecture will review both the causes and how best to manage America’s urban revival. 

This is not a Seminar Series event.


Alex Krieger, FAIA serves as Founding Principal of Chan Krieger NBBJ. He is a Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he has taught since 1977. Krieger served as Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, from 1998 to 2004, Director of the Urban Design Program from 1990 to 2001, and as Associate Chairman of the Department of Architecture from 1984 to 1989. He has also served in several university-wide roles including as senior planning advisor for Harvard's campus expansion into Allston and on the newly established design review committees for both the Allston and Cambridge campuses. He has been Founder and co-director of the Large City Planners Institute since 1999. He has been on the board/commission of Historic Boston Incorporated since 2004 and Joseph Riley Institute, Charleston since 2000. Mr. Krieger is a frequent advisor to mayors and their planning staffs and serves on a number of boards and commissions. Among these: Director of the NEA's Mayor's Institute in City Design from 1994 to 1999; Boston Civic Design Commission from 1989 to 1987; Providence Capital Center Commission from 1990 to 1998 and Vice President of the New England Holocaust Memorial from 1989 to 2000. Mr. Krieger received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and a Master of City Planning in Urban Design degree from Harvard University.

Mr. Kreiger was awarded a presidential appointment to the US Fine Arts Commission where he has served since 2012.


Portland High School Auditorium
284 Cumberland Avenue
Portland, ME 04101


A reception in the auditorium will follow the lecture.

Alex Krieger event poster
5:30 PM
Portland High School Auditorium

Off Campus

Free and open to the public