The Emerging Public Realm of the Greater Bay Area: Approaches to Public Space in a Chinese Megaregion
Edited By Miodrag Mitrašinović and Timothy Jachna (Editors)

Profs. Gabriela Rendon and Miguel Robles-Durán, and their cooperative Cohabitaion Strategies (COHSTRA), have been featured in the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021.

Cities After… is a bi-monthly podcast about the future of cities, hosted by Prof. Miguel Robles-Durán.

Public Space Reader
Edited by Miodrag Mitrašinović and Vikas Mehta (Editors)

Main Street: How a City’s Heart Connects Us All
Mindy Thompson Fullilove

Design and Political Dissent: Spaces, Visuals, Materialities
Jilly Traganou (Editor)

Urban Front at the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial
Gabriela Rendon, Miguel Robles-Durán and The Urban Front

Cities for or against citizens?
Gabriela Rendon

Cooperative Cities
Miodrag Mitrašinović and Gabriela Rendon (Editors)

Concurrent Urbanities: Designing Infrastructures of Inclusion
Miodrag Mitrašinović (Editor)

Designing the Olympics: Representation, Participation, Contestation
Jilly Traganou

Growing Urban Habitats: Seeking a New Housing Development Model
William Morrish, Susanne Schindler and Katie Swenson

Planning to Stay: Learning to See the Physical Features of Your Neighborhood
William Morrish and Catherine R. Brown

Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It
Mindy Thompson Fullilove

Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities
Mindy Thompson Fullilove

Urban Asymmetries: Studies and Projects on Neoliberal Urbanization
Miguel Robles-Durán, Tahl Kaminer and Heidi Sohn (Editors)

Urban Design Ecologies Reader
Brian McGrath


Associate Professor of Urbanism [Program Director]

Robles-Durán has wide international experience in the strategic definition/coordination of trans-disciplinary urban projects, as well as in the development tactical design strategies and civic engagement platforms that confront the contradictions of neoliberal urbanization. Robles-Durán’s areas of specialization are design/research interventions and strategies in uneven urbanization and areas of social urban conflict, urban political-economy and urban theory.

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Cohabitation Strategies

Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Evren is an urban planner and designer working on civic engagement and critical heritage, disaster risk mitigation, participatory housing and interventions in the public space.Evren joins Parsons from Gothenburg University, where she was a postdoctoral research fellow since 2013 in the School of Design and Crafts. Her postdoctoral research at Gothenburg is called “Urban heritage at risk: artistic and activist interventions in heritage issues”.

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Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Community Development

Gabriela is an architect and urban planner and co-founder of Cohabitation Strategies, an international non-profit cooperative for socio-spatial research, design and development. Rendon’s work combines research and practice at different scales focusing on spatial planning, architectural and urban design. Her recent research and work centers on the politics, practices and constrains of socio-spatial restructuring through citizen participation in low income neighborhoods in America and Western Europe.

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Cohabitation Strategies

Professor of Architecture and Urbanism

Traganou’s work examines space and architecture in intersection with the fields of urbanism, design studies, media studies, and cultural geography, and is currently focusing on relations between design, critical territorial practices and travel, and on design’s role in the configuration of national and postnational identities.

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Professor of Urban Policy and Public Health

Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove is a board-certified psychiatrist who is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. She started her research career in 1986 with a focus on the AIDS epidemic, and became aware of the close link between AIDS and place of residence. Under the rubric of the psychology of place, Dr. Fullilove began to examine the mental health effects of such environmental processes as violence, rebuilding, segregation, urban renewal, and mismanaged toxins. She has published numerous articles and six books including “Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities,” “Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It,” and “House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place.”

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Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Experiential Learning

Ujju Aggarwal is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in education policy and urban anthropology. Her research grows out of her long-time work as a community organizer and educator in New York City, and examines how “choice,” as a key principle of reform and management in education, emerged in the post-Civil Rights era, and became central to how rights, freedom, and citizenship were imagined, structured, and constrained. Her current research takes a closer look at schools in relationship to gentrification and the production of urban space. She has taught at The New School, at Sarah Lawrence College, at Hunter College (CUNY), and is completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis, Black Studies, at the University of Texas, Austin. Her research has been published in edited volumes as well as in Transforming Anthropology, The Scholar and Feminist, and Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from The Graduate Center of the City of New York.

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Professor of Urban Ecologies

As high-speed global change profoundly alters the conditions of Earthly life and coexistence, a gathering movement of people and scholars, scientists and creators is deeply rethinking “all the ways we imagine how we will live together.”  Recognizing that the forces of planetary urbanization coincide with the “slow violence” of climate change and inequality, drawing from deep wealth of research, scholarship and creative practice Morrish embrace cities as places of possibility, living spaces of democracy and solidarity, where vital, creative societies may still flow from the work of people who “propose to make their city together” as a creative and tolerant citizenry.  Reframing and nurturing basic urban relationships, building social capacities and collective intelligence cultivating systems and mesh works that preserve life, livelihood and culture, citizenry actively making their city, through “the work of being public,” creating and constantly recreating the urban ecologies that make the city spaces for our common life. William holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters of Urban Design in Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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Professor of Urbanism and Architecture

Miodrag Mitrašinović is a Professor of Urbanism and Architecture at Parsons School of Design. His scholarly work focuses on the role design(ing) plays as an agent of social and political change, and as a catalyst for critical urban transformations. His work also focuses on the generative capacity and infrastructural dimensions of public space, specifically at the intersections of urban and public design, social justice, and governance. Miodrag is the co-editor of the “Public space reader” (with V. Mehta, forthcoming, Routledge 2021), “The emerging public realm of the Greater Bay Area: Approaches to public space in a Chinese megaregion” (with T. Jachna, Routledge 2021) and “Cooperative cities” (Journal of Design Strategies Vol. 8/2018 with G. Rendon); editor of “Concurrent urbanities: Designing infrastructures of inclusion” (Routledge 2016);  co-editor of “Travel, space, architecture” (with G. Traganou, Routledge 2009); and author of “Total Landscape, Theme Parks, Public Space” (Routledge 2006).

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Associate Professor of Urban Studies

Professor Heathcott studies the metropolis and its diverse cultures, institutions, and environments within a comparative and global perspective. His main interest is in the public role of scholarship and teaching, and the civic engagement of students and teachers in the world around them. He is also a compulsive peripatetic, amateur archivist, and collector of LPs, post cards, old radios, books, and found objects.

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University Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design

Joel Towers was the Executive Dean of Parsons The New School for Design, from 2009 to 2019. Towers led the design and development of cutting-edge programs, curricular innovation, and the implementation of a new, more inclusive governance structure. He also serves as an University Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design.

Prior to his appointment, Joel was the Dean of the School of Design Strategies at Parsons, one of five schools that were formed as part of a major academic restructuring effort to foster cross-disciplinary learning. Under his leadership, the School of Design Strategies played a significant role in the development of new undergraduate programs in Urban Design and Environmental Studies as well as graduate programs in Transdisciplinary Design, Design and Urban Ecologies, Theories of Urban Practice, and Strategic Design and Management.

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Professor of Urban Design

Brian McGrath is the founder and principal of Urban-Interface, LLC, an urban design consultancy fusing expertise in architecture, ecology and social media. The firm combines new research in urban ecosystems and digital technologies to provide urban design models that engage a broad range of local participants in flexible, innovative approaches to urban densification and revitalization. McGrath is also a principle researcher in the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research, where he leads the Urban Design Working Group. His books and publications include: Urban Design Ecologies Reader, (2012), Digital Modeling for Urban Design (2008), Transparent Cities (1994), Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design (2012), co-edited with Steward Pickett and Mary Cadenasso, Growing Cities in a Shrinking World: The Challenges in India and China (2010), co-edited with Ashok Gurung and Jiyanying Zha, Sensing the 21st Century City (2007) co-edited by Grahame Shane, and Cinemetrics: Architectural Drawing Today (2007) co-authored with Jean Gardner. McGrath served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Thailand in 1998-99 and an India China Institute Fellow in 2006-2008 and currently is the Research Director in the joint US-EU Transatlantic exchange program Urbanisms of Inclusion. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and his Masters of Architecture degree from Princeton University, and interned at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York.

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Managing Principal, WXY architecture + urban design
Part-Time Faculty

Adam brings a background in urban design, planning, sustainability and an integrated approach to master plans, feasibility studies, planning policy research and visioning strategies. He has led a number of key planning and urban design projects for WXY, including the QueensWay Plan, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan, and the East River Blueway Plan.

Adam received his BA from Brown University and has a Masters in Architecture from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Planning and Urban Design from the University College London.  He has been a teaching fellow for the M.Sc. in Urban Design and the M.Sc. in Town Planning at the Bartlett Schools of Architecture and Planning and is currently visiting faculty in Cornell University MUP program. Adam has more than 12 years of experience with public and private sector clients, including work for government departments and city agencies, community development corporations, major cultural institutions and developers. Adam is a certified planner (AICP), and he is a board member of New Partners for Community Revitalization.

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Part-Time Faculty

Eric Brelsford is a freelance programmer and mapmaker behind 596 Acres – a map of NYC’s vacant lots and public property that could be used for community projects. He also works on other related projects: (Farming Concrete, Urban Reviewer). He is interested in power relations in urban spaces and the potential uses of collective data collection and analysis as tools for direct action and organization.

YouTube Channel

Part-Time Faculty

Lize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the connections between art and cultural geography. She creates what is known as counter-cartography—maps and mappings of various locations that communicate new conceptions of social and political issues. She then inserts and distributes her mappings into public spaces and publications. Mogel has mapped everything from a Los Angeles Park to the future of Arctic territories, and everything in-between. She worked with the YI Writers on a project called Reconstructing New York City to re-map and re-imagine the city. They also created De-tour for the Non-touristan alternative tour guide to New York City that challenges established ideas of neighborhoods and streets that are simultaneously familiar and foreign.


Executive Director, Center for Urban Pedagogy
Part-Time Faculty

Christine Gaspar is Executive Director of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a New York-based nonprofit whose mission is to use design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement. She partners with designers and community organizations to create visually-based educational tools that help demystify complex issues from zoning law to sewage infrastructure. The projects are designed with and for advocacy organizations to help increase their capacity to mobilize their constituents on important urban issues. CUP’s print, audio, video, and media projects, along with tactile interactive workshop tools, are in use by dozens of community organizers and tens of thousands of individuals in New York City and beyond. The projects have been featured in art and design contexts such as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s National Design Triennial, PS-1, and the Venice Biennale.

Christine has over ten years of experience in community design. Prior to joining CUP, she was Assistant Director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio in Biloxi, Mississippi, where she provided architectural design and city planning services to low-income communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina. She holds Masters in Architecture and in City Planning from MIT, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.

Planning Director & Chief Urban Designer, City of Newark
Part-Time Faculty

Damon Rich is a designer, urban planner, and artist. In his public spaces, exhibitions, graphic works, and events, often produced in collaboration with young people and community-based organizations, Damon creates fantastical spaces for imagining the physical and social transformation of the world. His design work represented the United States at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, and has been exhibited at PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Netherlands Architecture Institute. In 1997, he founded the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP), a nonprofit that uses design and art to increase civic engagement, and was Executive Director for 10 years. Damon currently serves as the Planning Director and Chief Urban Designer for the City of Newark, New Jersey, where he leads design and planning efforts with public and private actors to improve the city’s shared spaces.

Guest Lecturer

A leading theorist in the field of urban studies whom Library Journal called “one of the most influential geographers of the later twentieth century,” David Harvey earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge University and was formerly professor of geography at Johns Hopkins, a Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics, and Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford. His reflections on the importance of space and place (and more recently “nature”) have attracted considerable attention across the humanities and social sciences.

Harvey is a prolific writer. His highly influential books include Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution (2012); A Companion to Marx’s Capital (2013); Social Justice and the City (2009); A Brief History of Neoliberalism (2005); The New Imperialism (2005); Paris, Capital of Modernity (2005); Limits to Capital (rev. ed, 2007); Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography (2001); Spaces of Hope (2000); Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference (1997); The Condition of Postmodernity (1991); and The Urbanization of Capital (1985). His numerous awards include the Outstanding Contributor Award of the Association of American Geographers and the 2002 Centenary Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his “outstanding contribution to the field of geographical enquiry and to anthropology.” He holds honorary degrees from three British universities— Bristol, Goldsmith College (London), and Kent—as well as the universities of Buenos Aires, Roskilde (Denmark), and Uppsala (Sweden), and Ohio State University. Also see his website:

Episcopal Priest, Writer and Housing Activist
Part-Time Faculty

Frank Morales is a legendary New York City housing activist, a radical Episcopalian priest who has been squatting in the South Bronx and on the Lower East Side since 1978. Morales was the housing organizer for Picture the Homeless, a homeless-led grassroots group that developed a multipronged program of direct action to secure housing for homeless people, alongside groups like Miami’s Take Back the Land.

Morales currently co-leads Organizing for Occupation, a group of New York City residents from the activist, academic, religious, homeless, arts, and progressive legal communities who have come together to respond to the housing crisis. The group believes that safe and affordable housing is a human right and that, given the failure of government and the private sector to address the crisis, it is up to those who are most directly affected by it to secure that right through nonviolent direct action. The group intends to create housing through the occupation of vacant spaces and to protect people’s right to remain in existing housing through community-based anti-eviction campaigns.

Visual Artist
Guest Lecturer

Jeanne van Heeswijk is a visual artist who creates contexts for interaction in public spaces. Her projects distinguish themselves through a strong social involvement. With her work Van Heeswijk stimulates and develops cultural production and creates new public (meeting) spaces or remodels existing ones. To achieve this she often works closely with artists, designers, architects, software developers, governments and citizens. She regularly lectures on topics such as urban renewal, participation and cultural production.


Part-Time Faculty

Rob Robinson is a cofounder and member of the Leadership Committee of the Take Back the Land Movement and a staff volunteer at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI). After losing his job in 2001, he spent two years homeless on the streets of Miami and ten months in a New York City shelter.  He eventually overcame homelessness and has been in the housing movement based in New York City since 2007. In the fall of 2009, Rob was chosen to be the New York City chairperson for the first ever official mission to the US of a UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing.  He was a member of an advance team coordinated by the US Human Rights Network in early 2010; traveling to Geneva Switzerland several times to prepare for the United States initial appearance in the Universal Periodic Review. Rob has worked with homeless populations in Budapest Hungary and Berlin Germany and is connected with housing and land movements in South Africa and Brazil. He works with the European Squatters Collective, International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI); Landless People’s Movement (MST) and the Movement of People Affected by Dams (MAB) and is the coordinator of the USA Canada Alliance of Inhabitants sister organization to IAI. In December 2008, he completed a course with People’s Production House and the Community News Production Institute and has been a member of a social justice media collective which produces and airs a weekly radio show over WBAI in New York City called Global Movements Urban Struggles.

Part-Time Faculty

Tom Angotti is Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development, as well as Adjunct Professor at Parsons School of Design in Urban Planning and Design. His recent books include The New Century of the Metropolis, New York For Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate, which won the Davidoff Book Award, and Accidental Warriors and Battlefield Myths. He is co-editor of Progressive Planning Magazine, and Participating Editor for Latin American Perspectives and Local Environment. He is actively engaged in community and environmental justice issues in New York City.

Guest Lecturer

Teddy Cruz (MDes Harvard) is a professor of Public Culture and Urbanism in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He is known internationally for his urban research of the Tijuana/San Diego border, advancing border neighborhoods as sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing, and public space.

Cruz is principal of Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, a research-based political and architectural practice based in San Diego, in partnership with University of California, San Diego political theorist, Fonna Forman. Cruz and Forman lead a variety of urban curatorial initiatives, including The Civic Innovation Lab in the City of San Diego to rethink public space and civic engagement; the UCSD Cross-Border Initiative to promote research and practice focused on regional territories of poverty; and the UCSD Community Stations, to foster corridors of knowledge exchange between the university and marginalized communities. Additionally, they collaborated with former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus to develop the Bi-national Citizenship Culture Survey, an unprecedented protocol that surveyed cross-border civic infrastructure, public trust and social norms, to generate new shared urban policies between the municipalities of San Diego and Tijuana, as well as collaborative strategies for cross-border urban intervention.