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Designing Boston: The Olympics in 2024

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, March 05, 2015

The Designing Boston conversation hosted by the Boston Society of Architects focused on the U.S. Olympic Committee’s decision to back Boston as the host for the 2024 Olympics. As former Boston city councilor Mike Ross said during a recent interview, “[The Big Dig] changed the shape and face of Boston and... the Olympics will do the same thing.” Focusing on the role that architecture has (or has not) played in making previous Olympics successful, Ross moderated the panel discussion and dived into lessons learned by architects and planners with past Olympic experience in such cities as Seoul, Beijing, Sydney, and London. This event launches a series of conversations and debates related to potential roles, responsibilities, and opportunities available to architects, planners, and developers as this huge and exciting undertaking unfolds. The BSA Urban Design Committee co-hosted this event. Image: [Boston à lheure bleue, Emmanuel Huybrechts, Creative Commons License, modified.](http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boston_à_lheure_bleue_(4769294947).jpg "")

With the experience Mike Ross gained solving complex problems and bringing disparate parties together as a legislator, he now brings to his practice as an attorney where he focuses on real estate, strategic advice, and government relations. Mike served for 14 years as a Boston City Councilor, as well as serving as the President of the body. In 2013 he entered the race for mayor, sharing a bold vision for the city’s future. As an elected official he championed the opening of elementary schools in underserved neighborhoods and recently celebrated the announcement of the opening of a new downtown school - the first since the Carter administration. He brought physical education to area schools and focused on creating innovative job training models. His efforts revitalize the Boston Common and launch Food Trucks by borrowing ideas from other cities, have helped to move Boston forward. Ross represented District 8 on the Boston City Council, including Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway, and Mission Hill and some of Boston's greatest institutions and landmarks: Fenway Park, the Longwood Medical Area and Massachusetts General Hospital, the Museum of Fine Arts and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and a number of our city's finest academic institutions. World-renowned public spaces like the Boston Common, the Public Garden, the Esplanade, and Frederick Law Olmstead's historic Emerald Necklace are also in the district. Ross spearheaded the effort to turn the Boston Common into America's greatest park. As Chair of the Special Committee on Boston Common, Mike led the effort to bring more activity to the Boston Common, through improved programming efforts, as well as creating a restaurant and other eateries like the ones in a number of New York City's parks to draw tourists and residents alike to the Common. Mike has a long history of utilizing technology to make city government more accessible for residents. Prior to his election to the Council, Mike was part of a team that developed Boston's first Website. The site received the "Best of the Web" award for municipalities by Government Technology Magazine. As Councilor, Mike wrote for Boston magazine's blog, Boston Daily, as well as contributing to Blue Mass Group. He believes that there is a strong role that technology and the internet can play in making government better, more open, and more accessible.
At Sasaki, Dennis Pieprz plays a key role in the planning and urban design practice with specific emphasis on international work. His 25 years of both national and international experience encompass diverse project types including urban districts, new communities, campus environments, waterfronts, and urban regeneration. Through his design practice, Pieprz focuses on strategic thinking and creating value for clients. He approaches his urban design work collaboratively, integrating landscape, planning, and architecture with a critical understanding of the forces that shape contemporary cities. Educated at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the University of Toronto School of Architecture, Dennis speaks regularly at conferences and academic institutions and has participated on several international design competition juries. At Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Dennis teaches in the Professional Development program and in 2010 taught a studio focused on the Boston Innovation District. Pieprz has worked on award-winning projects recognized by the AIA, ASLA, and SCUP. He was inducted as an Honorary member of ASLA—a title bestowed upon only a handful of professionals nationwide, and he served as the youngest president of Sasaki from 2004 until 2011.
Kyu Sung Woo was born in Seoul, Korea and received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Architectural Engineering at Seoul National University. He came to the United States in 1967, where he studied architecture at Columbia University receiving a Master of Architecture in 1968. Mr. Woo then received a Master of Architecture in Urban Design at Harvard University in 1970. During his architectural career Mr. Woo has built extensively, with many major design works implemented, including the 1988 Olympic Village in Seoul, Korea. Mr. Woo has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Harvard University, and won the Ho Am Prize in the Arts in 2008. Kyu Sung Woo is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
Gavin started practicing over 25 years ago and worked on the design of the 1988 World's Fair and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. His particular area of expertise is transforming challenging sites into valued cultural and natural places as evidenced in cities he worked for. His award winning work has led him to projects around the globe, contributing articles in the Urban Land Institute & Earth Pledge Foundation publications, speaking on landscape & urban design issues, judging excellence in development awards and as a studio instructor at Harvard's School of Design. McMillan has won the CMAA Award for Innovation in Masonry, the P. Behan Memorial Prize for Landscape Design, and the SGAP Prize for Landscape Design. Some of the projects McMillan's has been involved with include: Sydney Olympics 2000, Sydney, Australia Sydney International Athletic & Aquatic Centers, Sydney, Australia Gold Coast Commercial Centre and Marina, Hong Kong, China BMI City, Jakarta, Indonesia World's Fair 1988, Brisbane, Australia