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Monthly Archives: 12/2015

IURD Lunch Speaker Wrap-Up

Posted on by Marisa Asari
by Chasidy Miles 

As the IURD Lunch Speaker Series comes to a close, the Institute would like to thank this year’s lecturers:

John Taylor, Director and Co-Founder of NGO Kota Kita, presented on three research initiatives around citywide information databases, inclusive participatory budgeting, and Indonesian angkots and urban transportation.

John graduated from CED in 2000 with a BArch, he then joined the Peace Corps and continued working in Latin America for five years. He has also worked in Angola and most recently in Indonesia since 2009 where he founded the NGO Kota Kita. John received his Master’s in Urban Planning from Harvard University in '06 and has also worked as a consultant for UN HABITAT, UNDP and the Asia Foundation.

Patricia A. Wilson discussed the implications for planning pedagogy and best practices for preparing planners to be facilitators of emergent systems change.

A past president of the Sociedad Interamericana de Planificación, Patricia A. Wilson is Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas, Austin, where she founded the joint Master’s degree program in Planning and Latin American Studies.  A faculty affiliate of the UT Center for Sustainable Development and the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, Dr. Wilson oversees the DECOS program in Sustainable Community Development in Mexico. She teaches graduate courses in participatory methods for planning, international participatory action research, and tactical urbanism, and an undergraduate signature course in participatory democracy. Her research and publications focus on international community development, particularly in Latin America. She holds a B.A. in economics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in planning from Cornell.

Sharing her expertise on the social functions of malls, Professor de Simone reflected on how the shopping mall has become a discourse of development in light of being a privately-funded public space.

Professor de Simone currently teaches communications at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago and introduction to urbanism and landscape at the Universidad de Diego Portales.  She has a long history with PUC, beginning with her career in architecture as an undergraduate and continuing with her completion of a master’s degree in the same field, only to stay on as a professor shortly thereafter. Professor de Simone’s current research focus addresses the question of how neoliberalism affects localities and urban development. In contrast to more conventional approaches of tracing neoliberalism from a macroeconomic and governmental perspective, De Simone seeks to identify the smaller cultural translations of neoliberalism that are often overlooked.

Kristin Aarland presented on a paper that examines the mixed results of the Oslo Area-Based Initiative (ABI), an effort in Oslo, Norway that distinguishes itself by its extensive emphasis on improving the social fabric of distressed neighborhoods, upgrading and beautifying public space, and creating communal areas and meeting places for the locals.

Dr. Aarland is a researcher specializing in housing policies and community development. After finishing her PhD in Economics at Brown University, RI, she returned to native Norway to work as a researcher at NOVA, a multi-disciplinary social sciences research institute. Her work has focused particularly on the long-term sustainability of low-income ownership.

This series has had an abundance of expertise and strategies toward providing equitable, sustainable development. We have been fortunate to have John Taylor, Patricia A. Wilson, Liliana de Simone, and Kristin Aarland share their research, and we wish them the best with future endeavors.