Urban design is a spatial act, changing the face and shape of neighborhoods. It is also an inherently political act carried out by people and institutions. This panel will illuminate innovative approaches to overcome spatial inequities brought about by decades of systemic biases in policies, politics, and culture. As much as design and policy might have contributed to historic wrongs, design can play a role in strengthening the resiliency of people and communities that have endured long-standing ordeals, and helping them work towards justice.
Ifeoma Ebo, Director of Strategic Design Initiatives, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Dorothy Le Suchkova, Program Manager of Place-based Strategies, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Sarah Williams, Associate Professor of Technology and Urban Planning; Director of Civic Data Design Lab, MIT
moderatey by Shin-pei Tsay
Ifeoma Ebo is an urban designer and strategist with 20 years of international experience working at diverse scales including building, community and city design. As the Director of Strategic Design Initiatives with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, she leads the interagency design and built environment initiatives to transform the public realm while addressing public safety and social justice in marginalized communities across NYC. Ifeoma is a 2016 Forefront Fellow of the NYC Urban Design Forum and Next City Vanguard Fellow. She serves on Advisory Boards for BlackSpaceNYC, the Association for Community Design and the NYC Museum of Modern Art. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and a Masters in City Planning and Urban Design from MIT.
Dorothy Le Suchkova is currently the Program Manager of Place-Based Strategies for the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ). In her work, she supports MOCJ’s placemaking strategies to increase neighborhood safety and well-being. Prior to MOCJ, Dorothy was Director of Capacity Building at The Horticultural Society of New York’s Neighborhood Plaza Program, where she worked in depth with 14 community-based organizations to support public space management and share best practices across the network of plaza managers. In addition to placemaking, Dorothy has experience in active transportation, advocacy, and equity planning. She obtained her MCRP at Rutgers and undergraduate degree at UCLA.
Sarah Williams is currently an Associate Professor of Technology and Urban Planning. She also is Director of the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning. The Civic Data Design Lab works with data, maps, and mobile technologies to develop interactive design and communication strategies that expose urban policy issues to broader audiences.
Trained as a Geographer (Clark University), Landscape Architect (University of Pennsylvania), and Urban Planner (MIT), Williams’s work combines geographic analysis and design. Williams is most well known for her work as part of the Million Dollar Blocks team which highlighted the cost of incarceration, Digital Matatus which developed the first data set on a informal transit system searchable in Google Maps, and a more a recent project that uses social media data to understand housing vacancy and Ghost Cities in China.
Free and open to the public.
Organized by the Urban Design program.