Kate Dunham is an urban designer, researcher and teacher with more than twenty
years experience working in New York and Asia. She currently teaches a seminar at
Columbia GSAPP and guest lectures on subjects related to urban housing and
planning codes. Her courses offer an international perspective on urban planning and
the opportunity to learn from different planning models from around the world.
Kate has worked in both the public and private sectors on a range of projects from the
small-scale installation of landscaped bike lanes in Queens Plaza, NY to the planning
of new urban districts all over China. In New York, in addition to her work with SOM
and BH, she spent nine years at the NY Department of City Planning overseeing urban
design for Long Island City projects including the 2006 LIC rezoning and numerous
public space initiatives. In China, first with SOM and then Arup, she worked on a
number of sustainability-driven master plans which lead to her particular interest in
China’s planning codes and their impacts on China’s urban planning practices.
Kate has also led research projects in Asia and the USA. Since her design student
days at Harvard GSD, she has always had an interest in looking at urban housing
typologies that work at high densities. In the mid-1990s, with grants from Fulbright and
the Harvard Druker Fellowship, she conducted research and analysis of different living
patterns of non-family shared households in cities in Asia and the USA. While working
in China, she initiated and led an Arup-funded project to research the impact of China’s
residential planning codes on urban development patterns called Towards Sustainable
Residential Development in China: Background on Urban Residential Development
Practices in China Today (Arup DTF project, 2010).