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.
UPH Professor and UPP affiliated faculty member Philip Alcabes' short piece "Coronavirus and the Withering of the Public Sphere" was published in The American Scholar, (September 19, 2020). The entire piece pertains to questions of policymaking in the current milieu.
Professor Nicholas Dagen Bloom has been busy on the public housing front. He has provided support and feedback on groundbreaking urban design work underway designed to make NYCHA's public housing developments better places to live:
1) A co-authored editorial in The New York Daily News: "The Rebirth NYCHA Needs Now"
2) Comments on landscape innovations as part of the NYCHA Connected Communities initiative:
3) Comments on NYCHA landscape improvements as part of a feature in Le Monde (France):
In response to systemic racial injustice, the need to reaffirm UPP’s commitment to anti-racist practices, and the specific concerns of many in the UPP community, including students, alums, and faculty, around departmental priorities, procedures, and pedagogy, department chair Prof. Joseph P. Viteritti, in consultation with the department’s governing body (the Personnel and Budget Committee, whose members include the directors of UPP’s three degree programs), the full faculty, and GUAPA, has established a Racial Justice Working Group, comprising five full-time faculty, two students, and two alums.
The faculty serving on the Working Group are Professors John Chin (chair), Matthew Lasner, Karina Moreno, Lily Pollans, and Sigmund Shipp. The student members are Hafizah Omar (MSUPL student) and Lorrayne (Lola) Vieira-Sullivan (MUP student and GUAPA officer). The alums are Dr. Calvin T. Brown (MUP 2002), Assistant Commissioner for Neighborhood Development at the New York City Department of Small Business Services, and Amina Hassen (MUP 2016), Senior Urban Planner at WXY Studio.
The Working Group, which will convene throughout the 2020-21 academic year and issue periodic updates, will serve as a hub for conversations among the faculty, between the faculty and students and alums, and between all UPP stakeholders and the college around urgent issues including recruitment of BIPOC students and instructors, the needs of BIPOC students, and program curricula.
The Working Group’s efforts complement those already underway by Hunter College’s Presidential Task Force to Advance Racial Equity. This Task Force was appointed over the summer by President Jennifer Raab to effect college-wide improvements in recruitment and admissions, curriculum, anti-racism training, and student support and pipeline programs, and to host public programs, such as the ongoing Speaking of Justice series. Two UPP faculty, Professors Vivian Louie and Sigmund Shipp, also serve on this Task Force, along with two UPP alums, Dr. Calvin T. Brown and Caitlin Ho (MSUPL 2016), Program Director for HCAP: the Hunter College AANAPISI Project.
The department has created the Racial Justice Working Group in acknowledgment of the critical need to achieve equity in the department, college, fields of urban policy and planning, and the wider community.
Prof. Victoria Johnson's review of a new book about animal welfare policy in New York City and the founding of the ASPCA was published online in The New York Times Book Review, September 16, 2020. It will appear in the print edition on Sunday, September 20.
Prof. John Chin and the Hunter College AANAPISI Project (HCAP) team were awarded two minority-serving institution (MSI) grants through the US Department of Education's Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI) program. The two new grants represent $3.5 million in funding over a 5-year period. Hunter College was the only school east of Illinois to compete successfully for the funding and the only school in the US to receive two grants. Prof. Chin will serve as the Principal Investigator (PI) on the project, working with Prof. Paul McPherron (English) as Co-PI, and Caitlin Ho (MSUPL, 2016) as the HCAP Program Director. HCAP collaborates closely with Hunter's Asian American Studies Program and Center, led by UPP Prof. Vivian Louie. The two grants will fund programs that help high-need Asian American and Native Pacific Islander students succeed in college, particularly targeting students who come from low-income and immigrant families, have limited English proficiency, or are first-generation college goers (Asian/Pacific Islander students have the highest rate of first-generation college attendance among all ethnic/racial groups at Hunter College).
Professor Nicholas Bloom discussed public housing in New York as part of an extensive radio feature that aired in August on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/cruise-ships-in-the-sky-the-story-of-public-housing-high-rise/12573734
UPH Professor and affiliated UPP faculty member Philip Alcabes' essay" Race and Public Health: The coronavirus reveals how this country fails to relieve suffering" was published in The American Scholar magazine, September 5, 2020.
NASPAA, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration — the global standard in public service education — has officially announced that it has accredited our MSUPL program. Click to read more.
The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) New York City Chapter has named Assistant Professor Karina Moreno President-Elect for 2020-2021 and President for 2021-2022.
MUP student Sola Olosunde unearthed video footage of white children taunting Black children in Rosedale, Queens, in 1975. After sharing the clip on social media, the New York Times spent months investigating, tracking several of the victims. The Times published its report in June crediting Sola in a separate, second article about the investigation.
This week, Olosunde is featured in, “He’s Sharing the Historical past of Black New York, One Tweet at a Time,” New York Times, August 12, 2020.
MUP student Conor Greene is awarded the 2020 Westchester Municipal Planning Federation (WMPF) scholarship
Associate Professor Laura Wolf-Powers was quoted in an article in the Real Deal, about a proposed new subsidy for owners of rent-regulated apartments in NYC.
On July 14th Graduate NYC announced the release of The State of College Readiness and Degree Completion in New York City. This report examines the progress that the NYC DOE and CUNY have made toward their respective goals of high school graduation and college readiness and degree completion since 2010, while also detailing comprehensive policy changes currently underway at CUNY. The report was made possible by a network of talented and dedicated colleagues, including Carrie Torres, MS UPL alum (2019). Carrie started working on this report in Spring 2019 as a Graduate Fellow responsible for data analysis and policy research.
MUP alum Amina Hassen (2018) is featured in the Fast Company article, "NYC’s new Black Lives Matter mural is more than art. It’s the future of urbanism"
UPH Professor and UPP Affiliated faculty member, Philip Alcabes, published a short piece in The American Scholar. The article links the shabby coronavirus response in the US to the continuing policy assault on the minority poor.
Hunter MUP alum Felicia Park-Rogers, Director of Regional Infrastructure Projects for Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC), co-authored the organization's latest report, "Back on Board: A Guide to Safe(r) Transit in the Era of COVID," which provides a suite of over 50 interventions to promote a safer transit environment for riders and workers alike. Prof. John Chin served as an advisor on the report and participated in TSTC's press conference on June 17. The report has been covered in a variety of national and regional media outlets, including, The New York Daily News, Government Technology, Smart Cities Dive, The World Journal, and The NJ Star-Ledger.
MUP student Sola Olosunde unearthed video footage of white children taunting Black children in Rosedale, Queens, in 1975. After sharing the clip on social media, the New York Times spent months investigating, tracking several of the victims. The Times published its report this week, crediting Sola in a separate, second article about the investigation.
Prof. Sigmund Shipp has co-signed a response by Black planning faculty across the country to ACSP’s Statement Following the Killing of George Floyd. Read ACSP’s statement and Prof. Shipp’s response here.
Prof. Matthew Lasner has co-authored an editorial, Power to Witness, calling upon those who study the built environment, globally, to bear witness to racialized injustices and other systemic assaults on BIPOC and the right to peacefully protest.
UPP Alum Oriade Harbor (MS 2017) is quoted in a New York Times article on "How Black Police Officers Really Feel About the Floyd Protesters."
Police Officer Harbor, a transgender black man, notes that even though he often speaks out against what he sees as social injustice, when he does police work he is still seen as "part of the system that is oppressive to black people."
He further commented, "people treat me different in uniform, because they only see the uniform." He added, "At the end of the day I am a black person who dons a blue uniform. I am a trans male. I walk in all these words."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced this week that she is appointing UPP alum Angela Tovar (MUP, 2011) Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Chicago. Selected on the basis of a national search, the mayor's press release refers to Tovar's "unique policy skill set focused on racial equity, deep community relationships across the city and a demonstrated track record of combining environmental justice, public health and inclusive economic growth."
Prof. Lily Baum Pollans’s Environmental Justice class was awarded the ACSP/Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Award for Curriculum Innovation
Professor Jill Simone Gross has been selected for induction into the Distinguished Service Honor Roll of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA). The Honor Roll recognizes the UAA's "most impactful service leaders." Prof. Gross has been recognized for her efforts to expand the Associations "international" relationships, build a "global urban research community," and "substantively contribute to the strong foundations upon which the Association stands today, and by which it will be sustained in the future."
UPP Prof. Vivian Louie's opinion piece "Asian-American studies, more vital than ever: Coronavirus is a moment we should be learning" was published in the Daily News, May 19, 2019.
UPH Professor and UPP affiliated faculty member Philip Alcabes' most recent public-health-oriented article, Beyond Technical Fixes for Coronavirus, was published in The American Scholar, May 7, 2020.
Here are links to his prior essays, in case you missed them:
Coronavirus: This is not a Plague (4/6)
Anxiety of Culpability (3/31)
Coronavirus and its Costs (3/25)
Coronavirus as Crisis (3/20)
State of Vulnerability (3/15)
How to Think About the Coronavirus (3/10)
Associate Professor Laura Wolf-Powers has been named to the editorial board of the Journal of the American Planning Association.
St. Peter's University Professor and former UPP adjunct faculty member and MUP alum Philip Plotch's book, "Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City" was recently released by Cornell University Press.
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti is the author of, "Lessons from the Pandemic: The Coronavirus Crashes a New York City History Course," Gotham Gazette, April 17, 2020.
Prof. Nicholas Dagen Bloom's article, Upstate Summer Camps for City Kids: Start Planning Now, was published in the Gotham Gazette (April 13, 2020). It was also featured on Politico New York: https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/newsletters/politico-new-york-education/2020/04/14/50-doe-coronavirus-deaths-334031
Associate Professor Laura Wolf-Powers had an article published in the online journal PLATFORM, titled "Recovering Land Value to Advance Equity: Gowanus, Brooklyn as a Case in Point."
Associate Professor Laura Wolf-Powers was a featured speaker at an event sponsored by the Urban Design Forum on January 24th. The event explored the process that led to consensus around the rezoning of East Midtown in 2017 and addressed its applicability in other contexts.
Prof. Nicholas Dagen Bloom authored two editorials in the Gotham Gazette: "Hidden in Plain Sight: Billions in Potential Revenue for NYCHA," ( December 2, 2019), and "NYCHA Open Space: The Next City Park Frontier," (December 19, 2019). Prof. Bloom was also cited in the Next City article "New York’s Public Housing Development Dreams at a Crossroads," (December 18, 2019).
Associate Prof. Owen Gutfreund was interviewed by CNA (a TV news station in Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Phillipines, Malaysia, and Australia) for a story about recent efforts of cities to regulate AIRbnb. Click here for a video of the interview.
Prof. Wolf-Powers is a co-author of a report recently published by the Pratt Center for Community Development: "Public Action, Public Value: Investing in a just and equitable Gowanus neighborhood rezoning."
Associate Professor Laura Wolf-Powers' Op-Ed, "New York City Needs a Development Reset -- Starting with Public Land," appeared in the Gotham Gazette on December 9th.
UPP affiliated faculty member and Hunter College Distinguished Professor David Himmelstein was quoted in The Washington Post article, "How a fight over health care entangled Elizabeth Warren — and reshaped the Democratic presidential race," November 30, 2019.
Prof. John Chin and his colleague Prof. Lois Takahashi (USC) have published a report on "Illicit Massage Parlors in Los Angeles County and New York City: Stories from Women Workers". This report, intended for a policy and practitioner audience, examines the experiences of Chinese and Korean immigrant women working in illicit massage parlors. Often lost in media accounts are the daily experiences of the women workers from their own perspectives. Why are women working in these establishments and under what conditions do they labor? What solutions can be offered that do not further penalize, traumatize, or victimize an already vulnerable population? This report aims to answer some of these questions, and offer recommendations for policy and practice, based on in-depth interviews with 116 women. The report is particularly timely in light of decriminalization legislation currently being debated in New York State.
Congratulations to Professor Edwin Melendez for receiving the Edward Blakely Award, given by the Planners of Color Interest Group (POCIG) of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). The award recognizes planning or related academics or professionals who have supported the cause of social justice for communities of color in their work.
Congratulations to Associate Professor Victoria Johnson for receiving the Hunter College Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship.
Distinguished Professors David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler are the authors of "The Public Option Poison Pill", in The Nation, (October 21, 2019) on the issue of Medicare for All. Professors Himmelstein and Woolhandler, affiliated faculty members in our department, are cofounders of Physicians for a National Health Program.
Professor Nicholas Dagen Bloom provides background on NYCHA history on WNBC's new podcast, Question Authority, about problems at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). A video introduction to the series with Bloom is here: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Question-Authority-A-Deep-Dive-Into-NYCHA-Problems_New-York-563169282.html. Most of the interview, recorded last summer, can be found in Section 6 of the podcast: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/NYCHA-Question-Authority-podcast-episode-6-interview-gregory-russ-561139601.html
Assistant Professor Lily Baum Pollans' article, “Sustainability policy paradox: Coping with changing environmental priorities in municipal waste management” was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning.
Professor Nicholas Dagen Bloom discussed "Diversity and Inclusion in Planning" with Maria Torres Springer (VP for US Programs, Ford Foundation) and Rohit T. Aggarwala (Head of Urban Systems, Sidewalk Labs) at the Regional Plan Association Board of Directors Retreat on October 3.
Prof. Lasner was also quoted in the New York Times in an article, “A Roof of One’s Own," about use of tiny houses as affordable housing around the United States.
Professor Nicholas Dagen Bloom's new book How States Shaped Postwar America: State Government and Urban Policy (University of Chicago Press, 2019) is positively reviewed in Planning Magazine (American Planning Association):
“Bloom provides a needed reminder of how significant state governments were to urban development and planning in the mid-twentieth century. . . . The moral of the many stories is that in today's political climate, urban Americans may again need to look to state governments.” Choice (American Association of Research Libraries) rates the book “Highly recommended. . . Bloom’s carefully crafted work persuasively shows that without the intervention of states, large public systems in fields such as education, transportation, housing, and the environment might not exist or would be unrecognizable today.”
The Department of Urban Policy and Planning was one of several programs featured in a Forbes magazine article on schools that provide practical career training.
Professor Nicholas Dagen Bloom is Co-Curator of an exhibition on HOUSING DENSITY at the Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park City. He has already given exhibition tours to senior staff from HPD, DCP, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development. The exhibition will remain on view until December 2019. Bloom welcomes the opportunity to give additional group tours for agencies and other interested organizations. Please contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the show is available here: https://www.skyscraper.org/housingdensity/
Assoc. Professor Laura Wolf-Powers co-authored an article that recently appeared in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, titled "Opportunities and Risks of Localized Industrial Policy: The case of 'maker-entrepreneurial ecosystems' in the USA." (August 20, 2019)
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti was quoted in Politico (August 19) magazine in an article on "After the Likely Demise of deBlasio's Campaign, What Comes Next?"
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti appears in an educational video released this week by the New York City Charter Revision Commission commemorating the Thirtieth Anniversary of the historic 1989 Charter Commission. The video is posted on the Commission Website and is being distributed on Facebook and Twitter. Click here for the video.
Professor John Chin was quoted in an article, in CityLab concerning a New York State bill that would decriminalize sex work:
Assistant Professor Lily Baum Pollans' article, "From non-planning to cutting edge policy: the transformation of waste management in Boston since the 1980s," was published in Metropolitics journal, June 11, 2019.
Prof Laura Wolf-Powers published an article in Metropolitics journal, “Reclaim Value Capture for Equitable Development”, May 28, 2019.
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti participated in an "Ask the Experts" Q&A for City and State magazine (May 22) on "Predicting the Impact of de Blasio's White House Bid."
He was also quoted in other venues on the subject of de Blasio's presidential campaign, including Fortune magazine (May 16), the Wall Street Journal (May 16), and Gothamist (May 15).
Associate Professor Lynn McCormick has an upcoming article in the Journal of Planning Education and Research on Housing for People with Disabilities. Written with Prof. Alex Schwartz at the New School and Chiara Passerini, she argues that planners need to pay attention to the impending housing crisis facing adults with disabilities who face an insufficient supply of affordable and accessible units country-wide. Click here for the article.
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti was quoted in a Fortune magazine story on, "How New York Could Become a Factor in the 2020 Presidential Race," (May 7, 2019).
Associate Professor Victoria Johnson was quoted in The New York Times article "Rockefeller Center Digs Up", (May 5, 2019).
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti is writing a series of articles on the New York City Charter for City Limits magazine, as a panel appointed by the mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough presidents and city council is conducting the most comprehensive review and revision of the document undertaken in thirty years.
Part 1: Charter Debate is a Moment for NYC to Change—or Confirm—its Identity
Part 2: Commission Must Tweak—Rather Than Transform—the Balance of Power in NYC
Part 3: A Stronger New York Does Not Need a Weaker Mayor
Part 4: Is the Charter Revision Commission Looking at the Wrong Campaign Reforms?
Associate Professor Laura Wolf-Powers' co-authored article, Industrial inheritances: Makers, relatedness and materiality in New York and Chicago is published in the journal Regional Studies.
Prof. Sigmund Shipp was a panelist on the CUNY-TV forum "How Much is Too Much"? That focused on Amazon's decision to withdraw its proposed location in Long Island City. The show was taped March 27, 2019.
The APA Divisions Council has recently announced the winners of its 2019 Grant Awards. Profs. Sigmund Shipp and Jeffrey Lowe (Associate Prof at Texas Southern University) were awardees. Their research project entitled, "The First Generation of Black Planners Speak Their Truths" focuses on the first black professional planners and their work in major cities as they were changing from being largely white to largely African-American.
Associate Professor Victoria Johnson's book American Eden has been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the biography category. https://www.latimes.com/books/la-et-jc-la-times-book-prize-finalists-20190220-story.html
A Chinese translation of UPP Chair and Professor Joseph Viteritti's book, Choosing Equality, has been published by Guangxi Normal University Press in China. The book, Choosing Equality: School Choice, the Constitution, and Civil Society was originally published by the Brookings Institution Press twenty years ago this year and has a new preface. The new edition is the second in a special series of five books by American authors on the subject of school reform in America being translated under the editorial direction of Chinese scholars at Beijing Normal University in Beijing and East China Normal University in Shanghai. The other American authors are on the faculties of UC, Berkeley; Stanford (two); and Harvard.
UPP Chair Professor Joseph Viteritti participated in an "Ask the Experts" Q&A with John Lentz, Editor-in-Chief of City & State magazine, about "What Can Amazon Do to Sell its HQ2 Plan in New York City" (February 5, 2019).
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti has written an opinion piece for the Daily News, "We're Not the City of Amazon After All: The Soul of the City Snapped Back." February 19, 2019
UPP Chair Joseph Viteritti was interviewed by AM New York for a piece on "President de Blasio? Mayor de Blasio ponders a White House run while testing the waters (Ice) in New Hampshire," February 12, 2019.
Laura Wolf-Powers, Associate Professor, is going to be part of a panel on blight at the Municipal Art Society of New York on March 6, 2019. https://mailchi.mp/mas/youre-invitedurbanist-breakfast-brainstorm-201489?e=f57fa703ca
Associate Professor Victoria Johnson’s book American Eden has been awarded a 2019 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Prize by the Foundation for Landscape Studies.
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