Author Archives: urbandemos

Hope the Pitanga Cherries Grow: An ethnographic look at Luanda

Hope_The_Pitanga_Cherries_Grow_Tales_Of_Luanda0On November 7th, Angolan filmmaker, poet, and writer, Ondjaki, spoke to students of NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis about his documentary Hope the Pitanga Cherries Grow. Presenting a vivid portrait of Luanda, the capital city of Angola, and its many colorful inhabitants, Ondjaki explores a focus on the individual under the “weight” of a global city.

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Organizing meeting for the People’s Climate Movement NY

From our friends at The People’s Climate Movement:

The People’s Climate Movement – the national coalition that came out of the organizing of the historic climate march two years ago – is calling for a massive mobilization in Washington, DC next April. This march will come at the end of a six month campaign which starts now!

While focusing on the urgent need for bold action on the climate crisis, this effort is grounded in our commitments to racial and economic justice. During the transition period between the election and the inauguration, and then during the first 100 days of the new presidency and new Congress, we will be calling for speedy government action…and we will be mobilizing people to bring the message directly to policy makers in Washington.
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Dispatch from Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, October 2016

Courtesy Cancillería del Ecuador
“Travel and meetings facilities, Habitat III” Courtesy Cancillería del Ecuador

For those unfamiliar with Habitat III (also known as the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development), you might be interested to know that this global gathering, bringing together many of the world’s most influential urbanists, took place only a couple of weeks ago in Quito, Ecuador.  Habitat III, so-called because it is the third in a very-occasional series of conferences on the theme (the last, Habitat II, was held in Istanbul in 1996), set forth what it calls The New Urban Agenda, meant to manage urban development for the next two decades.  How much of this agenda and the conversations surrounding it are able to nourish some of its more democratic aspirations remains to be seen.  Our colleague, Prof. Sophie Gonick of NYU’s Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, shared this dispatch from her experience at the conference. Continue reading

Housing Research Helps Organizers Understand Williamsburg Issues

The summer research project of one of our 2016 GGFUP students, Tiffen McAlister, was profiled in the September 2016 issue of Williamsburg Now, a neighborhood publication by Southside United – Los Sures. Tiffen, “along with members of the Southside United – Los Sures organizing team combed the streets of the South Side to find residents with housing grievances and collected data to form a more comprehensive understanding of the community.” A scan of the full article, in both English and Spanish, is below (click the image to view full size).

williamsburg-now-sept-2016

Albert Gallatin Lecture with Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr.

REVEREND JAMES LAWSON (11x17)-1A Way Through the Chaos

The man who introduced the principles of Gandhian nonviolence to leaders of the Civil Rights Movement visits Gallatin to deliver the Fall 2016 Albert Gallatin Lecture.

Co-sponsored by:
Africana Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA); CMEP; Vice Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, and Diversity; Liberal Studies; MLK, Jr. Scholars Program; and Tandon School of Engineering

Location
The Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts
1 Washington Place

Oct 17, 2016 | 6:00 PM-8:00 PM

RSVP here

Keeping Cities Strong: A Mayoral Forum with the Presidential Campaigns on Transportation, Water & Energy

From our friends at NYU Wagner:

Date: 10/13/2016
Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Location: SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street, New York NY 10011

Join NYU Wagner and the U.S. Conference of Mayors for a discussion with the presidential campaigns on why infrastructure is key to both economic security and public safety.

In their “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” The American Society of Civil Engineers states that “Every family, every community, and every business needs infrastructure to thrive. Infrastructure encompasses your local water main and the Hoover Dam; the power lines connected to your house and the electrical grid spanning the U.S.; and the street in front of your home and the national highway system.” A strong and safe infrastructure is critical to support healthy and vibrant cities. Yet, many of our roads, bridges, water, and sewer systems in the U.S. are in serious disrepair. As infrastructure across the country continues to age and deteriorate, and as we become increasingly reliant on energy, cities are struggling to afford basic maintenance, much-needed upgrades, and new projects. It is imperative that the next President address these issues.

Surrogates representing both the Trump and Clinton campaigns will present their candidates’ views on infrastructure. Distinguished mayors from cities across the country will then question and discuss the candidates’ positions.

Read more at NYU Wagner

Just Utilities: Organizing for Solutions to the Household Energy Crisis

JustUtilsCoverThe grassroots community organization Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson has published an excellent report in connection with their fight for affordable, sustainable, and just utility rates and energy policies in the Poughkeepsie, NY area:

“Energy utility affordability is a widespread and severe national crisis for low-income people of color. It is a strategic, yet currently neglected, organizing issue for building power to win racial, environmental, and economic justice.

Drawing from their experience developing a cutting-edge Utilities Justice campaign, the leaders of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson – Homes For All campaign partners and core members of the Right To The City Alliance – share their organizing model, advance replicable policy solutions and document the extent of the local, statewide and national energy utility crisis.”

Download the full report for free from the Homes For All national campaign.

Why Cities and Universities Need a New Kind of Dialogue

From a recent article by Diana Graizbord, Jamie McPike, and Nicole Pollock:

“This year the City of Providence Department of Innovation collaborated with Brown University on the Providence Business Engagement Initiative. To kick off the Initiative, students in an applied policy research course utilized City licensing data, open meetings records, and census data to identify neighborhood business clusters and determine an appropriate outreach and engagement methodology. Three student groups then collected the stories of over 50 small business owners, community leaders, and city officials. These stories were used by Department of Innovation to inform changes in the City’s business licensing process and to enhance the City’s Start Up in a Day program. The success of this partnership would not have been possible without ongoing, iterative dialogue that allowed both partners to reevaluate and renegotiate project plans and goals, manage expectations, and ensure that project deliverables were relevant and useful. . . .

What we found was that both partners had specific goals and priorities, but both were open to adapting and changing these as the project evolved. By focusing first on establishing a dialogue rather than a set of binding terms, the partnership became more nimble, able to shift and move in new directions as new ideas arose. This flexible style of collaboration required a foundation of mutual trust; the dialogue that we established early on helped the partnership to withstand the uncertainty and challenges that emerge in a project committed to innovation. . . .”

Read the full article at The Huffington Post.