Planning, Politics, and the Art of Governmentality
A substantial amount of my work is devoted to understanding how cities are formed through various institutional and professional practices. Chief among these is urban planning, and the array of governmental techniques, agencies, and laws designed to produce the “urban” in particular ways. I approach planning in two modes. First, following Agamben, I examine planning as an apparatus of directive power around which people struggle to shape and control the destiny of cities. Second, drawing on the work of planning scholars such as Leonie Sandercock and Charles Hoch, I approach planning as a normative commitment to potentially liberatory practices of social and spatial justice.
"Showcase Politics: The Production and Distribution of New Public Space in Mexico City." Co-authored with David López Garcia. Journal of Urban Affairs 2022.
"Living in the Diagram: Colonia Federal and Urban Planning in Twentieth Century Mexico City." Journal of Urbanism, 31 May 2020.
"Abandoned Buildings and Vacant Lots as a Heritage of Racial Capitalism in Post-Industrial Cities." Lecture for the Cities Programme, London School of Economics, Sept 2021.
"Official Magic: Mexico City and the Planning Imaginary." Paper presented for conference on Urban World-Making, University of Amsterdam, June 2017.
"Urban Powerpointing." Collage for juried group show, Thompson Gallery, Weston, MA, Feb-Mar 2016.
"Public Housing as a Tool of Racial Segregation." In Daniel D'Oca and Tobias Armborst, The Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion (Barcelona: Actar Press, 2017).
"More Menacing that Fire and the Elements: Race, Neighborhood, and Urban Planning in the Twentieth Century." Lecture at the College of Art and Architecture, Washington University. Nov 2015.
"Race, Class, and American City Planning." Essay for Black Lives Matter, a web-based resource project by the Aggregate Architectural History Collaborate, edited by Meredith TenHoor and Jonathan Massey.
"The Bold and the Bland: Art, Redevelopment, and the Creative Commons in Post-Industrial New York." City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 19, 1 (2015).
"Myth No. 1: Public Housing Stands Alone." Chapter in Nicholas Bloom, Fritz Umbach, and Lawrence Vale, eds., Public Housing Myths: Perception, Reality, and Social Policy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015).
"The Promenade Plantée: Politics, Planning, and Urban Design in Post-Industrial Paris." Journal of Planning Education and Research 33, 2 (2013).
"Rendering the City: The Use of Photographs as Evidence' in Urban Planning." Lecture in the Urban Planning Lecture Series, GSAPP, Columbia University, New York, NY. Feb 2012 .
Special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association on the 75th Anniversary of Public Housing. Guest Editor. Fall 2012.
Film. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. Directed by Chad Friedrichs, released 2011. Substantial contributor of research and expertise, on-air informant, frequent panelist at screenings.
"Protest in the City: Conversation with Joseph Heathcott and Parade Publication Launch." Symposium at the University of the Arts, London. Mar 2011.
"Infrastructure 2.0: A Stimulus Package for All of Us." National Civic Review 98, 2 (Summer 2010).
"The City Quietly Remade: National Priorities and Local Agendas in the Movement to Clear the Slums." Special issue of the Journal of Urban History 34, 2 (January 2008).
"'The Whole City is Our Laboratory': Harland Bartholomew and the Production of Urban Knowledge."Journal of Planning History 4, 4 (November 2005).
"Modeling the Urban Future: Maps, Charts, and the Fantasy of Postwar Growth." Planning Perspectives 20, 4 (October 2005).
"Corridors of Flight, Zones of Renewal: Planning and Policy in the Making of Metropolitan St. Louis, 1940-1980." With Maire Agnes Murphy. Journal of Urban History 31, 2 (January 2005).
"Rebuilding Bohemian Hill." Site analysis, community charrette, and architectural program proposal for 16 affordable housing units in South St. Louis. With Solana Rice. October-December 2006.
"Infill Housing: A Proposal for Soulard." Report produced for the Landmarks Association, Youth Education and Health, Inc., and the City of St. Louis Urban Design Agency. August 2006. Author.
"Making Community Gardens Permanent: A Proposal for Using the Community 310 Land Trust Model to Secure Green Space in St. Louis." February 2003. Report prepared for Gateway Greening, Inc. and the City of St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority. Author.