Geeta Mehta

Geeta Mehta is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia GSAPP and has worked on design projects in India, China, Austria, France, Ukraine, Colombia, Brazil, Jamaica, Ghana and Kenya. She received her B. Arch from the School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, M.S. AUD from Columbia GSAPP, and her Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo.

Mehta is the founder and president of Asia Initiatives, a nonprofit organization founded in 1999 that has supported over 200 micro credit banks, 40 village knowledge centers, and supported education and technology initiatives in partnership with local partners in developing countries. Geeta has also innovated the concept of Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) inspired by carbon credits and airline points. This breakthrough virtual currency for social good is currently in use in India, Ghana, Kenya and the USA. SoCCs incentivize people to undertake projects in waste management, tree planting, neighborhood improvements and river restoration in their communities and earn SoCCs. SoCCs are then redeemed for telephone talk time, healthcare, education and skill empowerment. Prof. Pedro Sanchez, Director of Columbia’s Tropical Agriculture and the Rural Environment Program, World Food Prize recipient and a MacArthur Fellow, has praised SoCCs as “the most transformative and simple idea since Mohammad Yunus launched the micro credit movement.”

Mehta is also the co-founder of “URBZ: User Generated Cities,” located in Mumbai, with Rahul Srivastava and Matias Echanove. URBZ undertakes activist research, and works with underserved communities to help them transform their neighborhoods through advocacy and by improving public spaces and homes. Magazine dell’Architettura ranked URBZ among the 100 most influential design organizations in 2011.

Geeta currently serves on the board of Women Strong International and The Center for Living Cities. She is also on the board of advisors of Millennium Cities Initiative at the Earth Institute of Columbia University and Friends of the University of Tokyo. She has also served as the president of the American Institute of Architects’ Japan Chapter.

Mehta co-authored six books while she lived in Tokyo, including City Connect: Regeneration, Equity and Sustainability in the 21stCentury. Her upcoming book Building Social Capital by Design will be published by GSAPP in 2018. She is a frequent juror for international design competitions and a speaker at international forums related to urban design and social capital. Geeta was honored as one of the 21 leaders of the 21st century by Women’s eNews in 2015, as customer of the year for community leadership by HSBC in 2017, and as the Architect of Women’s Empowerment by BOFFO in 2018.

Geeta Mehta at Public2015
Lecture held at Public2015 Ideas Forum in Perth, Australia.

Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
A6851‑1 Spring 2018
Urban Design Studio III
Sp18 ud fanurbanism wangchuangtsaiguo 01c
Sp18 ud fanurbanism wangchuangtsaiguo 02
Sp18 ud fanurbanism wangchuangtsaiguo dia
Kate Orff, Ziad Jamaleddine, Laura Kurgan, Nora Akawi, Geeta Mehta, Julia Watson, Dilip da Cunha
M & TH 1:30 PM - 6 :30 PM, F 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Full Semester
9 Points
73646
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