Cities@Tufts: Exploring equity and diversity in urban planning

Could Rio’s Favela’s offer a sustainable housing model for cities around the world? What are the impacts of over-policing black mobility in the US? Are $16 tacos leading to gentrification and the emotional, cultural, economic, and physical displacement it produces? These are just a few of the questions we’ll be exploring in the next season of the Cities@Tufts Virtual Colloquium.

Shareable is continuing its partnership with Tufts University Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning on this free lecture series hosted by professor Julian Agyeman (chair of Shareable’s governing board).

Lectures are scheduled for most Wednesdays from 12-1 pm EDT September 15-December 8 and feature a 30-min presentation followed by a 30-min discussion.

In order to increase the accessibility of this content, Shareable will produce transcripts, audio podcasts, and videos from each presentation in addition to providing additional opportunities to join the sessions live.

We’re grateful for the continued support from The Kresge Foundation to make this content free to all.

Find out more about all of our upcoming events (and Register for Free!) below and catch up on all past Cities@Tufts recordings here.

Rethinking the Future of Housing Worldwide: Favelas as a Sustainable Model with Theresa Williamson

September 15, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live:

Informal settlements, such as Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, are not new and they’re not rare. Today, one in three people in cities lives in an informal settlement and 85 percent of all housing worldwide is built illegally. By 2050, nearly a third of humanity will live in urban informal settlements. How can we value informal settlements around the world and integrate them on their own terms into our urban planning practices? Could this search lead to a sustainable urban future? This talk will introduce strategies employed by grassroots NGO Catalytic Communities, in over twenty years supporting Asset-Based Community Development together with Rio de Janeiro favela organizers.

Contested Geographies of Food, Ethnicity, and Gentrification with Pascale Joassart-Marcelli

September 22, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live:

Drawing on extensive fieldwork, geographer Pascale Joassart-Marcelli traces the transformation of three urban San Diego neighborhoods whose foodscapes are shifting from serving the needs of longtime minoritized residents who face limited food access to pleasing the tastes of wealthier and whiter newcomers. The $16 Taco illustrates how food can both emplace and displace immigrants, shedding light on the larger process of gentrification and the emotional, cultural, economic, and physical displacement it produces. It also highlights the contested food geographies of immigrants and people of color by documenting their contributions to the cultural food economy and everyday struggles to reclaim ethnic foodscapes and lead flourishing and hunger-free lives. Joassart-Marcelli offers valuable lessons for cities where food-related development projects transform neighborhoods at the expense of the communities they claim to celebrate.

This talk will focus primarily on her new book (The $16 Taco) and her ongoing research on food and gentrification in San Diego and other cities. 

The Commons: Land, property, information, and landscape agency with Kofi Boone

September 29, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live:

The twin pandemics of 2020 (the racial reckoning, and the COVID 19 epidemic) forced critical reflection on the past and present of built environment professions. Numerous systemic inequities enabled by the design of places and infrastructure were revealed resulting in disparities in public health resources, access to information and technology, and many other areas. In the case of Black communities, these disparities have fueled a renewed focus on mutual aid, cooperation, and collective action to fill gaps in community resources.

This presentation presents the idea of “The Commons” as a framework that could alter ways in which equitable practices landscape architecture and environmental planning, especially with Black communities. Although not a uniquely Black cultural phenomenon, Commoning has been a hallmark of Black landscapes historically including cooperatives and community land trusts to enable labor, land, and property rights. Digital versions of commoning emerged during the twin pandemics and helped people remain connected and leverage dispersed resources. Moving forward, a focus in landscape architecture on developing knowledge and tools to enable commoning could increase the equitable impacts of our work.

Melissa Peters, Director of Community Planning at City of Cambridge (title of lecture tba)

October 6, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live: TBA

Climate Action in the Global South: is net zero (sufficiently) inclusive? with Jessica Omukuti

October 13, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live:

Following the Paris Agreement goals of limiting temperature increase to 2 degrees by 2050 through reduction and balancing of emissions, net zero has recently become a framing concept for global climate action. Different actors, including governments, businesses, and civil society have started adopting net zero as a framing concept for climate action.  In this talk and building on her work on inclusivity in net zero and climate finance, Jessica will explore the evolution of the net zero framing to date, particularly focusing on the Global South. She will also discuss why and how climate justice, equity, and inclusion should be an integral part of policy discussions on net zero.

Resisting Invisible Women Syndrome with Jay Pitter (rescheduled from Spring 2021)

October 20, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live:

Space is gendered. Domestic space, associated with nurturing and child-rearing, was conceived as a women’s space. And the city, comprising of spaces and places that support mobility, adventure, and economic growth, was conceived for men. This bias has created spatial and systemic barriers for all women and gender-diverse individuals, especially those between the ages of forty and sixty. Exploring Invisible Women Syndrome will broadly define this phenomenon and then use spatial feminism and intersectionality frameworks to uncover how this impacts women’s access to public green spaces, recreational facilities, transit, and local networks.

Marccus Hendricks, Director of Stormwater Infrastructure Resilience and Justice (SIRJ) Lab (title of lecture tba)

October 27, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live: TBA

Arrested Mobility: Exploring the Impacts of Over-Policing Black Mobility in the U.S. with Charles T. Brown

November 3, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live:

This presentation will examine how the collective racialized forces of over-policing (i.e., policy, planning, law enforcement/policing, and polity) Black physical mobility in the US lead to adverse social, political, economic, and health outcomes that are intergenerational and widespread. This presentation will surgically examine the ways in which our approaches to research, planning, policy, and design can and must be reimagined to achieve greater mobility, health, and safety for Black Americans.

The Green City and Social Injustice: Tales from North America and Europe with Isabelle Anguelovski & James Connolly

November 10, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live:

In this presentation, we introduce our recent book The Green City and Social Injustice, which examines the recent urban environmental trajectory of twenty-one cities in Europe and North America over a 20 year period. We analyze the circumstances under which greening interventions can create a new set of inequalities for socially vulnerable residents while also failing to eliminate other environmental risks and impacts. Based on fieldwork in ten countries, and on analysis of core planning, policy, and activist documents and data, our analysis offers a critical view of the growing green planning orthodoxy in the Global North.

Kian Goh, assistant professor, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (title of lecture tba)

November 17, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live: TBA

Vivek Shandas, professor, Portland State University (title of lecture tba)

December 8, 2021 | 12-1 PM EST | Register to join the event live: TBA


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