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Designing the 21st Century City: Labor Unions and the Production of Urbanism

Time: 5 p.m.
Location: 440 Egan Research Center
Sponsored By: School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and School of Architecture, Northeastern University
Contact: g.shatkin@northeastern.edu

Part of our Urban Transformations Lecture Series, sponsored by the MS in Urban Planning and Policy Program of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Architecture

Professor Aseem Inam

The presentation illustrates how social and political movements like labor unions design the city.  Labor unions simultaneously shape and are shaped by the spatial political-economy of the U.S. city in highly unusual and influential ways.  The presentation examines this phenomenon through original research conducted by the author on two legendary unions, primarily the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, and secondarily, the United Healthcare Workers East in New York City.  The findings show how unions substantially alter the spatial political-economy, that they are among the few organizations countering urban precarity through direct action, and that their success is helped by the spatial features of the city as well as the nature of the local economy.  The presentation will conclude with insights into new and powerful ways of designing the 21st century city.

Dr. Aseem Inam is an activist/scholar/practitioner who is Professor and Chair in Urban Design at Cardiff University, and Founding Director of TRULAB: Laboratory for Designing Urban Transformation.  He was previously the John Bousfield Distinguished Scholar at the University of Toronto, and the Founding Director of the highly innovative Graduate Program in Urban Practice at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.  He is the author of two books, Planning for the Unplanned and Designing Urban Transformation, and is currently working on a third book, partially funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.

Be sure to join us for the second talk in the series on March 17. More here.

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