Spring 2018 - INTER

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The original edition of this book was made possible by the generous support of: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation GSAPP, Columbia University 2018 New York, New York Copyright © 2018 By the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York All illustrations & layouts © 2018 URBAN All Photographs © 2018 All Rights Reserved






Emily Junker

Dear Reader,

Chief Editor Maria is: 1 part Architect 1 part Urban Planner 1 part Foodie 2 parts Dog-lover.

Layout Editor Eva: Design Eat Sleep

Publication Editor Ramya: Planner Dreamer On a quest for a better India

The Planning profession embraces a multitude of interests and thinkers able to bridge the gap between the abstract and the material world. In the past, Planning practice was interrelated with other professions, such as architecture, public health, policy makers, among others. This partnership began in the 19th century with the emergence of the first planned cities, such as Haussmannian Paris’ redesign and the Garden City concept by Ebenezer Howard in the UK. These examples illustrate a period with greater concern for an open, healthy and organized city, where urban planners became public health experts and urban designers, leaving behind the Industrialized schemes of the 18th century. At some point in time, this partnership dissolved giving way to specialized disciplines, which in turn, resulted in less comprehensive approaches to the city’s concerns. During these two years in Urban Planning, we have learned about the relevance of collaboration between all disciplines involved in a city’s development; from health outcomes that are shaped by our built environment, to technologies applied to planning, and much more. This year, URBAN proposed themes that looked at different types of collaboration between related disciplines and combining those that go beyond traditional ones. The Fall 2017 issue, SUPRA called for pieces that would rethink the way planning takes place and how it can adapt to emerging paradigms and technologies. INTER, the Spring 2018 edition, is our final issue as editors; we aimed to uncover critical thoughts and ideas from students and faculty that lie in-between the different planning realms and the what connections exist among other professions that shape our urban environment. We are pleased to share this semester’s work and ask you to question the current and future state of planning to foster further discussion. The pieces in this issue are presented in non-academic formats which invite a much broader audience. URBAN’s effort is to be a public forum for dynamic discussion and become a platform to share ideas for the future of the planning discipline. We wish all the best to the future URBAN Editorial Team, and we hope the discussions generated from past issues promote future critical thoughts... From, URBAN


Douglas Woodward

On the Intersection (and Division) between Planning & Design




In 1959 the British novelist and scientist CP Snow wrote a controversial polemic on the disconnectedness of the sciences and the humanities called The Two Cultures. The notion of “two cultures� is perhaps also a good way to understand the traditionally fraught relationship between architecture and urban planning. There are tremendous differences in how planners on one side and urban designers and architects on the other approach urban project analysis, and the implications of that disconnect for solving joint planning and design problems is one that needs to be addressed in the training of both, especially in programs that contain both architecture and urban planning programs.

First—full disclosure—I am an urban designer, trained as an architect, who has also worked for many years in a city planning department as both an urban planner and urban designer, and I teach urban planning. Because of my background, my focus has always been on physical planning as distinct from social planning, and the work I’ve done has by and large been tied to masterplanning (Lower Manhattan, Times Square, Columbus Circle) and how zoning regulations should inform design strategies—a more or less typical role for an urban designer in a planning department.

Architecture and Urban Planning Joint Studio in Genoa, Italy. Photograph by Shiqi Ouyang.

In his 1974 Minerva article, “The Schools of the Minor Professions,” Harvard sociologist Nathan Glazer distinguishes between architecture schools and urban planning programs. Architecture schools, Glazer writes, are one of a number of “professional schools” that are either “based directly on science or contain a high component of strictly technological knowledge based on science…”. By contrast, he links urban (or town) planning courses with schools of divinity, social work, and education. These schools, he argues, are “minor” in part because they do not have an agreedupon canon of professional knowledge that needs to be mastered and deployed. Glazer portrays the urban planner as having to wait until “he” [sic] begins work to learn the practical details of his profession “on the job,” and suggests that even the student nurse, by comparison, is “perhaps in a better position” since “her” training will take place in a hospital. (It is instructive about Glazer’s assumptions at the time he wrote—in the mid-seventies—that he invariably refers to urban planners as male and nurses female.)

The first courses in urban design at an American university did not enter the architecture school curriculum until 1960 (at the Harvard GSD, also the site of the first urban design conference in 1956), so when Glazer was writing his piece the academic discipline of urban design was only in its teen years. Urban or town planning, by contrast, was long-established and since much of early urban planning in the US was about plan-making and after 1916 (the date of the first comprehensive zoning regulation in the US—New York City’s) about understanding the effects of zoning on built form, many urban planners were effectively trained in design as well.


Douglas Woodward has taught urban planning at GSAPP since 1990. His is currently Chief Planning Officer at the Lincoln Center Development Project, and Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Coordinator of Studios and Practice for the Urban Planning Program.


While many graduate urban planning programs are still embedded in design schools (like Columbia’s), a few share space with policy programs or geography departments, entirely distinct from the design world. Even those architecture and planning programs that do co-locate tend to remain siloed in terms of crossfertilization, an issue that GSAPP is addressing in joint Architecture/Urban Planning studios like this semester’s Genoa, Italy studio that Richard Plunz, Megan Marini, and I are co-teaching, and Richard’s Belfast studio from last year. By combining urban planning and architecture students into mixed teams working on common problems, the two groups learn about the ways each discipline works and how they can successfully work together in analyzing urban conditions and developing recommendations. We need to return to the early, broader definition of the scope of urban planning, which encompassed physical planning, design, masterplanning, zoning, social and economic development, and transportation and environmental planning. The way to do this is to integrate planning and design education to eliminate the “two cultures” approach and create a cohesive strategy that educates planners about design and designers about planning.

Glazer’s ‘70s taxonomy is no longer accurate. Urban planning has developed into a robust, cross-disciplinary field that draws on the insights and techniques of numerous sub-fields for a holistic appreciation of urban problems; architecture, too, continues to draw upon fields as diverse as linguistics and philosophy to create synthetic architectural forms. They have both developed highly sophisticated canons of knowledge and practice. The critical collaboration of architecture, planning, and urban design is already happening in planning departments across the country. But it has to begin earlier. The need is clear for an increasing number of collaborative courses and studios at the graduate levels that combine the skill sets of planning and design students in evaluating real world issues and developing solutions that take advantage of the complementary insights and skills of both disciplines. Edited by Alex Gallo


New Year’s Morning, 5:00 AM Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnamw



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Ngọc Hà, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Hanoi is very much alive—rapidpaced development and urban expansion, active multi-purpose street spaces that transform with the time of day, motorbike and pedestrian traffic in organized chaos—yet in these still frames, I see moments of rest. I pause to describe the motion and the stillness, the tightness of the alleys and expanse at the cities edges. I contemplate the textures— weathered concrete, rusted corrugated metal sheeting, damp leaves, faded French colonial yellow paint—and the relics—evidence of the people who breathe the life into the built environment, their collective memories weaving webs, hinting at the identity of this place. A place in which I am only passing through, appropriating nostalgia for a past and present.

Planning as a historical and philosophical tool Angel Felix Lopez Zamora

Planning as a tool seeks to be a link, or intermediary, between other disciplines; it can be the profession of elegant synthesis or beautiful and destructive disorganization. The role Planners’ play in today’s world is that of the balance of power between the disciplines. The advent of computational thinking has given rise to an idea of “connectivity” in which one is no longer a citizen of a neighborhood but of the synthetic or disorganized world. The planning question arising during the last century is “for whom is the synthesis or disorganization?” This question remains, looming over political upheaval domestically and abroad. Evidenced locally with the rise of Trump and abroad with far right groups in Greece and Germany, along with the Labour movement in Britain. These populist uprising’s can be viewed as anomalies, however, it would be naïve to simply attribute social unrest to mere socio-political randomness. For some economists, sociologists, and psychiatrists, these events are connected. The social unrest grew from an embrace of technical industries, corporate power, and consumerism, all while imposing austerity after the 2008 financial crisis. These patterns exist under the umbrella of “free market” capitalism sold to their publics by both left and right parties. The parties’ embraced deregulation while leaving socio-political outcomes to the obscure phenomenon called “market forces.” Cities are complicit in utilizing these ideals of “free markets” through Planning efforts, whereby developers are put at the forefront of innovation as well as their much loved “creative class.” That is, Planning exists between scales of government (Federal, State, Local), economic development (housing, job creation, growth), and history (class structure, relations of labor, production of labor). Therefore, the “in-betweenness” of Planning is a product of History, Economics, and Politics. The “in-between” suggests an interior and exterior of the three categories, and thus, we must ask ourselves how Planners exist in relation to both spaces.


To start this conversation, we must define Planning; the theory and practice (or praxis) of an institution sanctioned by the state to balance places under their given dominion. This definition makes the essence of Planning a social and political object of State power. Therefore, Planning cannot contain a “balancing” trait, but an intrinsic will to bend some before others. It is a product of the will for power for those with access. History has shown pure economic reasoning leads to displacement for “best outcomes” and pure humanitarian reasoning also leads to displacement in the name of “fairness.” These modes of reasoning were personified by the views and efforts of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. Those with State and political power define who is considered “other”, and both economic and humanitarian outcomes have resulted in a social and political resemblance. That is, those given the title “other” can recognize the end effects of economic and humanitarian reasoning: they are still outsiders. These results may seem particular to our time, however, these patterns bare a similitude to past events, reasoning, and knowledge. For example, LeRoy Beaulieu, an academic, politician, and writer who sought to empower France through economic means by publishing works that through “logic” France was to seize the fruits of other nations. If France was to forego these economic efforts, it would become a “second European power.” In their efforts, it was clear to him they would not only enrich France, but bring civilization, knowledge, and above all else Christianity to “morally retarded” peoples (5056). His humanitarian side was fed through white supremacy and Christian dogma; seeing French conquest as calming the barbaric tendencies of “savages.” It was fed further by readings of Ancient Greek Philosophers like Aristotle who argued for a “natural inequality” amongst mankind. Of course, the Greek’s saw themselves as baring the larger of the powers who would then use their “natural” moral and intellectual superiority to lead “natural slaves” toward a common good. In Spain the conversation was similar, where Sepulveda spoke of the Native Americans in Latin America as needing Christianity to cleanse their moral and social “corruptions”. His opponent, De las Casas argued the Natives were inherently of good spirits and thus need not to be forced into Christianity because they were already “more Christian” than the Spaniards. De las Casa argued the Native population simply needed to be brought the word of Christ; education over brute force. For historians, this is simply two sides of the same coin, namely Colonization. These historical references can help planners contextualize their roles and field whereby the Planner recognizes the spatiality of historic discourse on 08

the education of others in relation to Empire and the State. Nonetheless, some may contend that these are notions of a past and that surely, we have progressed past these colonial ideals of the 19th century. One only needs to listen to the voices of the 1960s civil rights movements about being treated as “others” or “second-class citizens.” In the 1965, James Baldwin debated William F. Buckley at Cambridge University concerning the position and ideals of the Black American. Near the end of one of his arguments, Baldwin said: “Until this moment, there is scarcely any hope for the

“Until this moment, there is sca for the American Dream becaus who are denied participation in presence, will wreck it.”

scarcely any hope ause the people in it, by their very

American Dream because the people who are denied participation in it, by their very presence, will wreck it.” In the name of Democracy, those granted Democratic rights, found that to preserve the institutions, cities, and States in “progress” they must exclude those who are “less than” American from most, if not all, of their organizations. One may remember this social phenomenon characterized by the legal notion of “separate but equal.” Put simply, the American Dream was not possible in the minds of Americans with “others” participating in it. Again, an economic reasoning took hold in the consciousness of America that sought the “best outcomes” by considering only the “best peoples” in a world and nation of “natural inequality”. Again, some may counter by stating that we have progressed to a greater level of inclusion since the 1960s because of things like the Civil Rights Movement, Constitutional Amendments; and within the planning field Surveying, Community Planning, and Open Data. However, the contemporary conversation around planning shares a similitude to the humanitarian efforts of the past where the education of the “other” is favored over the brute force of enforced displacement. In the planning context, open data and connectivity is advocated

for, whereby requirements are made for agencies to inform communities about impending changes to their neighborhoods. Such efforts also result in a resemblance to “inherent” goodness of the natives that De las Casas saw in Latin America; simply needing the word of Christ. In the context of data and democratization in Planning, impoverished groups are interpreted as having an “inherent” goodness that planners can evoke. The “in-betweenness” of these journeys of Planning efforts merely stands to balance one side against the other throughout history, briefly giving one side more power than the other. As one stares into the abyss of power and inequality too long, they risk becoming the abyss. Planning has become the abyss, merely on the side of the “other”. Yet, it does not recognize itself as a reinforcing agent of the “natural inequality” of the city; and through Planning the individual becomes the social. Thus, processes like gentrification are seen by the market as “good”, “logical”, and “foundational” to a community because given the “natural inequality” of the city, those deemed as the “other” will socially and spatially benefit from the efforts, knowledge, and economics of those incoming with State power. Thus, the Planner’s role is to educate just as it was for Christian missionaries in the 18th

and 19th centuries. The individuals and the society within their boundaries, that is to say, the human and humanity, become objects to be used by the State either through pure economic or humanitarian reasoning for the benefit of State or ideological power. The notion of becoming a “citizen of the world” is not novel. Historical movements forced or educated those deemed as “others” to become a “citizen of the Christian world,” later a “citizen of the Western world” and presently a “citizen of the Globalized world.” Each of these faux attempts at inclusion result in spatial and social exclusion. What of the Planner’s role? The Planner should consider introspection and inspection of History, Economics, and Politics in the context of Empire or a synthesis or disorganization of space combined by power. Planning currently hovers over its own abyss as in the story of Narcissus. Only two potentialities exist, can drown itself by remaining uncritical to its historical imperfections or it can look away to understand itself as an agent in relation to historic Philos-aphilos among the individual and society.

Edited by Charles Romanow 09

The Columbia Riots, Fifty Years On: How Columbia’s Morningside Park Gymnasium Exposed the Failings of Planning Behind Closed Doors Michael Montilla

During the 1950s, Columbia began to grow its footprint within Morningside Heights. To do so, the school purchased scores of residential buildings just outside the campus gates. Columbia repurposed some buildings, and tore down others to make way for new construction (Bradley, 2003). Administrators sought land near university property because they wanted to preserve a unified campus, but by buying up apartments in Morningside Heights, the school rapidly took over the neighborhood, displacing thousands of people from their homes.

The Columbia University riots of 1968 changed the school forever. Caused by a multitude of factors including anger over the Vietnam War, the recent assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and a lack of faith in university authorities, the riots became a landmark event of the broader counterculture movement. However, the direct catalyst for the protests was a proposed gymnasium in Morningside Park. Columbia had expanded its campus in recent years, and had been planning to build athletic facilities in the park since the 1950s. The stated purpose of this gym was to provide undergraduate students, and varsity athletes with a gymnasium on par with facilities at other major universities, but many questioned whether this was the true goal of the project. While some have argued that the school was trying to drive away minority residents who lived near the university (Bradley, 2003, 32-74), others have claimed the school was trying to take control of the park (Bradley, 2003, 67-9; Wolfe, 1970). No matter what the true purpose of the gymnasium was, Columbia failed to recognize the community as an equal stakeholder in campus expansion. Like cities and institutions had done for decades, Columbia planned its expansion efforts from the top-down, and mostly behind closed doors. Yet the political atmosphere of the 1960s would not allow controversial projects planned this way to succeed without significant repercussions. Trying to avoid any backlash, the school controlled the release of information about the project, but this approach backfired. Ultimately, the riots ignited by the proposed gym highlighted the failings of top-down planning, and emphasized the importance of seeking community involvement. 10

By expanding its campus within Morningside Heights, instead of looking for vacant land elsewhere, Columbia engrained resentment within the community. In total, Columbia displaced at least 7,500 people in the 1960s (Bradley, 2003, 47). To ensure the departure of residents, Columbia often resorted to underhanded tactics. One woman was harassed by Columbia officials after reporting a decline in living conditions (Carpenter, 1968). Another resident reported the school refusing her rent payments in an effort to make her past-due. Eventually, the school filled her locks with a “…[S]ubstance resembling wax,” to ensure she would vacate her home (Bradley, 2003, 51). In short, Columbia became a notoriously bad landlord concerned with removing tenants to allow for campus growth. These community tensions came to a head over the new gymnasium. Well aware of growing anger over the acquisition of neighboring buildings, school administrators decided to build the gymnasium in Morningside Park, the park which, along with a steep slope, spatially divides Morningside Heights from Harlem.

Historian Stefan Bradley (2003) sums up the school’s perspective well, “The planners of the gym believed that they [would avoid] a sore spot with the community by using parkland instead of buying up more buildings and evicting tenants (60).” By avoiding the need to displace residents, the school believed that they could sell the proposal to the community without any repercussions. In 1958, the school brokered a deal with Parks Commissioner Robert Moses to lease 2.1 acres of land within the park to construct a gymnasium upon, but construction would not begin for nearly a decade (Bradley, 2003, 58-60).

Overhead View of Columbia’s Campus Showing Proposed Morningside Park Gymnasium in the Lower Right Corner Creator Unknown (n.d.). Retrieved November 8, 2017, from http://www. wikicu.com/History_of_the_Morningside_ Heights_campus


The school presented the gymnasium project as a boon to the community. The school had recently built softball fields near the gym site which were well-used, and appreciated by local residents. Piggy-backing off the success of these fields, Columbia guaranteed that 2 out of the 10 floors of the gymnasium would be dedicated to community use (Bradley, 2003, 66). Initial reactions in the community to the gym proposal were generally positive, but by 1967, few people had actually seen any of the plans. The gym began to generate tension when people realized that the school had misrepresented the design of the gymnasium to the public. Residents thought that 20% of the gym would be dedicated to community use, but it became obvious that less than 13% of the building was earmarked for them (Bradley, 2003, 66). In 12

1967, when the plans became truly public, the community saw a segregated facility with seperate entrances for the mostly white students, and the primarily AfricanAmerican residents of Harlem (Bradley, 2003, 734). Students and residents started to believe that the gym, and all forms of campus expansion were attempts to remove minorities from nearby neighborhoods. Many thought that Columbia was trying to create a white enclave within the city (Bradley, 2003, 69-71). These sentiments soon became widespread, and eventually led to protests.

1968 was a year of change. In February, the school began construction of the gymnasium without any fanfare, ceremonial groundbreaking, or applause (Skoro, 1968). In early April, Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis, and just a few weeks later, on the 23rd, a group of Harlem residents joined Columbia students at the sundial between Butler and Low Libraries. They marched up Low’s steps, demanded an end to the gym’s construction, and went to Morningside Park chanting, “Gym Crow must go (Kunen, 1969, 20-1).” After tearing down parts of the construction fence, and clashing with workers and police, the protesters returned to campus and took over Hamilton Hall, Low Library, Avery Hall, and other buildings on campus (Kunen, 1969, 236). So began the Columbia riots, and for weeks the statue of Alma Mater saw her buildings occupied, her students beaten by police, and her university fall into utter turmoil.

Protesters Tearing Down the Fence Surrounding the Morningside Park Gym Site Ditlea, S. (1968), “Gymnasium,” Columbia University Libraries Online Exhibitions, accessed December 2, 2017, https://exhibitions. cul.columbia.edu/ exhibits/show/1968/ item/5654.

Sadly, the planning process is often used to sell or at least rationalize a plan that would otherwise not be welcomed by the people impacted by it the most. Lisa Peattie (1987), an anthropologist at MIT, has criticized planning as a, “...[K]ind of social ritual, the function of which is to legitimize…activities that, if frankly described, would arouse conflict and dissent (19).” To Peattie, planning is often not about addressing the needs of the public, but rather, about disguising the,“…[R}eal unstated goals of the project (19).” While Columbia’s “real unstated goals” for the Morningside Park gym are debatable, the school’s efforts to legitimize the project in the socio-political context of Harlem in the 60s are more than evident.


Even though the university chose the park as the site of the gymnasium out of convenience, administrators presented the gymnasium’s location as though it was selected for the community. William T. de Bary, Provost Emeritus of the university, said, “…[I]t would be much more convenient [for the gymnasium] to be built on campus rather than in the park,” and the decision to build in the park was made so the public could have greater access to athletic facilities (Bradley, 2003, 58). Columbia’s administrators wanted residents of Harlem to think that they had chosen to build the gymnasium in the park because they intended for the community to use the facility, much like how the community had used the softball fields built by the school a few years earlier. They wanted the community to think the school, and its leadership, were benevolent. In reality, university officials thought that constructing in the park was a better alternative to buying more property near campus, and evicting tenants. The “real unstated goal” in this example was to avoid public outrage, and the school went about achieving this goal by presenting the gym as a gift to the community.


Furthermore, the school leveraged its alumni base to give the appearance that the community itself had proposed the gym. One of the bureaucratic hurdles the gymnasium project needed to overcome was a vote in the New York State Senate. The senate records show that legislation to approve the lease of public park land to Columbia was introduced by James L. Watson, an African-American representing Harlem. However, it is believed that he did not author the bill. It was probably written by Senator MacNeil Mitchell, a prominent alumnus of the university, who – fulfilling an indulgence to the school – asked Senator Watson to introduce the legislation as a political favor (Wolfe, 1970, 64). Having an African-American from Harlem introduce the bill gave the appearance that the gymnasium was proposed by the community. Yet the university was the party that truly wanted the gym, and both Watson and Mitchell were likely used by school administrators to advance what would become an unpopular project.

University leadership also used students to legitimize the gym. In a discussion about student representatives sitting on executive committees, James Kunen (1969), a former Columbia student, points out that, “The Trustees [of the university] wanted to use the students to legitimatize [sic] whatever they finally did or did not do (123).” He goes on to mention how administrators ensured student representatives were included in photos printed in The New York Times, but the students themselves played almost no role in any decision (124). Suggestions made by students that were counter the wishes of the Trustees were shot down as untenable. Kunen implies that students were only on committees to create the perception of what could be

called participatory planning – that people besides school officials or planners were shaping the gym project. But students were not truly planning the gym, they were simply being used to help justify the construction of the gymnasium to people who may otherwise oppose it. As shown by the inclusion of students in widely released photographs of administrative committees, the school was very adept at manipulating public information concerning the project. Economist and planner Bent Flyvbjerg (2002) contends that government officials often exclude information from reports that challenge politicized plans (353-4). He argues that controlling information this way is an exertion of power. In the case of the Columbia gym, the school utilized its power to misrepresent how much of the gymnasium was truly dedicated to community use by presenting a true, but misleading fact. 2 out of 10 floors of the building were dedicated for the community, but the school never mentioned that these floors were smaller than other levels of the facility, or that residents would be barred from other areas of the gym (Bradley, 2003, 66). As Flyvberg suggests about planning in general, the planning of the Columbia gym involved the manipulation of knowledge.

Avery Hall After the Riots da Cruz, F. (1968b). Pickets in Front of Avery Hall. Columbia College Today. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ computinghistory/1968/68-08.html


decided on this over a year ago,’ the note explains.) (27).” Thomas Hoving, Robert Moses’ successor, opposed the gymnasium, and this note shows that Kirk actively withheld information from him.

Alma Mater After the Riots da Cruz, F. (1968a). Alma Mater the Day After Arrests. Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ history/1968/68-07.html

The university also exerted its control over information by hiding certain facts about the construction of the gym. During the student occupation of Low Library, Kunen had the opportunity to search President Grayson Kirk’s office. Among the many letters he found was a memo ordering a Columbia official to withhold information regarding the gymnasium’s construction. Kunen (1969) writes that he found a, “…[N]ote to a Columbia representative… telling him to be careful not to mention to Parks Commissioner Hoving that the date for digging has been moved up. (‘We don’t want him to know that we 16

All of the actions the university took to control information regarding the gymnasium occurred during one of the greatest political shifts in American history, and planning was quickly changing in response to this movement. The political climate of the 1960s led towards tackling injustice, and expanding participatory democracy. Planning itself began to reflect these objectives. In 1965, Paul Davidoff wrote a groundbreaking article introducing the concept of Advocacy Planning. He famously states that planning should involve the community being planned for, and that their choices should guide planning efforts, not allegedly objective facts discovered by planners and officials alone. He states, “If the planning process is to encourage democratic urban government then it must operate so as to include rather than exclude citizens from participating in the process (332).” In the political context of the 1960s, Davidoff called for community involvement. By doing so, he provided the framework of how planning

could adapt to any sociopolitical context. In attempts to avoid discontent among the residents of Harlem, students, and even among city and state officials, the school leveraged its power by controlling information about the gymnasium at nearly every stage of the planning process. The end result of these actions was the appearance of community and student involvement, but once this charade was uncovered, riots erupted in full view of the media. Columbia’s leadership had stoked the very outcome they desperately wanted to avoid.

A Chalkboard in a Classroom in Fayerweather Hall During the Riots Photographer Unknown (1968). Columbia University 1968-08 Conference. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://www. columbia1968.com/ history/photos/ fayerweather-hall/

The results of Columbia’s top-down planning would resonate for years. In April, the riots broke out. By July, the school cancelled the gymnasium project (Kunen, 1969, 111-4). A few months later, President Kirk would leave office, and over the next decade, Columbia inspired riots concerning university expansion broke out across the country (Kruger, 1994; Wiedel, 2012). The Morningside Park gymnasium became an example of how not to plan, and the school refrained from major campus expansion for nearly fifty years. However, Columbia is currently expanding into a former industrial area just north of its main campus. While reactions to this project have been somewhat mixed, there has been drastically less backlash compared to the Morningside Park gym. One reason why the ongoing expansion is less controversial is because Columbia involved the community in the planning process. Maxine Griffith, the former Executive Vice

President of the university, worked extensively with the community during the planning of the Manhattanville expansion, and she points out that conversations with the surrounding community began near the very beginning of the planning process (M. Griffith, personal communication, March 28, 2018). For the Manhattanville expansion to move forward, university officials – including Maxine – worked with the community to address their concerns. This approach is wildly different to the methods used by the school in 1968, and resulted in plans that could survive the political context of their time. The Columbia University riots exposed the shortcomings of top-down planning, and underscored the importance of community involvement. Planners account for many factors when forming new plans, and political context

is certainly one of them. In order to effectively respond to the sociopolitical environment, a plan must sincerely include the communities impacted by projects in the planning process. Unfortunately, planners, institutions, and government officials often ignore community insight, and manipulate the political climate by exerting their power over information. Planners need to realize that working behind closed doors isolates projects from the socio-political atmosphere, and projects must be exposed to this atmosphere for any proposed plan to truly succeed. Edited by Adam Lubitz

“I would like to thank Adam Lubitz for editing this article, Professors Maxine Griffith and David Karnovsky for their guidance, and Professor Hiba Bou Akar, Tyler Haupert, and Maria Garces Marques for encouraging me to share this article with the magazine.” 17

Bradley, S. M. (2003). Gym Crow Must Go! The 1968–1969 Student and Community Protests at Columbia University in the City of New York (Order No. 3091901). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (305325255). Retrieved October 31, 2017, http://ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/ login?url=https://search-proquest.com.ezproxy.cul. columbia. edu/docview/305325255?accountid=10226. Carpenter, D. (1968, March 21). CU Charged with Harassing Tenant Who Made Complaint. Columbia Daily Spectator, 112(87). Davidoff, P. (1965). Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning. Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 31, 331-338. doi:10.1016/b978-0-08-017066-4.50024-2 Flyvbjerg, B. (2002). Bringing Power to Planning Research. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 21(4), 353-366. doi:10.1177/0739456x0202100401 Griffith, M. (2018, March 290. Phone interview.

A Possible Remnant of Vandalism from 1968 in the South Stairwell of Fayerweather Hall Collection of the Author (2017)

Kruger, L. R. (1994, April 22). '68 Protests, Riots at Columbia Sparked Student Activism at Harvard, in Nation. The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved October 25, 2017, from http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1994/4/22/68-protestsriots-at-columbia-sparked/ Kunen, J. S. (1969). The Strawberry Statement. New York, NY: Random House. Peattie, L. R. (1987). Planning: Rethinking Ciudad Guayana. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Skoro, C. L. (1968, February 20). Construction of Gym Begins Without Protest. Columbia Daily Spectator, 112(68). Wiedel, J. (2012, April 11). Berkeley Riots 1969 “Battle for People’s Park” California. Janie Wiedel Photolibrary. Retrieved December 4, 2017, from https://wiedel.photoshelter.com / gallery/1969-BERKELEY-RIOTS-Peoples-Park-California/G0000r_ Fe.kdWvaU/1 Wolfe, R. M. (1970). Columbia’s Morningside Park Gymnasium, a Case Study of Park Encroachment (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library.



Chuong Duong Bridge Phúc Tân, Hà Nội, Vietnam


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Long Bien Bridge

Phúc Tân, Hà Nội, Vietnam



The conductor announces the train is being held at 145th Street. Passenger X looks down at her aggressively buzzing phone. An emergency alert reads: *Cough cough* clear drops of liquid fly out of the coughing and sneezing Passenger X, landing on Passenger Y. Passenger X has a new strain of virus, let’s call it Z (no, not for zombie, we’re serious planning journalists here). Despite being strangers, they are squished together on the tightly packed A Train, full of sickly looking passengers bounding their way uptown. Passenger X does not know she is seriously ill, in fact she doesn’t know that in just 36 hours she’ll be dead (tres dramatic). On their way to this untimely death they will infect two other’s, (a process in epidemiology known as R-0 or R-nought) who will go on to infect more and more people.


Touch, touch, touch, spit, touch, cough, touch, sneeze, touch… People touch a lot of things throughout their day; railings, posts, tables, cups, faucets, door handles, and in the interim they touch their faces, eyes, noses, mouths and each other. Z will travel on the subway, in Uber’s and Lyft’s, on airplanes, and between everyone in the City. The transit system, which so effectively connects humans together also connects Z to new hosts. Where did Z come from? Where was Z born? Well, when a mommy Z and a daddy Z…just kidding (waves away the boos of the crowd), Z came from the food systems and inadequacies in the production, processing, and monitoring of the food system. Z just needs one host to start multiplying and evolving.


But wait! PLOT TWIST. Two NYPD officers spot Passenger X from the other end of the car and begin to semi-urgently walk toward her to escort her off the train at the next station. The police are on the lookout for anyone looking severely ill and along with MTA staff, have undergone trainings in communicable disease mitigation. The two officers make their way towards Passenger X; mechanically putting on latex gloves. As the train barrels into the 145th Street station the officers mosey up to Passenger X. Calmly, but authoritatively Officer Orange (I’m sick of assigning letters) asks Passenger X to exit the train. Together, Officers Orange and Blue (complimentary colors make better teams) lead Passenger X to the medical department in the train station. Both officers’ faces are covered by NYPD-issued medical masks, designed to be unassuming (like a scarf but made for utility, not fashion). Shaking their heads disapprovingly, they politely provide Passenger X a medical mask which she neglected to pick up when boarding the train. All stations were equipped with medical masks and latex gloves in the last flu outbreak, and all MTA stations increased their announcements concerning washing hands, how to properly cough, and to stay home if feeling sick.

As urban centers continue to grow and thrive, so does Z and any number of similar communicable disease. More than 10 million warm bodies inhabit New York City at any given time. Planes, trains, and automobiles link these human cluster hubs and act as convention centers for contagious organisms. Innovations in transportation and communication better connect people from across the globe, but facilitates the movement of illness. If we consider the many ways disease and illnesses are transmitted from organism to organism, as so lovingly discovered by Pasteur and formally known as Germ Theory, it is easy to see how the transportation system holds the potential to be the harbinger of death (or at least serious illness and potentially death).

The NYCDOHMH should initiate an interagency emergency planning protocol with pre-emptive steps focused on improved communication for an illness outbreak. The MTA implemented a similar practice in posting notices of how to properly cover your mouth when sneezing/ coughing. The steps (could) include (but are absolutely not limited to):

1. Sending an alert using the emergency alert system connected to cell phonescellphones and cable TV. This alert will advise the ill to stay home and warn of potential train delays and possible shutdown of the transportation system. 2. Health professionals observe people at train stations and prompt the police to pull anyone aside who displays serious symptoms. 3. Train and bus closures (equating to shutting down the city), systematically isolating the ill. 4. Empty trains will be used to shuttle medical supplies, blankets, etc. to hospitals and quarantine zones. 23

This is a multi-faceted approach requiring the interaction of several entities and therefore can only be intimated by myself (I mean I’m just one lady y’all). Historically there has been a marriage between Public Health and Urban Planning. A partnership between practical planning with a mind for the well-being and safety of citizens starting in the 19th century, known by some as the Sanitary Era. In the 1850’s John Snow first used mapping analytics to identify the truth behind the source and spread of cholera. This, in turn, led to better planning surrounding where and how wastewater and drinking water are managed. The Great Fire ravaging Chicago in October 1871 was found to be instigated by a fire in


a lumber yard. It’s scope was far reaching because of the spacing and materials of Chicago’s buildings. Because of this catastrophe that took 300 lives and left another 120 homeless, urban planning worked to mitigate events of this scale in the future. Finally, in New York City, the tenement houses which were stuffed full of immigrants looking to the New World for a better life found themselves living in conditions of squalor. To improve the lives of hundreds, Urban Planning and Public Health worked side-by-side once again.

Edited by Charles Romanow

The earliest human settlements were often established near places that people used as burial grounds. Though burial has long been the most common method of disposing of the dead, the ways that people have viewed and interacted with burial places has varied greatly over time. In the middle ages, European burial grounds, which did not feature contemporary headstones or monuments, were generally a town’s only open spaces, and were therefore utilized for a variety of public purposes, from sporting events to markets and fairs. Reciprocally, public squares were often in turn used as burial grounds, a practice so common in some American cities that it was not outlawed in Philadelphia until 1812.

The Lifespan of Urban Cemeteries: Examining a Critical Planning Juncture in America's Burial Spaces

Around the turn of the nineteenth century, most American graveyards suffered from neglect and, more importantly, the bodies therein were suspected of spreading “noxious miasmas” and disease. To protect residents from disease and provide much-needed additional burial space, many American cities began constructing burial grounds at the town limits. This shift marked the beginning of the rural cemetery movement. Some of the western world’s most iconic cemeteries, such as Père Lachaise in Paris, Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and GreenWood in Brooklyn, are products of this movement. Rural cemeteries, sometimes also called garden cemeteries, were designed for the living as well as the dead and were used as community facilities. Droves of nineteenth-century city-dwellers descended on these open spaces to enjoy the park-like setting. In its heyday, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery was one of New York State’s “most visited tourist sites – second only to Niagara Falls.” Indeed, the popularity of rural cemeteries was an important catalyst for the development of public parks, such as Central Park, in New York City.

As civic institutions grew in number, cemeteries’ public importance wavered and then essentially collapsed. In the twentieth century, rural cemeteries gave way first to lawn-park cemeteries and then to memorial parks, which are typically located even farther from cities’ centers than earlier rural cemeteries. These new cemetery styles have simpler, more spacious layouts and contain more oblique death symbology than earlier burial spaces. Though the open layout of newer cemeteries is similar to that of medieval burial grounds, their function is markedly different. These new cemeteries are nominally open to all visitors, but their separation from cities and urban residents renders them fundamentally different from former iterations of burial spaces.

Rebecca Noble 25


Without burial policy reform, the future of cemeteries qua cemeteries is limited. Even if burial policy reforms are advanced, cemeteries’ functional role in people’s lives is unnecessarily restricted compared to past periods. However, as the forward-thinking stewards of these cemeteries show, the key to preventing their demise might lie in their history. Reintroducing a variety of uses and users into these spaces could reinvigorate these underutilized spaces and reconnect urban residents to these spaces.

Cemeteries have a lifespan beyond their burial capacities. We must appreciate these spaces and appreciate them in the context of their role in commemorating the dead. Opening cemeteries to more varied uses and users is a way of respecting their value and ushering these spaces into the next phase of their lifespan. Edited by Alex Gallo


There are a several tactics that cemeteries can adopt to remain relevant. Some cemeteries, such as GreenWood, are pivoting to offer cultural and historical services. While this model makes sense for this site, given their architectural significance and historic stature, not many cemeteries have such cachet at their leverage. Other cemeteries have begun to expand their horizons through alternative programming. In Los Angeles, Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosts a popular film series that draws crowds of thousands. Graceland Cemetery in Chicago recently rescinded its biking restriction and is considering expanding programming to allow nature groups inside.

Many cemeteries in England have already felt the acute pinch of limited space and have begun diversifying their services. London’s Highgate Cemetery offers tours of its site, which includes Karl Marx’s grave. Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, also in London, with its dilapidated monuments and densely wooded paths, has become part memorial park, part nature preserve. Its staff members educate visitors about the plants and animals there and host wildlife maintenance workshops for community members. Bristol’s Arnos Vale hosts weddings and formal events, which have become major sources of its revenue.


Cemeteries’ physical removal and functional contraction has decreased urban residents’ use of them. Cemeteries, once rife with life, are now primarily places for burying the dead and storing their remains. In urban areas, many cemeteries are running out of space to fulfill even this purpose. Many of New York City’s most popular cemeteries are nearing capacity. Since cemetery space is necessarily finite, each can accommodate only so many burials under the current burial “in perpetuity” system. Since most of these cemeteries rely on burial plot fees to fund their operations, their future is uncertain. Will cemeteries be able to sustain themselves without their central source of revenue?


05 Dong Xuan Market

Hà Nội, Vietnam 27

06 28

Dong Xuan Market Hà Nội, Vietnam


Wesley Rhodes

“What’s an urban planner?” is a question planner’s are asked constantly, yet can never respond with a succinct answer fully encompassing the field. “We’re kind of like architects… but for cities,” one might say, or “Have you ever played Sim City?” The problem, and ironically the feature that attracts many of us to the field, is that urban planning isn’t just one thing. Peter Hall said “in 1955, the typical newly graduated planner was at the drawing board, producing a diagram of land uses; in 1965, she or he was analyzing computer

output of traffic patterns; in 1975, the same person was talking late into the night with community groups, in the attempt to organize against hostile forces in the world outside.” If anything, this phenomenon has only become more complex with planners expected to be experts in policy, design, GIS and analytics, economic development and community advocacy among others. Two people can have the same job title of “urban planner,” yet have tasks and daily routines which look absolutely nothing alike. Furthermore, many of us will never hold job titles that are explicitly “planner,” as we increasingly infiltrate nontraditional fields.


These requirements almost necessarily insure planners are more generalists than specialists. The result, however, far from being a negative is that the planners’ value lies in the fact that we are socalled “systems thinkers,” able to understand the complexity of interrelations between the dense urban environment’s various actors. Rather than a problem, this trait is one of the field’s biggest assets. However, this can present issues for some planners when they enter the workforce, with many employers hiring for a specialized skill set, rather than recognizing and understanding the value of hiring systems thinkers. It is imperative that the field, and educational institutions, embrace our value as multiskilled, interdisciplinary systems thinkers and do more to educate employers and the public about the value of this approach.


Fortunately, Columbia has embraced the dynamic and interdisciplinary nature of the planning profession and has a plethora of courses to encourage this approach. For those who seek it out, there are ample opportunities to collaborate across GSAPP. For one example, each semester offers several “All GSAPP” courses, many of which seem tailor made for the cross-cutting expertise brought by urban planners. However, I am often amazed when taking these courses that I am the only, or one of relatively few planners enrolled in them. These courses provide a crucial opportunity for planners to work together with our colleagues from the design, engineering, business, and real estate fields to not only discover the value of combining skill sets and working together, but crucially imparting upon our colleagues the value that planners bring to the table.

Columbia, and indeed the City of New York, are the ultimate laboratories to create dynamic, multi-disciplinary planners. However, it’s up to us to embrace our role as systems thinkers, take advantage of the opportunities present, and educate employers and colleagues alike about our unique and advantageous skillset. This can be accomplished by more planners interacting with students in adjacent fields while in school. However, crucially it is up to institutions like GSAPP, as well as the American Planning Association, to continue to educate employers (especially those in increasingly diverse and nontraditional sectors) of the value of hiring planners as highly desirable systems thinkers. Those of us who wind up in journalism or other communications related fields should also continue to advocate about the importance and role of urban planning to citizens writ large. There’s a poor understanding within the general public of urban planning and the crucial role we play in their lives. Many of us within the field weren’t even aware of its existence until college or after we entered the workforce. What’s an urban planner? Someone who understands complex systems and knows how to get stuff done! It’s time we made sure employers, our colleagues, and the general public know that.


Additionally, many of these courses combine multidisciplinary professors and curriculum which are uniquely situated to planners’ skill sets and might encourage more planners to pursue work in nontraditional fields. One such course I am enrolled in this Spring is called Points Unknown. This course is a joint venture between the Center for Spatial Research and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation in the School of Journalism. The course combines the use of journalism and spatial data science through urban planningbased projects. These somewhat nontraditional courses are not only suited to planners’ skill sets, but are helpful in exposing students to opportunities in nontraditional planning fields, such as journalism, at a time in which many students (especially those choosing to study at Columbia) see themselves working outside of traditional urban planning departments.

Edited by Charles Romanow 31

Jakarta is a unique arena to contextualize the process of globalization. The physical manifestation of the globalization process is conspicuous—Japan International Corporation Agency invests in mega subway projects, the Dutch National Capital Integrated Coastal Development engineered a giant sea wall project, modern style office buildings are occupied by the American coffee chain Starbucks, and several Commonwealth Bank of Australia branches are located in the central business areas. As the city becomes modernized with the physical manifestation of globalization a new social class has emerged. 32

Precariat's living space; communal, compact, and vertical


This new social class is known as the "precariat". Standing (2014) defines the precariat as an insecure class that suffers from job uncertainty, volatile monthly earnings, and no social benefits. They are mainly young and skilled migrants from villages who have settled in Jakarta. In order to survive in the city with a corporate entry level salary or through earnings from several freelance jobs, they live in cramped communal spaces, colloquially known as "kontrakan" or "kosan"— the spaces between the modernerized and the informal. The precariat might be able to make ends meet; groceries for the following week, rental before the due date, or travel at the end of the year, yet they struggle to fulfill long-term needs; higher education, housing mortgage, and/or retirement savings. They highly depend on informal entities such as street food carts and parking spaces provided by “kampong”, Jakarta’s “urban irregular settlements” (Kusno, 2013).

It was summer 2017 when I met Shinta (a pseudonym), a 22-year-old bank teller from Bangka, a tiny island close to Sumatra. Shinta has been working in the state bank in central Jakarta for almost a year. She decided to change her career after graduating from a vocational education in midwifery. I supposed Shinta is like many young Indonesians that let the opportunities lead them. Shinta walked me to her place in Kebon Melati, after we had lunch in a nearby shopping mall’s food court. I listened to her attentively when she told her story of how she ended up living in a kosan at Kebon Melati, a kampong adjacent to Sudirman-Hotel Indonesia business complex. “I was looking for an affordable place to live close to my office, so that I don’t have to be cramped in the train every morning,” she told me.

Working inside modernrendered building but depend on informal food stalls

As we walked through a small alley she pointed out the bulky building obscured by street trees and another immense building. Shinta mentioned, “With only 800,000 rupiah (US$ 56), per month I enjoy the luxury of walking for only 10 minutes to my office.” It would be impossible to navigate the alley that led me to Shinta’s place with Google Maps or any kind of navigating applications. However, every alley in Kebon Melati seems like a deliberate pathway that connects dashing office buildings with the kosan. I could see the five-star Grand Hyatt Hotel in a distance. 33

Shinta’s place is a compact 3-story building.“the landlord and her family live on the first floor,” she mentioned as we climbed up to the second floor, where she lives. I noticed several tiny shoe racks and laundry baskets in the hallway, in front of five rooms with wooden doors. After observing the colorful heels inside the shoe racks, I assumed that this floor must be occupied by 5 young woman.

A typical of precariat bedroom; a mattress with personal beloingins


“Please have a seat wherever you like. I'm sorry I don’t have any stools or chairs,” said Shinta as we sat on the floor of her room. Her room reminded me of a college dorm—tiny and modest. I admire how she stacked her handbags and beauty products on the corner of the room.

“I’m so careless about the furniture. I can live without a bed frame. I don’t want to live here forever. If my employer promotes me or if I get a better job, I would l love to move to a better place.” She shifted our conversation into her future expectations, “I would like to buy my own house. I heard it is still affordable in Depok [Jakarta’s neighboring city]. Well, maybe someday…” “We should walk around. There are a bunch of tasty food and snacks around here.” I followed the chirpy Shinta, walking down those small alleys again. I started to spot food carts and smell the savory scent of meatball soup as we came to a wider street. We stopped by a fruit cart to have a snack. As the vendor peeled the mango and jackfruit, I observed the gleaming international bank office buildings, the no more than 4-story kosan, food carts, and motorbikes parked on the street. This scene is the genuine representation of Jakarta: there is a certain symbiotic mutualism

between the modernized and the antiquated, the global and the local, the lavish and the moderate. “My neighborhood has everything, doesn’t it?” Shinta said proudly. We ended our walk at a typical street-corner where we ordered coffees and sat on plastic chairs. We continued to talk about our future expectations. “If I have the change I will go back to school and study business. I want to be able to support a family someday,” she said. While dusk replaced the day, I was thinking of the new precariat, full of dreams and unknowing of what this city holds for them, who will arrive tomorrow. Even after the Maghreb—the fourth of five obligatory prayers that symbolizes the end of a day— calls people back to their home, the streets are bustling. Those who work hard will survive in this city. For the whole day, Shinta and I had exchanged stories and dreams, but as we sipped our coffee, in the pitch of dark, we realized that we share the same sentiment: we want to stay.

Photo by Author Edited by Emily Junker Kusno, A. (2013). After the new order : space, politics, and Jakarta. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Standing, G. (2011). The precariat : the new dangerous class. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic. A corridor inside precariat's living space


07 36

Hang Day Stadium

Đống Đa, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Imagine that you were asked by the mayor to head a project looking at the impact of urban design on the health of city residents and to make recommendations based on your work. For the project to be successful you will need to involve, and ultimately gain support from, architects, engineers, doctors, environmentalists, public health administrators, urban planners, natural resources managers (i.e. parks department), politicians, neighborhood organizations, developers, and ultimately the city’s residents. You might also seek additional funding from the Federal and/or state government as well as private foundations. The process of collaborating, and building support, among individuals and groups that come to the table with different interests, different professional orientations, different educational backgrounds and different life experiences will ultimately result in superior outcomes but only

if the collaboration process is successful. Often projects that require interdisciplinary collaboration fail, and even when they succeed in coming up with good ideas, fail for lack of support to implement those ideas. Innovation often fails to gain traction, not because the ideas are flawed, but rather because the individuals involved in the process fail to have the strategic influencing, consensus building and negotiating skills necessary to bring their ideas to fruition. What are the skills required to, not only successfully manage interdisciplinary teams, but also to gain the support of multiple stakeholders to implement the recommendations of those teams?

INFLUENCING FOR SOCIAL GOOD: Critical Skills for Managing Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Gaining the Support of Multiple Stakeholders Lee Miller 37

Influencing, Negotiating and Communicating: Professor John Hennessy was a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur and engineering professor at Stanford before being becoming department head, dean, provost and university president. He attributed his success in dealing with people from a wide array of disciplines to leadership skills that he quickly needed to learn. “When you move from the field in which you built your career and step into leadership,” he noted, “your technical talent becomes less important, and data becomes just another tool.” Communication skills like telling relevant, compelling and inspiring stories, negotiating solutions to problems that arise when individuals have different priorities and the ability to gain consensus among multiple stakeholders who look at a situation from different perspectives and have different priorities are essential to success


Networking: A well-known college basketball coach is reputed to have said “What matters in winning basketball games is not how well you coach, but who gets on the bus.” Likewise, the ability to solve complex problems, drawing on the expertise and insights of different professional disciplines, requires not only the ability to get team members to work together effectively but also to recruit the right people, that have the right skills, to participate in the project. Building an expansive network will facilitate one’s ability to put together the right team to address a problem. No one person would be expected to personally know all the people that might be appropriate for a specific interdisciplinary project. However, people in your network, if it is sufficiently broad and diverse, will know people, who are likely to know people that can put you in touch with the people that will be able to help you. That is the power of effective networking.

A robust network readily enables someone to geometrically expand his or her contacts by taking advantage of the respective networks of the people in your network. Networking takes time and effort, but the rewards are incalculable. Go out of your way to meet and help accomplished people both inside and outside your professional field of expertise. For people whom networking doesn’t come naturally, it is a skill that can be learned, but mostly it requires taking the time to develop relationships with people with whom you would normally not have contact, at work, through professional and charitable organizations and through your activities. Cultivate relationship by actively staying in contact with, and helping, the people with whom you would like to become part of your network. Building a network is a lifelong activity that requires developing strong relationships individuals in your network, before you ever have a need to call upon them for advice or assistance.

Listening: Most people are not good listener. We tend to focus, not on truly understanding the listener, but rather thinking about how we are going to respond to what the speaker is saying. Listening is even more difficult when you are listening to someone that is trained in a different discipline, has a different set of vocabulary and has a different way of looking at things. Being a better listener will make you more effective working interdisciplinarily and achieving innovative results. Some of the things you can do to be a better listener is to ask many open-ended questions; not interrupt, make people feel comfortable sharing their views, demonstrating an interest in the speaker and genuinely seeking to understand the speaker’s views and why that individual holds those views.

Consensus Building: Success in implementing even well thought out, ideas often is thwarted because of an inability to gain agreement among a multitude of stakeholders. Building coalitions requires both the ability to persuade, and to apply social pressure on, reluctant stakeholders. Building coalitions requires identifying who the key players are; who has relations with whom and which issues can garner support across varied interest groups. Influencing mapping is a key tool that can be used to create coalition-building strategies.

One of the most common reasons that interdisciplinary efforts fail to garner consensus and support for good ideas is the failure to recognize that individuals see situations through different filters and have different priorities. In my Strategic Influencing and Negotiating for Social Good course, we refer to a concept called the “U Perspective.� The U Perspective requires one to understand how the individuals that you need to influence see a given situation and what is important to each. With that understanding, one can gain their support by expressing ideas in a way that is consistent with how they see the situation and showing how your proposal supports their most important priorities (i.e. influencing by leveraging the values of your target audiences). Contrast this with the way we typically seek to influence people and build support.


We are taught to build support by using data driven analysis to present a compelling case, and gaining support by demonstrating why your proposed solution is the “best” approach to solving a compelling problem. I refer to this as influencing through the “Me Perspective.” (Trying to convince your target audiences why they should see the situation the way you do and adopt your values and priorities). Both approaches start with a data driven solution to a problem offering a reasonable likelihood of success. However, in one case you are trying to convince the individuals and groups whose support and resources you need to give priority to your proposal ahead of the many other compelling proposals that they are considering at any given time, based on what you think is important. The U Perspective approach seeks to gain their support based on understanding what they think is important. The former approach often results in good or even great ideas not being implemented because the necessary supporters simply do not share your priorities cannot be persuaded that their existing priorities need to change. Showing why your proposal supports their preexisting beliefs offers a much greater chance of success.


Since our beliefs and values are developed over time, on a subconscious level, most people simply assume that everyone sees the world the way they do. Even when we recognize that someone else sees a situation differently than we do, our first instinct usually is to try to persuade him or her to see things our way. The U Perspective takes the opposite approach. Its effectiveness is not rooted in the ability to convince others to change their views or adopt different values. Instead, its power comes from recognizing what others already believe and providing solutions based on that information. The U Perspective allows you to get what you want by working with another person’s belief system, not challenging it.

Edited by Maria Garces

Lee E Miller is an adjunct associate professor of Urban Planning at Columbia GSAAP who teaches a course on Influencing and Negotiating for Social Good. He is also a lecturer at the United Nations on “Multilateral Negotiations: Sustainable Development and Peaceful and Inclusive Societies and the co-author of Up: Influence, Power and the U Perspective- The Art of Getting What You Want and A Woman’s Guide To Successful Negotiating, selected by Huffington Post as “One of the 16 Must Reads for Aspiring Women Leaders.”


West Lake

Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam


Imagine having a chain on your ankle A chain locked to your responsibility to care for the “house and children.”

But yet, have a good job and be a source of income. Though not too much that you overpower or threaten your partner. And for those of us without a partner, the chain whispers, “time is running out.” So be sure to dress up and “act like a lady for once.” Except don’t distract anyone because you are always “asking for it.”

“Why didn’t you just say no?”

“Is it that time of the month?”

You’re a bitch. You’re naggy.

Obey the rules. Work twice as hard to get ahead, but sorry, your pay will only be 80% of your male counterpart [1]. “Excuse me—let me just re-explain exactly what you just said but it’ll be more true because I’m a man.”

Then suddenly, a disaster hits. 42

Disasters, like non-disaster periods, are a period and place where gender inequality is maintained and reproduced. (Fothergill, 1996)

THE GENDERED CHAINS OF DISASTER The Dangers Women Face Post-Disaster, as told through Stories from Hurricane Katrina Camille Esquivel

Residents of Biloxi, Miss. search through donations for items they need. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the property of many residents of the Mississippi gulf coast. By Mark Wolfe (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Around the world, women [2] are burdened with chains that lock them in a subordinate role within a hierarchical, male-dominate structure. With the increasing severity of climate change triggering more frequent and devastating natural and man-made disasters, evidence suggests that some communities experience these events at more cataclysmic levels. The condition of women’s vulnerabilities are not only reproduced, but often

worsened during and after these events in today’s world. Inevitably, there is a “gendered nature” to all phases of a disaster. From exposure and preparedness, to emergency response and recovery, each phase involves resources, information, and networks that are socially constructed and distributed that inadvertently disadvantages women due to their relative lack of power and control in society.


2005’s superstorm Hurricane Katrina caused the largest displacement of persons in United States history (Peek et al, 2008). With New Orleans under mandatory evacuation, hundreds of thousands of residents sought temporary shelter throughout the region and United States. And despite social stratifications of race or class, women were primarily responsible for this relocation as an extension of their gendered roles as caretakers in the domestic sphere (Peek et al, 2008). Intersectionality, the confluence of different identities such as gender, race, and class, compounds the difficulties of this relocation. During Hurricane Katrina, low-income African Americans primarily occupied the federally funded emergency shelters in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas (Brodie et al, 2006). Unfortunately, relocation sites often provided more grief than relief in the wake of disasters. Shelters during Hurricane Katrina were overcrowded and understaffed due to the region’s overall under preparedness for such magnitude of a storm (Peek et al, 2008). There was a complete breakdown of law and order during early phases of relocation which created a dangerous environment for women (Thornton et al, 2007). Charmaine Neville, a displaced resident who sought haven in a school44

turned-shelter recounts her experience (Thornton et al, 2007):

I had lain down and gone to sleep and somebody woke me up. They put their hand over my mouth, and a knife to my throat, and said... ‘If you don’t do what I want, I’m gonna kill you and then I’ll do what I want to you anyway and throw your body over the side of the building.’ Though some offenses were reported (only 47 reported for this event) [3], all incidents were surely not accounted for which provides us with an inadequate understanding of the real statistics on crimes such as rape and sexual assault during the early stages of a disaster (Thornton et al, 2007). Beyond the societal stigmas inhibiting women from self-reporting those crimes in non-disaster scenarios, in several cases, there were even greater barriers to reporting during disaster scenarios. For many, there was no

authority to report to and in some instances, when reported to a first-responder, the statements were not recorded due to more “lifethreatening” priorities or the fact that reports had to be made in the locality where the assault took place (Thornton et al, 2007). This aligns with a common delusion that in the wake of an emergency, there are are more “important” issues that take precedent beyond women’s health.

of quiet spaces to nurse and put younger children down for naps (this is evident in shelters where large areas are used like arenas).

Thousands of hurricane Katrina survivors from New Orleans are bussed to refuge at a Red Cross shelter in the Houston Astrodome.

A daycare director in the Cajundome in Lafayette describes:

By Andrea Booher/FEMA (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In these evacuation shelters, another challenge for women is childcare. Generally, shelters are viewed as unsafe spaces for children where direct supervision is necessary (Peek et al, 2008). This pushes the caretaking role of a woman to an extreme, especially for those who do not have help or relief. Though some daycare support from volunteers is offered in some shelters, this is often not provided for all age groups so women with young infants or older youth have to provide their own child care. The chaos of the shelter itself also presents a quality of care issue as some mothers struggled with privacy and the unavailability

This one woman had been in the Superdome with her autistic son, who was 18. Big boy, too, tall boy. And she just was so timid and frightened. She would have to feed him by hand, and he was like all over the place. She said she had to change his diaper, and the women wouldn’t let her in the women’s room, ‘cause he was older, and she couldn’t go in the men’s room. And to get a plate of food, you had to stay in line. And you couldn’t get two plates. But she couldn’t [get him to stay in line]. By this time she was just about crazy. They had put her out of the special needs unit at one place. Then they put ‘em in a hospital. Then they sent them to this special needs unit. Then they pulled them again. I don’t know where they went. I lost track of them. It was the most horrible thing. I thought she was gonna crack up, I really did. But nobody was helping her.


Until now, I have been primarily speaking of the challenges women face with the assumption that women are primarily heterosexual. This limited lens fails to address the compounded disadvantage of those who do not follow a heteronormative lifestyle and are need of gender sensitive aid and gender neutral facilities (Doan, 2011). In fact, many of the women who were affected by the storm did not fit the traditional heterosexual image of “woman” (D’Ooge, 2008). For example, the lack of acknowledgement towards gender sensitive planning led to the ostracization of transgender women postKatrina. Sharli’e Dominique, a transgender person who identifies as a woman, was arrested after taking a shower in the women’s restroom of Texas A&M University’s shelter (D’Ooge, 2008). Not only was Dominique traumatically displaced into a shelter, she was also dehumanized for the simple act of taking a shower in a place aimed to be a haven from crisis. Another account describes different types of clothing being distributed for women and men that were explicit to gender stereotypes. These restrictions deny people like Dominique from receiving adequate aid.


This list of vulnerabilities within the site context of evacuation shelters begins to show the consequences of not addressing the role of gender in disaster and emergency planning. Through this analysis, we can begin to see the parallels between gender roles present in non-disaster times in society and roles that play out in disaster scenarios. A woman’s reproductive and caretaking role becomes extended and strained. The supportive, quiet role that women are traditionally subjected to is not recognized nor acknowledged in either scenario. On the other hand, men are expected to do the “real” work of protecting and saving society. Hurricane Katrina survivors arrive at the Houston Astrodome Red Cross Shelter after being evacuated from New Orleans. Thousands of survivors are at the Astrodome after the Superdome became unsafe following the levee breaks in New Orleans. By Andrea Booher/FEMA (This image is from the FEMA Photo Library.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Notes: [1] Based on statistic provided by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) regarding the gender pay gap. [2] In this paper, “women” and “female” is inclusive of trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who identify as female. [3] According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Centre (2006), only 47 cases of sexual assaults were reported. Majority of the sexual assaults occurred in public buildings, with 31% of reported cases occurring at evacuation sites and shelters. Of these 47 cases, close to 40% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victims and almost all cases (93%) were male attackers. This gender-based violence is just one of the many vulnerabilities women face in a shelter.

The inequality between men and women’s gender roles is apparent in the representation in positions of power, and control and leadership during the different levels of responses during recovery. Fothergill (1995) points out that women are largely absent in the formal and higher levels of emergency management, a fact that is reflected at the community-based level as well. The stereotype of “hysterical housewife” prevails at a societal level, causing little faith and legitimacy being questioned when women are in leadership. How can women’s needs be addressed and prioritized without women advocating on either level?

Ultimately, it is evident that the integration of intersectional gender analysis into vulnerability assessments is crucial to begin addressing the issues discussed above. With a vulnerabilityoriented approach and further prioritization to understanding the needs of marginalized communities such as women, disaster planning can have larger impacts upon social transformation (Enarson, 2000).

Through this, the chains of gendered divisions of power and opportunity can be unlocked when the keys of empowerment are given to the women to whom they belong. Edited by Emily Junker

References: D’ooge, Charlotte. “Queer Katrina: Gender and Sexual Orientation Matters in the Aftermath of the Disaster.” Katrina and the Women of New Orleans, 2008, 22–4. Doan, P. L. (2011). Why question planning assumptions and practices about queer spaces. Queerying planning: Challenging heteronormative assumptions and reframing planning practice, 1-18. Eisenman, David P. et al. Disaster Planning and Risk Communication with Vulnerable Communities: Lessons From Hurricane Katrina. American Journal of Public Health, 2007. Enarson, E. P. (2000). Gender and natural disasters. Geneva: ILO. Fainstein, S. S. (2005). Planning theory and the city. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 25(2), 121-130. Fothergill, Alice. The neglect of gender in disaster work: An overview of the literature. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 1996. Moser, Caroline O. N. Gender Planning and Development Theory, Practice, and Training. London; New York: Routledge, 1993. http://site. ebrary.com/id/10060589. Neumayer, Eric, and Thomas Plümper. “The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981–2002.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97, no. 3 (2007): 551–566. Peek, Lori, and Alice Fothergill. “Displacement, Gender, and the Challenges of Parenting after Hurricane Katrina.” NWSA Journal 20, no. 3 (2008): 69–105. Sandercock, L., & Forsyth, A. (1992). A gender agenda: New directions for planning theory. Journal of the American Planning Association, 58(1), 49-59. Thornton, W. E., & Voigt, L. (2007). Disaster rape: Vulnerability of women to sexual assaults during Hurricane Katrina. Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, 13(2), 23-49.


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Ngọc Hà, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam


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