Check out our news & activity feed below, where we post the latest updates about the Hunter Urban community. We normally keep about a year of current news & activity in our feed. If you'd like to see what transpired before this, check out the archive where we keep updates dating back to January of 2011.
Kerry McLean, MUP alum, has been selected as one of the 2017 LISC Michael Rubinger Community Fellows. Read More
UPP adjunct faculty members Philip Plotch and Jen Nelles' article "Mitigating Gridlock: Lessons on Regional Governance from the Organization that Keeps New York Moving," is published in Articulo – Journal of Urban Research. To read article click here.
UPP alumnus Prudence Katze (MUP 2015) invites the Hunter community to the premiere of her documentary film, The Iron Triangle. The film is about the bustling industrial community of Willets Point, Queens, where a group of small, immigrant-run businesses banded together to fight a development plan that would bulldoze their slice of the American Dream. Through the testimony of city officials, real estate developers, urban theorists, and the workers of Willets Point, The Iron Triangle offers a deep exploration of the controversial changes facing New York City. Their story launches an investigation into New York City’s history as the front line of deindustrialization, urban renewal, and gentrification.
The film will be screened at the DOC NYC Film Fest on Sat. 11/11 at 4:30 pm and Thur. 11/16 at 12:30 pm.
Prudence has offered to try to get free tickets for current students who would like to attend. If interested, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the film visit http://theirontrianglemovie.com/
New UPP Prof. Lily Baum Pollans' academic article, "PAYT Helps Drive Residential Food Scraps Collection " published this summer is featured in October 2017 issue of BioCycle Magazine, a magazine devoted to composting, renewable energy, and sustainability.
Rebecca Chau, former Hunter MUP student, was awarded the Runner-Up prize in the nationwide ACSP-GPEIG competition for the best international case study completed by a student in the last two years. Her paper, Social Urbanism: Transformational Policy in Medellin, Colombia, was completed in Professor Gutfreund's course on Cities in Developing Countries. It will be published on the ACSP-GPEIG website. Congratulations, Rebecca!
Prof. Matthew Gordon Lasner appeared on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC-FM on October 5 to talk about the history of co-ops and condos as part of a series the show is doing in advance of the November mayoral election entitled "The People’s Guide to Power: Real Estate Edition.” Listen to the segment at https://www.wnyc.org/story/new-yorks-first-co-op/.
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti was a guest on the premiere of Brian Talks New York, hosted by Brian Lehrer, which was aired for the first time on CUNY TV on October 4th.
Faculty member Laura Wolf-Powers has two articles out this fall. One, "Food Deserts and Real Estate-Led Social Policy," argues that the popularity of the "food desert" meme has have led policymakers astray in their responses to food insecurity. It was published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. The other, co-authored with colleagues at University of Illinois and Portland State University, examines the entrepreneurs at the center of the urban "maker" phenomenon and reflects on implications for local manufacturing and economic development policy. It appears in the fall issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association.
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti is the author of an essay on Bill de Blasio, Economic Justice, and the Democratic Party in The Nation (September 11, 2017).
Prof. Shipp's book review of "The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City" by Eric Avila (2014).
Prof. Jill Simone Gross has been asked to serve as Program Co-Chair for the Urban Politics Section (http://www.apsanet.org/section13) of the American Political Science Association, for their 2018 conference scheduled for August 30 - September 2, 2018 Boston, MA
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti’s new book The Pragmatist: Bill de Blasio’s Quest to Save the Soul of New York(Oxford) was reviewed by Sam Roberts in the New York Times on August 27th. Professor Viteritti has also posted podcast interviews on Am New York, City and State, and Gotham Gazette, and an online interview with Politico magazine. An excerpt of the book was published on City & State on September 5 and will be reissued on September 12.
The Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF) offers a $2000 scholarship to a student who is currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate planning program (or a closely-related program such as architecture, landscape architecture, public administration, public policy or geography) and who plans to continue his/her studies in the following school year. The 2017 Westchester Municipal Planning Federation scholarship was awarded to Gregory Cutler. Greg received his bachelor’s degree in Geography from Binghamton University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Urban Planning at Hunter College.
Prof. Ryan Yeung is quoted in "2017's Best Places to Flip Houses" Wallethub.com, Aug. 1
Ryan Rzepecki, MUP Alumnus and SoBi CEO, featured in Electric, station-less bike share program starts to roll out, MissionLocal.org, By Laura Wenus, June 27, 2017.
Prof. Joseph P. Viteritti, UPP Chair, was quoted in the New York Times in an Q and A on mayoral control of the schools.
"Does it Matter Who Runs New York City's Schools?" By Kate Taylor, June 23, 2017
Urban Development Workshop project, "Hell Square: Contested Space on the Lower East Side (LES)", gets media attention.
Client: LES Dwellers Research & Strategies
Instructor: Prof. Sigmund Shipp
Team: Gretchen Bank, Melissa Giroux, Francisco Sandoval
Full press list:
May 22, 2017
Dear Students, Alums, Faculty, and Friends:
It is with great sadness that I write to you on the passing of Professor Stanley Moses, who died on Friday, May 19th, after suffering from a head injury that he incurred from a fall that took place on May 14th.
Stanley delighted in the time he spent with students. He used to tell me that it kept him going; and it did so for a long time, if not long enough for those who had the pleasure of knowing him. He had taught graduates and undergraduates in our department since 1971, and served as chair from 1998 to 2008. Most recently, he had taken on particular responsibility for two courses: “The Structure of the Urban Region” and “Plans, Policies and Politics,” though he taught a diverse menu of offerings over the years. Stanley also had a record of public service at both the federal and state levels of government that allowed him to bring his practical insights into the classroom.
Stanley was a proud product of CUNY, a graduate of City College who had gone on to earn a doctorate from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1971. He was widely read, and had an intellectual curiosity that seemed to have no bounds.
His own scholarship focused on two issues that continued to occupy his attention throughout his long career: equality of educational opportunity and full employment. On the former, he was the author of The Elusive Quest: The Struggle for Equality of Educational Opportunity (1992), a book on school finance reform that he wrote with his Hunter colleague, Edwin Margolis, with a forward by the late New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
His interest in full employment was piqued by his Syracuse University mentor, Bertram Gross, a devoted advocate for the issue who eventually joined our department faculty as a Distinguished Professor. Stanley later edited a festschrift in honor of his former teacher that was published in 1995 under the title, Enduring Visions: The Legacy of Bertram Gross.
Stanley’s real passion was to engage people; his most valuable legacy is the example he set for us all by the way he indulged that passion. He had a tireless devotion to students: always the first to sign up for their events, always present to pose a thoughtful question when they presented, ever ready to celebrate their accomplishments, ever ready to offer a helping hand and assure them he cared. There was a genuine kindness about Stanley that you had to notice if you knew him. He regularly dropped by to ask how you were doing; he would take long trips to visit former colleagues when they were ill; he would go out of his way to support his junior colleagues; and he would never hesitate to tell his senior colleagues to lighten up when they took themselves too seriously.
Stanley’s absence will be felt by all.
A memorial service is being planned.
With sincere regrets,
Thomas Hunter Professor of Public Policy
Chair, Urban Policy and Planning Department
Prof. Jill Gross posts a piece, Accomplishing Agonism in Urban Governance, in the Urban Affairs Forum presented by Urban Affairs Review, March 10, 2017. 2017.
March 19, 2017
Dear Members and Friends of the Urban Policy and Planning Community:
I write with deep sorrow to inform you of the passing of Professor Peter Kwong, who died of cardiac arrest on Friday, March 17th.
Professor Kwong had been a member of the Hunter faculty since 1993, where he was a Distinguished Professor in the Urban Policy and Planning Department and a Professor of Asian-American studies. He was also a member of the doctoral faculty in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. In our department, he regularly taught a workshop for incoming students in the graduate program in Urban Policy and Leadership, and courses on immigration and the gentrification of Chinatown. Over his career, he taught as a Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, the City University of Hong Kong, and the People’s University of China, as well as Princeton, Oberlin, Yale, Columbia, Berkeley, and UCLA.
Peter Kwong was born in China in 1941. He came to this country to attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where he received a B.A. in math and physics. He subsequently earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering at Columbia University before enrolling at Columbia to get a certificate in East Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in political science.
Peter had a passionate commitment to issues of social justice and a long record of activism concerning conditions in the Asian-American community. His career spanned the fields of scholarship, journalism and film-making, all directed to improve the lives of people who were marginalized by discrimination or social deprivation. A recent article in New York Magazine referred to him as the “Dean of Chinatown Studies.”
He was the author of five books and hundreds of articles. Among his books were Chinese America: The Untold Story of America’s Oldest New Community, which he co-authored with his wife, Dusanka Miscevic, a historian and frequent collaborator; Forbidden Workers: Illegal Chinese Immigrants and American Labor; and The New Chinatown. Kwong challenged the notion that Asians are a model minority, revealing in his research widespread class divisions, poverty, exploitation, drug abuse, and organized crime -- all of which were exacerbated by decades of discrimination by a majority white society. At the time of his death, Peter and his wife were completing a history of Chinese immigration in the western United States, and he was beginning to work on an autobiography.
Peter’s journalism appeared in such outlets as The Nation, Village Voice, International Herald Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer. He was frequently interviewed by the New York Times and other major news outlets. His essay on multi-cultural race riots in Los Angeles, published in the Village Voice in 1992, merited the Sidney Hillman Foundation Prize, the George Polk Award, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His 1990 article in the Village Voice on Chinese drug cartels, co-authored with Dusanka Miscevic, was also nominated for a Pulitzer.
As with his scholarship and journalism, Peter’s filmmaking always delivered a strong social message. His 1980 PBS film, Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive, documented steep class divisions along Manhattan’s East Side, and won him an Emmy Award. His HBO documentary, China Unnatural Disaster, co-produced with Jon Alpert, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010. The heart-wrenching film highlighted corruption, incompetence and neglect by the Chinese government that became apparent as a result of the catastrophic earthquake of 2008 in Sichuan Provence that killed 70,000 people, including 10,000 children. The Chinese police detained Peter and Jon Alpert during the course of the filming.
Peter Kwong enjoyed an international reputation as an activist, scholar, journalist, and film-maker. He was a personal friend of the Dalai Lama, who, because of Peter’s good graces, has visited Hunter College on two occasions. Peter and his wife “Douska” reciprocated in 2011 by accepting an invitation from the spiritual leader to visit his residence in India.
Our community will dearly miss Peter’s irreplaceable presence. A memorial service celebrating his extraordinary life and achievements will be held at Hunter College later this spring. Details will be posted on both the college and department websites when final arrangements are made.
With Sincere Regrets,
Joseph P. Viteritti
Thomas Hunter Professor of Public Policy
Chair, Urban Policy and Planning Department
UPP Chair Joseph P. Viteritti was quoted in The New York Times article, “Questioning Whether de Blasio Will Learn From a Teachable Moment”, March 17, 2017. To read, click here.
Professor Gross was busily over her winter break. She participated in a PodCast with two urban governance scholars: Susan Clarke, Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado Boulder (http://www.colorado.edu/polisci/people/faculty-emeritus/susan-clarke) and Allison Bramwell, Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (https://psc.uncg.edu/people/bramwell/). In Part 1 the conversation explores the question of whether "Collaborative Governance" is the next phase for urban research? In Part 2 they ask: "What do we gain or overlook in a "collaborative governance" approach?
Both PodCasts can be found at the Urban Affairs Forum Presented by Urban Affairs Review web site https://urbanaffairsreview.com
The program prepares academically promising undergraduate students who have an interest in attending graduate school. Eligible students who are accepted to the program attend a six-week summer program and an array of workshops, seminars, and lectures throughout the academic year which will enhance students' technical, writing, and research skills. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation workshops are also offered at various points throughout the academic year to enhance students' opportunity to help them gain acceptance to graduate schools of their choice.
Prof. Gross had a short piece published in the Roosevelt House Public Policy Forum titled "Facing the Realities of Geo-Political Division in the Age of Trump: The Metropolitan Future and the Need for Collaborative Models of Governance" which can be accessed at
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti appeared on Brian Lehrer's POTUS 2016 on December 7 to discuss Trump's cabinet appointments in HUD and education. To watch the episode "A Look into Trump's Cabinet" click here.
MUP student Maggie Calmes and Gotham Gazette Reporter, Samar Khurshid's 'Fair Share' story published in two parts in the Gotham Gazette.
Part 1, The City May Soon Have More Formal 'Fair Share'Discussion (November 18, 2016) and Part 2, 'Fair Share' Design Flaws, Flashpoints & Possible Updates (November 21, 2016).
Prof. Peter Kwong talks about the growing impact of art galleries in Chinatown at the town hall meeting,"Chinatown is Not for Sale", October 22, 2016. For more details, read "Artists and Gallerists Grapple with Ways to Slow Gentrification in Manhattan’s Chinatown".
Prof. Peter Kwong quoted in NY Times article, "In a Promise to Lift a Curse, a Scheme to Steal Chinese Immigrants’ Savings", by Liz Robbins, October 20, 2016. Click here for further reading.
Calvin Brown, MUP Alumni and DCP Planner, is featured prominently in "City’s East Harlem Plan Tracks Community Blueprint", Citylimits.org, October 19, 2016.
For further reading, click here.
MUP students in Prof. Pablo Vengoechea's Fall 2016 planning studio class, Downtown Commercial Corridors of Staten Island, are covered in NY1 News, "Graduate Students Seek Input on How to Revitalize North Shore", October 19, 2016. The students held a workshop with members of the community to seek input about their project.
UPP Adjunct Charles Starks gives a talk at Federal Hall on George McAneny, a New York politician and city planner of the early 20th century. Participating in a Q&A with Charles Starks will be the Manhattan Borough Historian, Michael Miscione, and preservationist Anthony C. Wood. For further details, click here.
Prof. Jill Gross' recent publication, "Hybridization and Urban Governance Malleability, Modality, or Mind-Set?." Urban Affairs Review (2016): 1078087416637127. Cracks the top 50 most read articles in the journal for the month of August-- #39 and counting!
Photography by Rashedul Deepon, Master in Urban Planning student, is featured in The NYC Hustle exhibition Strictly New York 3 August 25-27, 2016. For further reading, click here.
UPP Prof. Pablo Vengoechea's Landmark Colony project is mentioned in The Architects Newspaper, "A torrent of new projects on Staten Island are reshaping the once-forgotten borough", written by Audrey Wachs, June 9, 20016. Prof. Vengoechea's firm, Vengoechea + Boyland architects (v + b) is transforming six of the site’s 11 buildings into seniors' residences with 350 units. The project is one of many projects that will reshape Staten Island's shoreline and inland areas. For further reading, click here.
Prof. Matthew Lasner argues for more government subsidies for housing in The Nation's article " The Case for Public Housing". For further reading, click here.
MSUPL students Samantha Chiafolo, Dina Amer, Wednesday Moore, and Rashad Dismute were selected as New York State Excelsior Fellows 2016-2017. The fellowship program is an initiative to bring highly talented graduates into government service. Fellows will be working over the next two year on high level policy initiatives at the state level.
Hunter UPP Professor Jill Simone Gross' latest Journal article "Hybridization and Urban Governance: Malleability, Modality, or Mind-Set?" Urban Affairs Review 1078087416637127, first published on April 11, 2016 as doi:10.1177/1078087416637127 just released for viewing Online First at Urban Affairs Review. The article is part of a mini symposium on urban governance with Susan E. Clarke, Allison Bramwell and Jon Pierre.
UPP Prof. Jill Simone Gross's newest article "Migrants and the Right to the City" has just been published in Yasminah Beebeejaun (Ed.) The Participatory City (Berlin: JOVIS Verlag GmbH, 2016). The article explores "ongoing patterns of exclusion, and the inability of cities to engage citizens in efforts to build socially cohesive neighborhoods." She asks, "what if anything a right to the city might offer to planners seeking to counter or challenge the forces of...balkanization in the contemporary city?" She uses the case of Dublin, Ireland to illustrate these dilemmas.
Details of the book can be found at https://www.jovis.de/en/books/details/the-participatory-city.html
Prof. Jill Simone Gross, Director of the M.S. Urban Policy and Leadership program, was elected to serve a second term as Chair of the Urban Affairs Association. The second term runs from spring 2016 to spring 2017.
Professors John Chin, Sigmund Shipp, Jill Simone Gross, current MS Urban Policy and Leadership Student Caitlin Ho, and ABD Marry Rocco (University of Pennsylvania and Hunter, MUP graduate) just returned from a fantastic Urban Affairs Association Conference in San Diego. They all made our Department shine, while bringing a strong lens to issues of social justice!
Prof. John Chin and Caitlin Ho presented their paper: "Gendered Labor Markets within Ethnic Economies: Asian Immigrant Women Working in Sexually Oriented Massage Parlors in New York City," on behalf of John Chin, Hunter College CUNY; Lois M. Takahashi, UCLA; Douglas J. Wiebe, University of Pennsylvania; Caitlin Ho, Hunter College CUNY
Prof. Sigmund Shipp presented a paper Titled: "The Geography of White Poverty", on behalf of Sigmund Shipp, Hunter College; Lynn McCormick, Hunter College; Mary Rocco, University of Pennsylvania.
Mary Rocco, MUP Hunter, ABD University of Pennsylvania gave a paper on her doctoral work titled, "Revitalizing Legacy Cities in the 21st Century: The Role of Foundations"
And Prof. Jill Simone Gross brought an international lens to her standing room only Colloquy titled: "Re-thinking Justice in the City in the Wake of Ferguson and Baltimore" with Todd Swanstrom, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Michael Leo Owens, Emory University; Henry Taylor, University of Buffalo; and Cathy Schnieder, American University.
Other notable Hunter sightings at the conference included former Teaching Fellow Kimberly Libman (PhD Environmental Psychology, CUNY Graduate Center, now at the New York Academy of Medicine). Dr, Libman presented a paper titled"New York State Hospital “Community Building” Investments: Will They Advance Health Equity?." Shauneequa Owusu, a graduate of the MS Urban Affairs program (currently at New York Academy of Medicine) moderated a panel titled "Health and Community Development: Rethinking Anchor Investments and Institutions." Fredrica D. Kramer, DPA, gave a paper titled "The Loss of Social Diversity in Urban Revitalization and the Promise of Social Impact Assessment to Fix It." Dr, Kramer is an educator, researcher and consultant who came to Hunter to work with Paul Davidoff and was in the first class of MUP graduates in 1968. Dr. Kramer, is currently based in Washington DC. Also in attendance was Professor Kevin Keenan, PhD. ( College of Charleston, and among our adjunct summer school faculty), who gave a paper titled,"The Gender Values-Vulnerability Nexus and Studying Societal Responses to Terrorism."
Prof. Laxmi Ramasubramanian has been appointed by Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to serve on the National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC). The Committee will review and comment on geospatial policy and management issues and provide a forum to convey views representative of non-Federal partners in the geospatial community. Prof. Ramasubramanian will hold a three-year appointment concluding December 31, 2018.
Additional information can be found at:
Prof. Matthew Lasner's book and exhibit on affordable housing featured in "The Long, Complicated History of Affordable Housing in New York," written by Eillie Anzilotti, The Atlanta City Lab.
UPP Visiting Professor Pablo Vengoechea’s project, The Landmark Colony, is the focus of New York Times article,”New Life for Staten Island’s Derelict Farm Colony”, written by David W. Dunlap, January 20, 2016.
The Landmark Colony project, headed by architects Pablo Vengoechea and Timothy G. Boyland is a master plan for the redevelopment of Staten Island’s derelict Farm Colony. Staten Island Developer, Raymond Masucci purchased 45 acres of the Farm Colony for $1 and plans to rehabilitate it at a cost of about $91 million dollars. The plan includes building approximately 350 senior-targeted condominium units, the rehabilitation of 5 of the 11 historic buildings, approximately 17,000 SF of commercial space, and much more. For further reading, click here.
Prof. Matthew Lasner's new book, "Affordable Housing in New York:The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City", is the subject of Slate Magazine article, "The People Who Call New York’s Affordable Housing Developments Home", written by Jordan G. Teiche, February 1, 2016.
UPP Distinguished Professor Peter Kwong quoted in Radio Free Asia, CBS Money Watch, and AlJazeera, December 2015.
China Seeks Wider Global Reach With African Loans, Naval Presence: Analysts Reported
by Yang Jiadai for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie, Radio Free Asia, December 4, 2015.
Xi Jinping delivers a speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dec. 4, 2015 announcing China would be extending $60 billion in debt facilities to African countries as well as writing off existing loans in a three-year plan to extend its influence in the region. Peter Kwong, Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York, agreed, saying that China appears to be taking a well-trodden colonialist path in Africa. "It's very similar to the [European] colonialism of the 19th century," Kwong said. "It's not just about resources; it's also about achieving political control over these places." For further reading, click here..
China's crackdown on graft, media obscures picture for investors
Written by Robert Hennelly, Money Watch, December 21, 2015.
"Nobody inside China wants to do news or documentaries anymore because the politics are so unsettled," said Peter Kwong, a documentary filmmaker and professor of Chinese-American history at Hunter College in New York. "They are doing very safe things. People are intimidated." For further reading, click here..
Gentrification threatens Chinatowns across the US
Development and rising rents are pushing many ethnic Chinese out of the neighbourhoods they call home.
Written by Gabriel Elizondo, Lucia He, Business & Economy, United States, Aljazeera, December 29, 2015.
"A Chinatown is not just where the people reside. Chinatown is a place where social networks, economic fabrics have been built," Kwong said. "New immigrants come, want to adjust, want to find a job, want to know how to fund a business. And the information, the material, the supplies, all these things come from a place like Chinatown."The development of cities has been pressuring Chinese communities to move out of the neighbourhoods where they have been living for decades, according to Kwong. For further reading, click here..
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