Then and Now
Planning as a Social Movement
4:45 PM, Auditorium
Since the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, city planners, diverse urbanists and activists aligned with progressive social movements have challenged plans and planning that reinforce social and economic justice, and promote the destruction of cities by US military aggression. From Planners for Equal Opportunity to Planners Network today and beyond, what has changed and what remains the same? How have the movements for racial and gender justice reshaped our roles and what challenges face the new generation of planners inside and outside the citadels of the planning establishment? Examples of recent initiatives in New York include the work of the APA Metro Chapter Diversity Committee, BlackSpace, and the Student Planners Action Network.
Our panelists represent a spectrum of planners whose progressivism and activism have taken form through collective action. They will address the validity, utility, and future of planning as a social movement.
Tom Angotti is Professor Emeritus of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He was the founder and director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development. His recent books include Zoned Out! Race, Displacement and City Planning in New York City, Urban Latin America: Inequalities and Neoliberal Reforms, The New Century of the Metropolis, New York For Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate, which won the Davidoff Book Award, and Accidental Warriors and Battlefield Myths. He is an editor of progressivecity.net and Participating Editor for Latin American Perspectives and Local Environment. He is active in community and environmental issues in New York City.
Dana Driskell was born and raised in the legendary, mid-twentieth-century South Bronx. He was the fourth child of Fred and Ola Mae Driskell. He attended New York public schools, graduating from the High School of Science, Fordham University, N.Y.U., and M.I.T. He was a NYC Urban Fellow, working for the Temporary Commission on City Finances during New York’s mid- 1970’s near-bankruptcy. He was the first District Manager of Community Board 3 (Morrisania/Claremont Village), welcoming presidents Reagan and Carter, Mother Teresa, and Senator Edward Kennedy to the “burning South Bronx.” bus tour. He worked with Paul Davidoff’s Metropolitan Action Institute to develop the Inclusionary Housing concept later adopted by the city government. He was on the adjunct faculty of Malcolm/King college, Pratt Institute, and the College of New Rochelle. Since the mid-1980’s he has worked for the NYC/DCP, working in districts five (Mt. Hope,) ten (Throggs Neck,) and twelve (Williamsbridge.) He is a delegate to the Civil Service Technical Guild/AFSCME, representing architects, planners, and engineers. His organizational affiliations include the Student Mobilization against (Vietnam) War, Bronx African-American History Project, the Coalition for Public Education, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, Grass Roots Media corporation, and of course, the Planners Network.
Emily Ahn Levy
Emily Ahn Levy is a cultural organizer working directly with artists, community stakeholders, cultural organizations and city agencies in creative placemaking and placekeeping. Rooted in her identity as a transnational/racial/cultural queer Korean American adoptee, she is deeply committed to the intersecting struggles and activism around anti-displacement, (im)migrant rights, black liberation and decolonization. Emily is the Program Director of the ArtBuilt Mobile Studio in the Park program, and she also works with Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts (NOCD-NY) and Arts & Democracy. She is a core member of the Diversity Committee of the APA New York Metro Chapter, which is currently planning the third annual Hindsight Conference. She also sits on the Board of Directors of Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP), a place-based nonprofit in her neighborhood of Fort Greene/Navy Yard in Brooklyn. Emily holds a Master of Urban Placemaking & Management and Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute.
Emma Osore is a social architect who builds systems that develop young people in given economic, social, and environmental realities. She is currently the Arts & Business Council of New York Program Coordinator managing an internship program focused on equity in the NYC arts management pipeline and training artists/arts nonprofits to build capacity. Her drive for developing more resourceful, creative (young) people comes from her own background growing up working class and finding that the systems of poor people have always been pretty damn innovative.
Eve Baron, Moderator
Eve Baron is the Chairperson of Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment—an alliance of four graduate programs in City and Regional Planning; Historic Preservation, Sustainable Environmental Systems, and Urban Placemaking and Management. She is also an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, and a founding member of the Collective for Community, Culture and the Environment. She served as Director of the Municipal Art Society Planning Center from 2007-2010, where she coordinated the Campaign for Community-Based Planning, and was Senior Fellow for Planning and Policy at the Pratt Center for Community Development. She received a PhD in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the Bloustein School of Planning and Policy Development at Rutgers University. Her professional experience spans government, advocacy, technical assistance, and academia. Her career and teaching interests are in participatory planning; planning process; community-based planning; community development; civic infrastructure; participatory budgeting; equity-based planning; land use; low- cost housing; gentrification and displacement; experiential and service learning; and participatory action research. Much of her practice has focused on working with communities to create plans that respond to local needs, on getting people involved in decisions that impact their neighborhoods, and on advocating for a meaningful role for the public in planning decisions.