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Faculty News Archives 2016

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MPP Celebrates 15 Years and Releases 2016 Report
December 7, 2016
UEP is celebrating the 15th anniversary of our mid-career Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. Since 2002, the MPP program has attracted almost 130 mid-career professionals from the fields of urban, social, and environmental policy. Read more >

Teaching Democracy Symposium Shares Popular Education Methods
November 18, 2016
On November 18, 2016, more than 50 students, faculty, and community partners came together to learn about and discuss ways to use community and popular education based methods, which arise from community organizing and empowerment practices. Teaching Democracy is a training and web platform for building capacity to use popular and community-based education methods. It was developed by a design team of faculty, staff, students, and community partners, led by UEP Lecturer Penn Loh and funded by a Tufts Innovates grant. The symposium featured a panel of participants in the 2-day pilot training held in April 2016, including a recent Tufts BA graduate, a planner with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, senior staff member of Somerville Community Corporation, and an American Studies lecturer. Participants, about half of whom were from community partner organizations, discussed the need to further support the development of these skills for use in the university and community.

Professor Julian Agyeman and UEP/Friedman student Caitlin Matthews published a review article in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources
"Trends and directions in environmental justice: from inequity to everyday life, community, and just sustainabilities" (Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2016. 41:321–40)
November 1, 2016
The article begins with a review and synthesis of some of the key theories, scholars, case examples, debates, methods, and (multiple) interpretations of environmental justice (EJ), as well as its expansion and globalization. We then look to some newly emerging themes, actions, and strategies for EJ and just sustainabilities. First, we look at the practices and materials of everyday life, illustrated by food and energy movements; second, the ongoing work on community and the importance of identity and attachment, informed by urban planning, food, and climate concerns; third, the growing interest in the relationship between human practices and communities and nonhuman nature. We also expand on the longstanding interest in just sustainabilities within this movement, illustrated by a wide range of concerns with food, energy, and climate justice. These new areas of work illustrate both recent developments and a set of paths forward for both the theory and practice of EJ.

Justin Hollander on Planning for the Decline of Cities
October 24, 2016
UEP associate professor Justin Hollander was recently interviewed on New Zealand's public radio station with regards to the strategy cites can use when planning to shrink in size. He examines how the practice of smart decline can be used for areas of New Zealand that are ageing.

UEP Hosts Colloquium on Making Black Lives Matter
October 19, 2016
On October 19, 2016, more than 60 students, faculty, and community members gathered for a panel on "Making Black Lives Matter through Policy and Planning." This session featured a panel of two UEP mid-career MPP alumni and a current MPP student. Abrigal Forrester, director of Community Action at Madison Park Community Development Corporation, spoke about his personal experiences of being devalued by the school system and then his own incarceration under the mandatory minimum sentence law. Melissa Colón, a former teacher and researcher on educational inequities, talked about the structural inequities that deprive Black and Latino boys from advancing in public schools, and encouraged the audience to disrupt the trend of not talking about these structures. Bob Terrell, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, urged decision makers to hire people from the community to do the research and planning, instead of hiring outside consultants. This session continued UEP's dialogue on how policy and planning professionals and the university can play a role in transforming structures so that all lives matter.

UEP's Prof Emeritus James Jennings and Visiting Practitioner May Louie have just published articles in the Trotter Review’s latest issue on gentrification, "Pushed Out, Pushing Back."
October 4, 2016
James' piece is "Gentrification as Anti-Local Economic Development: The Case of Boston, Massachusetts." May's piece is "Community Land Trusts: A Powerful Vehicle For Development without Displacement." All the articles can be downloaded for free.

Julian Agyeman in The Boston Globe: Apps Don't Make Cities Smart
August 13, 2016
UEP Professor Julian Agyeman recently wrote an article in the Globe about how the applications we use for our smart phones are not the end-all for bringing about change to our cities. He argues that smart technology should be used by cities to bring about a shared agenda for developing democratic, participatory visions.

UEP helps launch Greater Boston Community Land Trust Network
May 2, 2016
UEP Lecturer Penn Loh and UEP Field Project students have been partnering to support the Greater Boston Community Land Trust Network. Loh was interviewed about community land trusts on Boston Neighborhood Network News on April 20, 2016 - watch video clip. A report, Building a Livable Boston, by a UEP Field Project student team was released at the Network's launch on April 27, 2016. The report outlines the potential benefits of community land trusts in Boston and policy recommendations for the City. The Network is facilitated by the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and includes Chinatown Community Land Trust, City Life/Vida Urbana, The Coalition for Occupied Homes in Foreclosure (COHIF), Dudley Neighbors, Inc., Mattapan United, New England United for Justice, The Urban Farming Institute, Greater Bowdoin/Geneva Neighborhood Association, Alternatives for Community and Environment and Boston Tenant Coalition. Other coverage of the launch can be found in the Dorchester Reporter and Next City.

Professor Wu testifies before U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
April 29, 2016
UEP Professor and Chair Weiping Wu was invited to testify before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, on April 27. The hearing focused on China's 13th Five-Year Plan, and Professor Wu addressed issues related to China's New Urbanization Plan and fiscal reform and their implications for U.S. economic interests. Her written testimony is available on the Commission's website.

Rosalind Greenstein Interviewed as Expert for City Spending Article for WalletHub
April 20, 2016
UEP Professor Rosalind Greenstein was recently interviewed by WalletHub, a personal finance website, as an expert on how cities spend their money. The questions asked about issues facing city governments today and how cities can function better with better finances. The article "2016's Cities with the Most Efficient Public Spending" assessed how efficiently some of America's largest urban centers spend on essential needs, primarily education, law enforcement, and parks and recreation. Learn more >

Justin Hollander's Research into Big Data for Urban Planning
January 22, 2016
UEP Professor Justin Hollander was recently mentioned in the "At Lincoln House" blog for his working paper on using the social media data from Twitter to compare cities growing and shrinking with regards to public attitudes. Examining 50 shrinking and 50 growing cities, collecting more than 300,000 tweets over two months, they found no significant difference in the attitudes of residents in shrinking cities and growing cities. "At Lincoln House" is the blog of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Read more >

Julian Agyeman on Sharing Cities Article in Boston Globe
January 20, 2016
UEP Professor Julian Agyeman was recently featured in the Boston Globe regarding creating smart sharing cities that focus communally rather than economically. Looking at how innovative applications like AirBnB and Uber can cause disruption in cities, he calls for a more social and physical world sharing as we do with share on social media. online. Learn more >