State of the Planet 2002:
A Conference Exploring Science and Sustainability

Contents
About the Conference
Hotel Information
Transportation
Steering Committee
Registration Form

The State of the Planet follow-up newsletter is now available for download in PDF format. Click HERE to download it.

About the Conference

Responding to the global call for greater clarity about the sustainable future of planet Earth, Columbia University, in collaboration with London School of Economics and Political Science, Harvard University, and UNESCO, will convene the State of the Planet 2002 Conference on May 13 and 14, 2002.

Preceding the World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for August 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the State of the Planet Conference will bring together leading international scientists, opinion-makers, and policy experts to explore the theme: Science And Sustainability.

Participants will bring scientifically informed perspectives to bear on the major social, economic, and political challenges to sustainable development, focusing on three pressing issues:

  • Global Food Security: How will the world feed its 9 billion people by the year 2050 adequately?

  • Conservation of Biological Resources: How can humans learn to become nature's protector?

  • Urban Sustainability: Mega-cities, such as New York City, Mexico City, and Rome, are taking early steps toward becoming viable habitats for the future. How can we encourage these initiatives?

In the last part of the 20th century, science has advanced our understanding in fields such as climate forecasting, biotechnology, water management, global carbon cycling, and ecosystem dynamics -- fields that have a profound relevance in the lives of all the world's peoples. Yet, by any reasonable measure, fully one third of humankind is poor and inequities between the developed and underdeveloped world are growing. The dreadful events of September 11th are a chilling reminder that almost all radical movements come out of the world's most impoverished countries.

Scientists and others experts at the 2002 conference will explore and debate how scientific and technological advances, largely in the developed world, might reasonably contribute to the support of the world's 6.1 billion people, expected to rapidly increase to 9 billion.

Participants will reflect on the contributions of the natural and social sciences to date, and lay out the framework for constructive future relations between the scientific community and government leaders, international organizations and others for reaching the goals of sustainable development.

Threaded throughout these discussions, conference participants will consider a suite of common concerns including governance, vulnerability to natural hazards, climate change, water security, distribution and equity issues, as well as the role of indigenous knowledge and faith in amplifying or removing barriers to progress in developing countries.

The issues this conference will address - and the solutions we envision - call for new kinds of collaboration between the scientific, policy and governing communities and a fundamentally new way of tackling the problem. Public understanding of the issues at stake and the need for collaboration is critical. We hope to highlight the important findings of this State of the Planet 2002 Conference in a publicly accessible, televised session in which the science and social dimensions of sustainable development are brought into focus and connection. To accomplish this goal, we hope that a leading commentator - well known and respected in the public eye - will preside at a 'town hall' style session that brings together world leaders who have dedicated themselves to understanding sustainability with leading world-class scientists who can articulate the scientific perspective.

We cannot secure our future as a species if we do not first understand what impact we have, and have had, on the planet we inhabit. Getting at that understanding - and framing viable solutions for our future - is what this conference is all about.


Hotel Information:
(If you are a speaker, please email Ji Mi Choi for reservations)

The Lucerne Hotel
201 West 79th Street (corner of Amsterdam Avenue)
New York, NY 10024
800-492-8122 or 212-875-1000 or lucerne@newyorkhotel.com
Make reservations using Group Information: Columbia State of the Planet (#110065)
The rate will be $150 per night for a standard queen or double room and $170 for a junior suite. Taxes are additional.

The Lucerne features 250 European inspired deluxe guest rooms and suites in a 12-story building. The hotel has a business center, fitness center, and complimentary breakfast every morning. Rooms include: coffee maker, hair dryer, and other amenities. Please see http://www.newyorkhotel.com for more information.

You can reach Columbia University from the Lucerne by taking the red line 1 subway at 79th Street and Broadway uptown to 116th Street. You can also take the M104 bus on 79th and Broadway. A yellow taxi will cost approximately $5 USD from the hotel to the university.

Hotel Beacon
2130 Broadway at 75th Street
New York, NY 10023
800-572-4969 or 212-787-1100
Make reservations using Group Information: Columbia State of the Planet Conference
The rate will be $195 per night for a suite.

The Beacon features over 200 rooms in a 25-story building. Suites have a bedroom with two double beds, a living room with a pull out sofa bed, a kitchenette, and a marble bathroom. Please see http://www.beaconhotel.com for more information.

You can reach Columbia University from the Beacon by taking the red line 1 subway at 72nd Street or 79th Street and Broadway uptown to 116th Street. You can also take the M104 bus on Broadway. A yellow taxi will cost approximately $5 USD from the hotel to the university.


Transportation:

By New York City Public Transportation:
Five bus lines (M4, M5, M11, M60, M104) and one subway line (the red line #1) serve the Columbia neighborhood. The M60 bus is a direct link between campus and LaGuardia Airport. The Columbia stop is 116th Street. If you use IRT express trains #2 or 3, which follow a different route and do not stop at Columbia University, be certain to transfer at the 96th Street station to the #1 to the 116th Street station.

From Airports:
For visitors coming into LaGuardia, Kennedy, or Newark airports, taxi service is available to the campus (about $20 from LaGuardia, at least $40 from Kennedy), and there is bus service to Grand Central Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Bus service directly from LaGuardia airport to Columbia, the M60 city bus, is also available.

By Car from the New York Airports:
LaGuardia: Take the Grand Central Parkway west to the Triborough Bridge to Manhattan. Follow 125th St across Manhattan 12 blocks to Broadway, which is under an elevated subway structure. Left onto Broadway, to 116th St. Kennedy: Take the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678) to the Whitestone Bridge and across. Get onto I-95 south and follow the directions above under "By Car from the North." Newark: Follow directions under "By Car from the South or West."

By Car from the North:
Take the New York Thruway (I-87) or the New England Thruway (I-95) south to the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) in the direction of the George Washington Bridge. Take the exit for the Henry Hudson Parkway south (the last exit before the bridge). Exit the Parkway at West 95th Street and Riverside Drive and follow the directions from Riverside Dr. and 95th Street.

By Car from South or West:
Take the New Jersey Turnpike north or I-80 east to the George Washington Bridge. As you cross the bridge, take the exit for the Henry Hudson Parkway south. Exit the Parkway at West 95th Street and Riverside Drive and follow the directions from Riverside Dr. and 95th Street.

By Car from Long Island:
Take the Long Island Expressway or the Grand Central Parkway west to the Cross Island Parkway north. Cross the Throgs Neck Bridge onto the Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95 south) and Proceed as in "By Car from the North."

From Riverside Drive and West 95th Street:
Go north on Riverside Drive to 116th Street. Turn right and go two blocks to Broadway and the University's main gate. Please note that the main gate is not open to traffic.

Parking:
You may park on the street or use the local parking garages. The 512-520 Garage is located at the corner of 112th Street and Amsterdam; the Riverside Church Parking Garage is located on 120th Street between Claremont Avenue and Riverside Drive.

By Train or Bus:
Trains to New York arrive at Grand Central Station or Pennsylvania Station, while buses stop at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, where a visitor can take either public transportation or a taxi north to the campus.


Steering Committee, State of the Planet 2002 Conference:

Dr. John Mutter, [ Bio ]
Associate Vice Provost, Columbia Earth Institute, Committee Chair

Dr. William Baker, [ Bio ]
WNET Channel 13

Dr. Peter Bridgewater, [ Bio ]
UNESCO

Dr. William Clark, [ Bio ]
Harvard University

Dr. Joel Cohen, [ Bio ]
Columbia University/The Rockefeller University

Dr. Geoffrey Heal, [ Bio ]
Graduate School of Business, Columbia University

Dr. Roberto Lenton, [ Bio ]
Secretariat for International Affairs and Development, International Research Institute for Climate Prediction, Columbia University

Dr. Roberta Balstad Miller,
Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University

Dr. James Putzel, [ Bio ]
Development Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr. Judith Rees,
London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr. Shiv Someshwar,
The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Maurice Strong,
United Nations

Ji Mi Choi,
Project Manager, Columbia Earth Institute

Mariellen Gallagher,
Columbia Earth Institute

Kathleen Mastriani,
Columbia Earth Institute