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.


comparative analysis of conservancy praxis

Comparative research explores who has the right and responsibility to produce, plan, maintain, manage and safeguard critical infrastructure for urban resilience and suburban sustainability. Mixed-methods case studies of community and corporate philanthropy in transportation planning, policy and preservation highlight the wide range of nonprofits--from citizens councils and CDCs to conservancies and corporate foundations--that shape the development and design, management and maintenance of Legacy systems (aging and abandoned infrastructure) in legacy cities (post-industrial cities). 

participatory-action research+ place-based pedagogy

To advance equity in stewardship of the public realm, I facilitate co-learning amongst "friends" of streetscapes, greenways and other infrastructure for transport and mobility. Digital histories and data storytelling of public space funding, programming, planning and development--the product of proseminar and practica in 'networked urbanism--show strategies for cultural resilience at the municipal and metropolitan scale rarely include capacity building and collaboration amongst community-based organizations. Combining participatory-action research and place-based pedagogy, the TOD Partnership, a nonprofit alliance I organized, brings city, corridor and community leaders into conversation about innovative and equitable transportation strategies of the public, private and nonprofit/philanthropic sectors.

community-engaged learning & scholarship 

Community-engaged scholarship on civil society not only affords the opportunity to empower nonprofit organizations, but also to educate urban planners, policymakers, designers and developers. At Northeastern University, I teach urban research methods to budding restoration architects, sustainability planners, cultural resources managers and chief resilience officers. I also advise students seeking to assess and address vulnerabilities in the built environment. Previously, at Harvard University, I developed and taught a broad range of courses and workshops on the development and design of American cities. Whether the focus is General Education for undergraduate students studying 'The US in the World' or specialized training in preservation planning for urban design degree candidates, my aim is to engender diverse ways of knowing, producing and transforming networked cities and community networks. 


In Trusts We Trust: Priming CONRAIL Station-Houses & Tenants for Gentrification," SACRPH--Society for American City and Regional Planning History (Oct 2017)

"The CONRAIL Conservancies Cultivating Resilient Cities," ACSP--American Collegiate Schools of Planning, Annual Meeting (Oct 2017)

"A Third Reconstruction of the Right to Work on Rights-of-Way," Activist Scholarship Session of the Urban Affairs Association (April 2017)

"Saving Center City: CONRAIL, CDCs and Emergency Aid for Commuter Connections," Urban History Association (October 2016) [Session: 'Conflict and Consensus on Critical Infrastructure for Urban Resilience,' chair: Scott Knowles]

“Diversity in Disaster: Race, Gender, Disability, Sexuality and Technology,” Society for the History of Technology, Singapore, June 2016 [Session Organizer; Panel chair: Ashley Carse]


"The Red Arrow Lines," Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. Published online in September 2017

Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place, eds. Delia ba Duong Wendel and Fallon Samuels Aidoo (Harvard University Press, Harvard Design Studies Series, 2016)...reviewed in Technology & Culture (2017)

“Rights-of-Way: Critical Infrastructure for the Right to Work in Postwar Philadelphia" and "A Conversation with Toni L. Griffin" in Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place (2016)

"In Trusts we Trust: Advocacy & Authority in Grey Infrastructure Greening," journal article in review

"Rights-of-Way in the Post-Civil Rights Era: The Radical Planning & Respectability Politics of West Side Rail Development Foundation,"journal article in development