Jean Boebel Chair in Historic Preservation
Assistant Professor, Department of Planning & Urban Studies
University of New Orleans
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An urban planning scholar, educator and practitioner, Fallon Samuels Aidoo analyzes and advances equitable adaption of built environments to new uses and users. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning and Certificate in GIS from Harvard University, where she researched diversity and inclusion in transportation planning and policymaking. Her most recent publications in the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (2017) and Spatializing Politics (2016) focus, for instance, on transportation sector participation by family trusts, nonprofit corporations and grassroots actors throughout the civil rights era. Forthcoming publications and projects illuminate community and corporate investment in the grey infrastructure greening initiatives of post-industrial cities. At the UNO Transportation Institute, an incubator of transportation equity locally and transport innovation nationally, she evaluates how foundations and friends groups site, secure and sustain Rail-Trails.
Fallon has practiced historic preservation and cultural resources management since 2005, when she earned degrees in structural/civil engineering and architecture degrees from Columbia University. Her professional experience working with and for stakeholders in urban resilience and revitalization includes Planning & Design Guidelines, Historic Structures Reports, Preservation Plans, Cultural Resources Management Policies, and Civic Data Visualization Projects. Before joining the University of New Orleans (UNO) faculty in 2017, she also taught architectural history and historic preservation to design and planning students of Northeastern University's School of Architecture (2015-2016), Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (2009-2013), and MIT's School of Architecture and Planning (2006-2007). Her pedagogy of participatory-action research and community-based learning has yielded critical resources for placemaking and place-based organizing as well as urban design, planning and development. In 2013, for instance, she co-taught an interdisciplinary strategic planning studio with MacArthur Fellow Damon Rich and Hector Design Service's Jae Shin that produced the Newark River Access Guide (2013) and a scaled model of public access to Newark's Passaic Riverfront for the City of Newark, NJ--mobilization media of the MCJ Amelior Foundation, Ironbound Community Development Corp. and other advocates for equitable reclamation and redevelopment of Newark's riverfront.
Fallon remains, since the start of her career at multidisciplinary, global consulting firms like HNTB Architecture and DMJM Harris, a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives of the architecture, planning, preservation and engineering professions. She has directed Pre-College Initiatives of the National Society of Black Engineers in the northeastern states; undertaken participatory-action research as AIA Visiting Scholar at the National Building Museum; mobilized CDC participation in the Boston Area Research Initiative as founder of The TOD Partnership; incorporated community-based organizations in a global research initiative--The Transforming Urban Transport Project at Harvard's Graduate School of Design); and edited Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place (Harvard Univ. Press, 2016), architectural, urban and geographical studies of social conflict and political consensus around the world.