UR (Urban Research), the imprint of Terreform, is a book series devoted to cities and their futures. Understanding that no single approach is adequate to the promise and problems of the urban, we publish a wide range of designs and analyses.
Our forthcoming list includes projects ranging from the practical to the utopian, from community-generated plans for neighborhood transformation to outstanding outcomes from academic studios, to visionary speculations by designers burning the midnight oil, and to collations of scholarly arguments about the most urgent issues of urban growth and survival. Our remit is to get the word out about solutions that exceed the imaginative reach of “official” planning and design, and to encourage vigorous forms of debate.
UR seeks to become a key venue for individuals and organizations engaged in progressive urban research, design, and critical advocacy. We invite the collaboration with all who share our interest in creating sustainable, beautiful, and just cities around the world.
Terreform is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), urban research studio and advocacy group founded in 2005 by Michael Sorkin. Its mission is to investigate the forms, policies, technologies, and practices that will yield equitable, sustainable, and beautiful cities for our urbanizing planet.
Terreform works as a “friend of the court,” dedicated to raising urban expectations and to advocating innovative and progressive ideas as widely as possible. We undertake self-initiated investigations into both local and global issues and make research and design available to community and other organizations to support independent environmental and planning initiatives.
Terreform gained public attention and critical acclaim in 2006 with Project Loisaida 2106, a proposal for the History Channel’s City of the Future competition. Like much of Terreform’s work, it focused on New York City, our home and primary field of speculation. With a scheme imagining a post-automotive and resilient Lower East Side, Project Loisaida won the competition’s Infiniti Award.
New York City (Steady) State, our ongoing research project, is a comprehensive investigation into urban self-sufficiency. While centered on New York, it is intended to raise issues and propose solutions for cities around the world that seek to take radical measures to secure their respiration and autonomy and to achieve a more sustainably democratic polity, founded in the local. This research was featured in the United States Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale and will be published in a series of forthcoming volumes.
In addition to New York City (Steady) State, we are engaged in a variety of projects that include speculations on sites in such vexed environments as Gaza, Chicago's South Side, and Yachay, a new technopole in the Ecuadorean highlands.
In 2016, Terreform launched its publishing imprint, UR (Urban Research). UR is intended both as a medium for disseminating our work and as a support structure for designers and researchers who share the project of a progressive and liberated urbanism.
Learn more about Terreform here.
As the publishing arm of a nonprofit organization, Terreform, we depend on and thank our generous donors of the past and present:
ELYSIUM ($100,000+ lifetime contribution)
Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, George Sorkin, Michael Sorkin Studio, and an anonymous donor.
Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, Frank Gehry, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Jean Louis Bourgeois, Southern California Institute of Architecture, Turenscape, The Venice Biennale–2010 American Pavilion.
Furthermore–A Program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, Moshe Safdie, Rockwell Group, The City College of New York–Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture.
Elisabeth Block, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Roberta Brandes Gratz, Richard Menaker, TEN Arquitectos.
We invite you to join us in advancing this vital and exciting adventure towards a more just, sustainable, and beautiful future for the world's cities.