Director of Community Engagement and Collaborative Learning, Professor of Geography/Urban Studies
She has also explored the spatial dimensions of social change and examined the impact of "creative" economies on smaller post-industrial cities. During her tenure, she facilitated community-engaged learning at the College and worked with many community-based organizations in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Built environments reflect prevailing social priorities. At times, they are also useful in challenging those priorities and demonstrating the possibility of new and more equitable social and economic relationships. This course examines historical and contemporary examples of urban planning and creative place-making that intentionally employ the built environment to help address social issues, educate, support new social relationships, or actively foster social imaginaries through experimentation with alternative ways of living and working. Through case studies, we explore historical efforts to address what were presumed to be "urban" problems as well contemporary critical spatial practices that attempt to address such issues as the privatization of public space or gentrification through geographies of resistance that include temporary occupations and transformations of public space, participatory design, and other creative forms of urban spatial intervention. We also consider the importance of, and range of perspectives on, a sense of place as experienced by diverse urban residents. Opportunities are provided for individual and/or collaborative research, class facilitation and presentations.