Inquiry via Action. Action via Inquiry

I am a resilience and preservation planner driven by the participatory praxis of project-based teaching and community-based research.


academic RESEARCH

Employing a mixed-methods approach that includes archival research, participant-observation and spatial statistics, I undertake and advise case studies and comparative studies of:

  • the right to the city, specifically the effect of preservation regulations and review processes that control the appearance, condition or use of the built environment

  • community and corporate philanthropy in preservation planning, policy, and practice

  • the agency of preservation trusts and advocates in urban design and development

  • public-private partnership in historic and cultural preservation 

  • hazard mitigation and disaster recovery grant programs, esp. rehabilitation and revitalization funding for historic structures

  • the design of community adaptation and preservation programs, e.g. legacy businesses and legacy homeowners

  • the role of historic preservation in the revitalization of disinvested neighborhoods and commercial corridors, including communities of color

  • the right to historic preservation in special hazard areas, especially postwar ‘new towns’ and coastal communities

  • the regulation of hazards mitigation in historic districts and heritage areas

  • the privatization of public asset preservation, including but not limited to the roles and responsibilities of “friends groups” for industrial heritage and infrastructural resources

    I share research not only via academic publications (here) and conferences (e.g. ACSP, UAA, SACRPH, AAG), but also through the symposia and summits of professional and public-serving organizations. My work, in turn, appears in exhibitions of engaged scholarship such as:

    • Now What? Advocacy, Activism and Alliances in American Architecture (2018)

    • AIA Women in Architecture, New York-New Orleans Design + Practice Exchange (2019)

  • Ongoing comparative studies and case studies of preservation practices amidst disaster recovery was presented at several events, recently:

    • Democracy in Retreat? Master Planning in a Warming World (Tulane, Columbia and UNO, 2019);

    • Heritage at Risk: Climate Changes to Historic Preservation (UNO, 2019); the Anthropocene River Campus (HKW, 2019), and

    • Climate, Infrastructure and Emergency Powers (Columbia University, 2018);

    • Preservation and Social Inclusion (Columbia University / World Monuments Fund, 2018).

community-engaged studios & seminars

I currently teach urban design, planning and preservation in the Planning and Urban Studies department of the University of New Orleans, after years of teaching in the Architecture departments of Northeastern University, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and MIT. The development, decline, revitalization and resilience of American cities and suburbs are my areas of expertise.

The studios I coordinate and seminars I lead encourage students to think critically about the role of planners and preservationists in creating resilient, just cities while contesting injustice and inequality. I place the projects, practices and problems of practitioners—past and present—at the core of planning and preservation education to ensure emergent practitioners address vulnerabilities and inequities of the built environment.

SPRING 2018 - MASTER PLANNING - Gentilly Resilience District Design Overlays (Studio Partner: City of New Orleans, Office of Resilience and Sustainability)

FALL 2018 - URBANISM & URBAN DESIGN - Pontchartrain Park Design Guide (Studio Partner: New Orleans Redevelopment Authority)

FALL 2019 - URBANISM & URBAN DESIGN - A Flood of Change: Broad Street since 2005 (Studio Partners: Propeller, Broad Community Connections, South Broad Street Business Alliance)

FALL 2019 - RISK & EQUITY - A multidisciplinary Seminar on the Anthropocene of Mississippi River communities, sponsored by Berlin-based HKW & Max Plank Institute; co-organized by Christopher Oliver (Tulane), Scott Knowles (Drexel) and Buhm Soon Park (KAIST)