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  • Alex Washburn - Architect, Former Head of Moynihan Reconstruction, and Former Director of Design in the Bloomberg Administration

  • Sam Turvey - Civic Organizer Executive Director of ReThinkPenn

  • Liam Blank - Transportation Policy and Urban Planning Expert

MODERATED BY Layla Law-Gisiko, President, The City Club of New York

Join us online on June 7, 2023 at 6.30pm, for our webinar "Reimagining Madison Square Garden: Shaping the Future". This thought-provoking event held the very same day the City Planning Commission holds their public hearing on Madison Square Garden will focus on the latest in the advocacy to relocate the venue. Our panelists will delve into the future of Madison Square Garden as the iconic venue's operating permit approaches expiration in July 2023.


With the application for a new special permit currently under review, the webinar will provide an insightful platform to discuss potential pathways for the future of this historic institution.

The webinar comes at a crucial time, as the City Planning Commission and ultimately the City Council gear up to make a final determination.

Following the panel discussion, panelists will answer questions from the audience.


Alexandros Washburn

As Chief Urban Designer at the New York Department of City Planning, Alexandros

Washburn has been at the forefront of the City's epic remaking. World traveler, global professor, and bicycle commuter, he takes his sketchbook with him to cities around the world looking for best practices to bring home to New York City.

Washburn is working to increase resilience in cities personally as well as professionally—he has been involved in the recovery effort in his neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, which was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. To meet this challenge he relies on his experience in a career made up of equal parts politics, finance and design: government staffer for the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, community developer and urban farmer in Durham, North Carolina, and design principal with national awards in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture, including New York’s prestigious Public Architect Award. His goal is to meet the urban challenges of the day while improving the quality of civic life, and by writing this book, widen the circle of those who can learn to change cities for the better.

Sam Turvey

Samuel A. Turvey is a respected community activist, attorney, and influential figure in the nonprofit sector. As Chairperson of ReThinkNYC and Co-Coordinator of the Empire Station Coalition, Turvey plays a vital role in shaping urban development and transportation initiatives. With extensive legal expertise from his previous role as a Managing Director at TIAA, he brings valuable insights to these efforts. Turvey's dedication to community and the arts is evident through his involvement in organizations such as the East Village Parks Conservancy, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and the John Noble Maritime Collection. He has also served as a volunteer litigator for the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. A graduate of Fordham University and Fordham Law School, Sam's passion for advocacy and preservation was ignited during his grammar school years when he actively participated in protests to protect Staten Island's Greenbelt. With his unwavering commitment and unique perspective, Turvey continues to have a profound impact on community development, urban planning, and the preservation of New York City's cultural heritage.

Liam Blank

Liam Blank is a distinguished expert in transportation policy and urban planning, with a career marked by impactful advocacy campaigns and pioneering policy development in the New York City region. His passion for public transit was ignited during his teenage years in Rhode Island, where he relied on the state's transit system for his daily commute.

Liam has played a pivotal role in advancing legislation that reformed NJ Transit's Board of Directors and expanded the MTA's legal authority to use automated camera enforcement on bus-only lanes. His advocacy efforts have contributed to the establishment of over 20 miles of dedicated bus lanes across NYC and the initiation of the city's first-ever busway on 14th Street.

In his previous roles, Liam served as Associate Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC), where he advocated on behalf of the region’s transit riders and commuters. As a Policy & Communications Manager at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC), he authored an influential report on regional rail and leveraged media outlets to move public opinion on urban mobility. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning & Public Policy from Rutgers University.

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