UWT 2019 Urban Studies Forum: learning from other cities – February 21

“Learning From Other Cities,” the theme for the 2019 Urban Studies Forum, is a chance to take best practices used elsewhere and create our own local adaptations

This year’s Forum includes leadership, planners and researchers from four cities:

Bristol, U.K. (inclusive governance)

Leeds, U.K. (child-centered city)

New York, NY (coalition building and community development)

Long Beach, CA (urban planning in a port city)

All presentations will focus on the role of inclusivity and coalition building in shaping policy, planning, and governance environments that advance urban conditions and create a more participatory decision-making process.

Keynote speaker Dr. Michael J. Rich will present “Collaborative Governance and Urban Revitalization: City Strategies for Reducing Poverty and Inequality.”

See more information below.

Keynote speaker – Dr. Michael J. Rich, Emory University, Professor of Political & Environmental Sciences

Over the past three decades many cities have launched a variety of collaborative, cross-sector initiatives to address a range of persistent urban problems such as concentrated poverty and related issues that include the lack of affordable housing, improving academic achievement in the public schools, and enhancing access to economic opportunities through workforce and economic development strategies, among others. Recent research has shown that one of the most important determinants of successful collaborative initiatives is the quality of local governance. In this session, Dr. Rich will review the evolution of community engagement in place-based initiatives, from the Johnson administration’s War on Poverty to present-day efforts being support by philanthropies and local governments, among others, in the nation’s largest cities. This session will identify many of the key factors associated with effective local collaborative governance as well as highlight some of the more innovative collaborative governance structures and processes that have guided contemporary city collaborative initiatives to reduce poverty and promote economic mobility.

Photo by Morf Morford
Photo by Morf Morford

UWT 2019 Urban Studies Forum – about the panelists

Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor for Communities, Bristol – 

Asher has over 30 years’ experience as a community activist, leader, management consultant and now politician. She has championed the needs of the voiceless, with a particular emphasis on the social-economic development of BME and under-represented communities. She has led and chaired a number of major partnerships and organisations at local, regional and national level and has worked in the field of employment & training, education & skills, recruitment, advocacy, equality & diversity within local government and third sector.

Asher was elected as the Labour Councillor for the ward of St George West, Bristol in May 2016 and was appointed to the Cabinet with the wide reaching portfolio of Neighbourhoods in August 2016.

In March 2017 Asher was asked to step into the new created role of Deputy Mayor for Communities, bringing into & elevating the issue of Public Health as part of this new portfolio.

Ron Shiffman, FAICP, Hon. AIA; Urban Planner and Community Development Specialist; Professor Emeritus, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment –

Ron Shiffman has spent more than fifty years working to promote community-based activism and to empower local groups to participate directly in the development of their neighborhoods. Trained as an architect and urban planner, he is an expert in community-based planning, housing, and sustainable development.

In addition to his work with communities and as an academician, Shiffman has served on the New York City Planning Commission (1990-1996) and on a number of gubernatorial, mayoral, and civic task forces.  He has also served as a consultant on numerous national and global community-based planning, design, and development initiatives. Shiffman was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership and the American Planning Association’s 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Pioneer.

Luis Munive, Co-Director, El Puente Bushwick Leadership Center – 

Luis Munive is currently a co-director at the El Puente Bushwick Leadership Center. El Puente is a community-based organization which provides the communities of Williamsburg and Bushwick with much needed support in the areas of academic support, arts and culture, college prep, leadership development, community organizing, immigration support.

His journey with El Puente began 12 years ago when he joined the program as a teen during the Summer Youth Employment Program.  His first job as a youth organizer set in motion a cascade of events that led him to work in the neighborhood that he was born and raised in. His first project service project ever worked on was one that involved a community health assessment on the access to healthy food in Bushwick and its surrounding communities. Since then he has been a part of numerous El Puente initiatives including; SUENA (Students United for Education and Neighborhood Action), To Hope With Love; a park beautification project, Tracing Our Roots; a project focused on exploring the Latino culture and coming to America, and the WEPA Bushwick Project.

He has served as a Participatory Budgeting delegate for Councilmember Antonio Reynoso (District 34), for the last four years and has advocated for the improvement of access to resources in neighborhood schools and open spaces. Luis graduated in 2014 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with a B.A in Forensic Psychology. Luis hopes to continue leading and inspiring youth into action for Bushwick.

Rosa Scott, Senior Certified Trainer and Consultant, Global Justice Institute, El Puente – 

Rosa Scott is a leader in the areas of executive coaching and training, curriculum development and programming, and empowerment for liberation. Her passion for this work began at El Puente where she started as a member and grew to be a Program Director. There she built up multiple programs and traveled internationally to do organizing around environmental injustice, wellness and human rights education. Rosa has managed over 10 programs across multiple sites, and she has overseen outstanding and award-winning programming for thousands of young people in her tenure. In addition, she co-developed El Puente’s ground-breaking framework, Transformative Community Building. Rosa stands for advocating for those without a voice and creating sacred spaces to create a culture where people are empowered to thrive.

Andy Lloyd, Head of Children’s Workforce Development in Leeds Children’s Services, UK – 

Andy Lloyd is Head of Children’s Workforce Development in Leeds Children’s Services, UK. He is a qualified Social Worker and began his career working in the residential child care sector before moving to work in the fields of child protection and youth justice. After working in state services for 8 years, he moved into the not-for-profit sector to manage a large family support service. He then moved to work at two of the three Universities in Leeds, latterly as Head of Department. Nearly seven years ago, he took up the post of Head of Children’s Workforce Development in Leeds Children’s Services. In his role, Andy is responsible, amongst other things, for ensuring that the voice of children is heard in Leeds and that their voice has influence. He is a strong advocate of the Child Friendly Leeds ambition.


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