Calendar of Events

Wed 12.11.2013

The Role of Engaged Learning in Building Better Cities


When: 5:45 PM - 8:00 PM WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11

Where: At The Center   

The ‘just ‘, ‘livable’, ‘decent’ and ‘accessible’ city are terms we often hear these days. The People Building Better Cities exhibition looks at how citizens and the urban professions can work together to help make cities resilient, equitable, inclusive, smart and sustainable.

Over two sessions - on December 7th and December 11th  - we will explore a number of key questions, and seek audience views on New York - and other cities. What does it take to cultivate a successful engaged and inclusive practice among urban professionals? Where has this worked well? How do we learn from these professional - and educational examples?

On December 11th, institutions of learning from schools to universities, as well as community based organizations are increasingly seen as a critical part of the process of building better cities and cultivating values of stewardship for the city. Speakers representing diverse institutions and organizations will address the concept of engaged learning from their own vantage points and the role of education. They will share how they have turned ideas into action, and what more they think needs to happen.

Welcome remarks
Lance Jay Brown, AIANY 2014 President

Elliott Sclar, Director,Center for Sustainable Urban Development, Earth Institute at Columbia University

Christine Gaspar, Center for Urban Pedagogy
Nabeel Hamdi, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Geeta Mehta, GSAPP, Columbia University
Anna Rubbo, Global Studio and CSUD
Tony Schuman, Architecture and Design, NJIT

Organized by Center for Architecture, Global Studio and CSUD, Columbia University

Christine Gaspar is Executive Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) where she partners with designers and community organizations to create visually-based educational tools that help demystify complex issues from zoning law to sewage infrastructure. Christine has over ten years of experience in community design. Prior to joining CUP, she was Assistant Director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she provided architectural design and city planning services to low-income communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina. She holds Masters in Architecture and in City Planning from MIT, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, and teaches in the Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons The New School for Design. The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement.

Nabeel Hamdi, Emeritus Professor of Housing and Urban Development at Oxford Brookes University, is an architect who has taught generations of community development practitioners. Recipient of the 1997 UN Habitat Scroll of Honour for his work on Community Action Planning, Nabeel has consulted on participatory action planning and upgrading of slums in cities to all major international development agencies, and to charities and NGOs worldwide. He is the author of The Placemakers Guide to Community Building (2010) , Small Change (2004), Housing Without Houses (1995), co-author of Making Micro Plans (1988) and Action Planning for Cities (1997), and editor of the collected volumes Educating for Real (1996) and Urban Futures (2005).

Geeta Mehta is an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. She is the co-founder of Mumbai based activist organization “URBZ: User Generated Cities”. Geeta has pioneered the concept of Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) that empowers communities to take charge of their own development, and is author of several books. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and Columbia University, and received her Ph.D. in from the University of Tokyo. She has also served as the president of the American Institute of Architects’ Japan Chapter.

Anna Rubbo, B.Arch (Melbourne), D. Arch (Michigan) joined CSUD at Columbia University in 2012. A member of the Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers (2002-04) she went on to found the Global Studio, an action research project to help urban professionals work more effectively with the urban poor. Working with academic partners, local government and NGOs since 2005 in Istanbul, Vancouver, Johannesburg, and Bhopal, the work of Global Studio has been shown in the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam (2009), and the Cooper Hewitt exhibition ‘Design with the other 90%’ . (2010). Rubbo is project director for the traveling exhibition, People Building Better Cities shown in eight countries and 11 cities in 2013.

Tony Schuman
is associate professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Design at NJIT. He is former president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), past chair of the New York Chapter of Architects/Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR), and a founding member of a series of advocacy and activist organizations in the architecture and planning professions, including Urban Deadline, The Architects' Resistance (TAR), Homefront, and the Planners Network. He has written extensively on housing design and community development. His essay "Community Engagement: Architecture’s Evolving Social Vocation" is published in ACSA's centennial compendium, Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America (2012).

People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive Urbanization is on view through January 4, 2014.


Cultivating Engaged and Inclusive Urban Practice
Saturday, December 7, 2013, 2:15-4.30pm

The Role of Engaged Learning in Building Better Cities
Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 5:45-8.00pm

Working with Communities

Saturday, January 25, 2014, 2.00-4.00pm
Miidlands Beach, Staten island
In collaboration with Make the Road
Details coming soon here

Thanks to:

Studio-X | Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation | Columbia University

Building and Social Housing Foundation

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