Category Archives: Blog

Internship Opportunity: Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit

From the Mayor’s office:

The Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU) is the direct link between the Mayor and New York’s communities. CAU organizes participation in key mayoral initiatives at the community level through direct contact with community boards, organizations, and city residents. CAU plays an active role in public events across the five boroughs and in connecting to New York’s diverse communities. Continue reading

UDL Director Gianpaolo Baiocchi reads from THE CIVIC IMAGINATION (2014)

Nov 5, 2015,  5:00 PM-6:30 PM, 1 Washington Place, Dean’s Conference Room (801) 

Gallatin Teachers Reading, a Writing Program event series at which professors read from recently published books, offers a glimpse into the Gallatin faculty’s latest scholarship.

Gianpaolo Baiocchi will read from The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life (2014, co-authored with Elizabeth Bennett, Alissa Cordner, Stephanie Savell, and Peter Klein), which draws on ethnographic studies to understand how contemporary Americans think about and work toward social and political change.

Peder Anker, Louise Harpman, and Mitchell Joachim will read from their collaborative book, Global Design: Elsewhere Envisioned, which explores design solutions to address global warming.

Mitchell Joachim will also read from Super Cells: Building with Biology (co-authored with Nina Tandon), which examines technology and artworks built using cells.


Interview with Leanne Brown, author of GOOD AND CHEAP

Leanne Brown’s cookbGood and Cheap 2Dook, Good and Cheap, has garnered glowing national attention since its massively successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Good and Cheap is a cookbook that works within tight budgets and the SNAP/food stamps program; it employs the “buy one, give one” model and promises a free book or subsidized books to people in need through a national system of nonprofits. The PDF is available for free on and has been downloaded more then 900,000 times. The Urban Democracy Lab spoke with Leanne to discuss her thoughts on food justice, SNAP, and the future of Good and Cheap: Continue reading

Transforming the City: Using Culture to Address Intractable Problems with Antanas Mockus

Guest-blogger Emma HAntanas-Mockus-marcha-Vida-549x3451attemer reviews an October 9 conference at the Open Society Foundation-New York featuring Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia.  The small afternoon event was co-sponsored by the Urban Democracy Lab and also included Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Deputy Director of US Programs at the OSF and Pedro Abramovay, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, OSF.

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Sam Schwartz Lecture, Nov. 11th: “Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars”

riseofcitiesFrom our friends at NYU Department of Art History, Urban Design and Architecture Studies:

A lecture by author Sam Schwartz,  Sam Schwartz Engineering PLLC; former New York City Traffic Commissioner (1982-1986) and First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation (1987-1990).

Wednesday, November 11, 6:30 pm
New York University Department of Art History
Silver Center, Room 301
100 Washington Square East (entrance on Waverly Place)
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Exhibition: “In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway & the Battle for Downtown” October 27 – March 15, 2016

13-lomex-brochureFrom our friends at A/P/A Institute NYU:

The NYC Department of Records and Information Services’ Municipal Archives presents an exhibit in collaboration with Below the Grid Lab and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU entitled In the Shadow of the Highway: Robert Moses’ Expressway and the Battle for Downtown.
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Hidden in Plain Sight: The Progressive-Era Public Schools of Charles B. J. Snyder Jean Arrington, Borough of Manhattan Community College

From our friends in NYU’s Art History Department:

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Progressive-Era Public Schools of Charles B. J. Snyder
Jean Arrington, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30 pm
New York University Department of Art History
Silver Center, Room 301
100 Washington Square East (entrance on Waverly Place)

This talk examines one of the major contributors to the New York City public-school system, Charles B. J. Snyder.  As architect for the Board of Education, Snyder revolutionized the city’s schools during his thirty-year career, which coincided with the span of the Progressive Era. He used innovative construction techniques for health and safety.  By providing amenities such as gymnasiums, auditoriums, and science laboratories, he transformed the simple 19th-century schoolhouse consisting of just classrooms into the complex 20th-century school building that we know today.  And he “did that which no other architect before his time ever tried or did,” said Jacob Riis, “he built them beautiful.” More than half of Snyder’s 400 school buildings and additions still function today as public schools.  Architect and historian Robers A. M. Stern has deemed them “everyday masterpieces, among the great glories of our city.”  The history of Snyder’s schools shows how the United States has contributed to the provision of universal public education, especially in New York City, which remains today the largest public-school system in the country, as it was in Snyder’s day.

Sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians, New York Metropolitan Chapter and the New York University Department of Art History, Urban Design and Architecture Studies

Link to flyer for event:

–Free and open to the public–