NextCity Vanguards, 2018 Cohort
African American Design Nexus, Advisory Board
Louisiana Landmarks Society, Board of Trustees
An urban planning scholar, educator and practitioner, Fallon Samuels Aidoo analyzes and advances equitable adaption of built environments to new uses and users, risks and stressors. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning and Certificate in GIS from Harvard University, where she researched diversity and inclusion in planning and preservation. Her recent and current projects focus on the limits of DIY preservation, specifically the partnerships that friend groups, neighborhood associations and grassroots actors form with private foundations, public utility companies, municipal officials and state agencies. Supported by local, national and global foundations (e.g. MCJ Amelior Foundation, Graham Foundation, Volvo Research & Education Foundation), her projects and publications illuminate corporate and community investment in grey infrastructure greening such as rail-trails and canal reconstruction. Her equity-driven engagements in heritage research and revitalization have also earned recognition from academic and professional organizations. In 2015, the American Studies Association invited her to join the Digital City Institute, and NextCity selected her in 2018 to join its international community of Vanguards in urban transformation.
For nearly two decades, Fallon has lead diversity, equity and inclusion programs of the architecture, planning, preservation and engineering professions as well. Her engaged research and pedagogy shapes university-community partnerships, specifically that of University of New Orleans’ Planning & Urban Studies Department (2018-), Northeastern University’s School of Architecture (2015-2017), Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (2009-2017) and MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (2005-2007). Fallon has directed Pre-College Initiatives of the National Society of Black Engineers (2004-05); advised archivists, curators and strategic planners of the American Institute of Architects (2008), National Building Museum (2008) and Harvard Graduate School of Design (2017-); mobilized Main Street participation in the Boston Area Research Initiative (2015-2016); incorporated community-based organizations in a global research initiative of Harvard and the Volvo Research & Education Foundation’s Transforming Urban Transport Project (2014-2016); co-organized the first of the renowned Black in Design symposia (2015); and co-edited, Spatializing Politics: Essays on Power and Place (Harvard Univ. Press, 2016), which is currently featured in the traveling exhibition, Now What? Advocacy, Activism and Alliances in American Architecture (2018).
Fallon is the founder and principal of Arch.Land.Urban, a preservation consulting firm that practices what she teaches: inclusive planning of community adaptation and resilience. Prior to founding her firm, she developed preservation plans for LaGuardia Airport, the Newark (NJ) Riverfront and Boston Main Streets with the architects, landscape architects, urban designers and engineers of multidisciplinary consulting firms such as HNTB, DMJM, Ochsendorf DeJong and Hector Design Services. Her professional experience working with and for stakeholders in urban resilience and revitalization also includes Planning & Design Guidelines, Historic Structures Reports, Cultural Resources Management Policies, and Civic Data Visualization Projects for cultural institutions like the Smithsonian’s Architectural History and Historic Preservation Division. She now practices preservation and resilience planning in New Orleans with grassroots and governmental advocates for community adaptation to economic and environmental risks. Fallon currently serves on the Advisory Board of the African American Design Nexus and the Board of Trustees of Louisiana Landmarks Society.
Ph.D. in Urban Planning, Harvard University (Planning History; Risk & Resilience)
M.S. Architecture Studies, MIT (Preservation Technology + Architectural History)
B.S. Civil Engineering & Architecture, Columbia University (Historic Structures)