Anne Whiston Spirn is an award-winning author and distinguished landscape architect, photographer, teacher, and scholar. Her work is devoted to promoting life-sustaining communities: places that are functional, sustainable, meaningful, and artful, places that help people feel and understand the relationship of the natural and built worlds. Spirn, a professor of landscape architecture and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the author of three books: The Granite Garden; The Language of Landscape; and Daring to Look. Since 1987, Spirn has directed the West Philadelphia Landscape Project, an action research program integrating research, teaching and community service, which was cited as a Model of Best Practice at a 1999 White House summit for leading scholars and artists in public life. Spirn’s book-in-progress, Top-Down/Bottom-Up: Rebuilding the Landscape of Community, describes this research-in-action and its lessons for building safer, healthier, and more equitable and sustainable communities.
Gabriella Carolini is an assistant professor in the International Development Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Her research focuses on the dynamic relationship between social and fiscal responsibilities in the public sector, exploring the interaction of fiscal and administrative reforms with planning for infrastructure and public health in vulnerable urban and peri-urban communities in the global South. Her work is largely based within Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, regions where she specifically studies how South-South cooperation and project evaluation practices impact urban development, particularly with regard to water and sanitation services and community health. Gabriella has actively engaged in research and projects in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, and South Africa. She has served as the lead co-chair of the Global Planning Educators’ Interest Group within the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and within MIT works as a collaborating member of the Displacement Research and Action Network, the Faculty Council of the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), the MIT-AFRICA Advisory Committee, and advisor to the Urban Africa student initiative.
Ingrid Gould Ellen, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, is Director of the Urban Planning Program at NYU Wagner and Faculty Director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. She joined the NYU Wagner faculty in the fall of 1997 and presently teaches courses in microeconomics, urban economics, and urban policy. Professor Ellen's research interests center on housing and urban policy. She is author of Sharing America's Neighborhoods: The Prospects for Stable Racial Integration (Harvard University Press, 2000) and has written numerous journal articles and book chapters related to housing policy, community development, and school and neighborhood segregation. Before coming to NYU, Professor Ellen held visiting positions at the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution. She attended Harvard University, where she received a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics, an M.P.P., and a Ph.D. in public policy.
Heba Allah Essam E. Khalil is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University, and she has 16 years of academic and professional experience. She teaches and conducts research in community development, informal areas, and integrated urban systems with several publications. She has built a number of international research partnerships focusing on urban metabolism and improving urban micro-climate in highly dense cities through meta-flow analysis, simulation and participatory action research. She has also worked as an architect, urban planner and housing expert with multi-scale agencies, authorities and clients both local and international. She is currently at MIT learning about innovative theories and policies for sustainable urbanism, resource efficiency & related implementation institutions and building partnerships with practitioners/ researchers to help create a new planning and design practice for Arab countries based in Cairo.
Tigist Kassahun Temesgen is a practicing professional architect and urbanist in Ethiopia. She heads the design and planning department at Transport Consult International. She is a lecturer at EiABC- Addis Ababa University and also works as an expert and consultant at the UN Industrial Development Organization. She focuses on design and research in urbanism, spatial planning, building and construction. She holds a BSc in Architecture and Urban Planning; Masters in Human Settlement and MSc in Urbanism and Strategic Planning. At MIT, she is exploring on ecological & equitable urbanism focusing on the role of gender in spatial planning-- how to design equitable inclusiveness in an eco-urban environment for a 'Fair’ and ‘Transparent’ City at various scales in rapidly urbanizing countries.
Moderated by Jessica Myers (MCP '17)