Book Talk - Beyond Whyte and Jacobs: Public Space and Social Justice

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General Public$10.00 USD

Event Details

Join us for a conversation with Setha Low on her latest publication, Why Public Space Matters (Oxford University Press, 2022).

This program presents recent findings about the importance of public space in the creation of a more just city. The discussion will focus on the contributions of public space to democratic practices, health and well-being, sustainability, work in the informal economy, and cultural identity and continuity for all. Case studies will illustrate these points and the "lessons learned" for urban designers, architects, and planner outlined. Following the presentations and group discussion, participants will break into groups and work together to consider how in the contemporary moment we can solve reoccurring problems in access, inclusion, sense of belonging, and historical representation in New York City public spaces.

Setha M. Low, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Psychology, Geography, and Anthropology, and Director, Public Space Research Group, Graduate Center, CUNY
Matthew Clarke, Executive Director, Design Trust for Public Space
Quilian Riano, Interim Dean, Pratt Institute School of Architecture

About the Speakers:
Setha M. Low began her career in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently Distinguished Professor of Environmental Psychology, Geography, and Anthropology, and Director of the Public Space Research Group at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She received a Getty Fellowship, a NEH Award, a Fulbright Senior Research Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship for public space research in Latin America and the U.S. Recent books include Why Public Space Matters (2023), Spatializing Culture (2017), Anthropology and the City (2019) and Spaces of Security with M. Maguire (2019).

Matthew Clarke is the Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space, where he advocates for the power of public space to build vibrant, equitable communities. As an architect, planner, and writer, he has advanced complex architectural and urban design projects, developed public-space policies, and developed national partnerships and initiatives. Prior to leading the Design Trust, Clarke was that National Director of Creative Placemaking at The Trust for Public Land, where he was the author of The Field Guide for Creative Placemaking and Parks. He has also held positions at SHoP Architects, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and LTL Architects. He was a German Marshall Fund Urban Policy Fellow, a member of Next City’s Urban Vanguard, and winner of the international KPF Prize. Clarke serves as a Trustee of Bennington College and as Vice-President of the Lucille Lortel Foundation. He studied at Princeton University and the University of Kentucky. 

Quilian Riano is the Interim Dean of Pratt Institute's School of Architecture, Vice President for Architecture at the Architectural League of New York, and founder and lead designer of DSGN AGNC, a design studio exploring cooperatized processes and engagements through architecture, urbanism, landscape, and art. Riano is also a core member of Dark Matter U, a democratic network committed to creating new forms of knowledge and knowledge production, institutions, collectivity, practice, design, and community culture. Riano holds a Bachelors of Design in Architecture (BDes) from the University of Florida’s School of Architecture and a Masters of Architecture (MArch) from the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD).

This event is offered in person; COVID-19 vaccinations and face masks are strongly encouraged for all visitors. Read our full Health and Safety Protocol here.