AIA|LA & APA-LA co-present: Citymakers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism
October 26, 6:00-8:00PM
Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, Inc. - 800 Wilshire Blvd., 16th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90017

AIA|LA & APA-LA co-present….
A roundtable to discuss the book by Cassim Shepard
Thursday, October 26 (6pm to 8pm)
800 Wilshire Blvd., 16th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

*Free to AIA|LA and APA-LA members. Capacity limited to 60 people.

Buro Happold will generously provide beer, wine, cheese and refreshments.

Join us for a free engaging conversation about urbanism and city making.

Cities are where solutions to the twenty-first centurys key challengesinequality, grassroots activism, climate change, innovationwill be tested. And as cities adapt to new developments in technology, infrastructure, public space, transportation, and housing, so too must urban practices and our understanding of how to effect positive change evolve. In Citymakers, Cassim Shepard offers a vivid survey of how urbanism today is no longer the domain of just planners, politicians, and power brokers removed from the effects of their decisions, but an array of citizens working at the vanguard of increasingly diverse practices, from community gardeners to architects to housing advocates.

Drawing on six years as the editor of Urban Omnibus, one of the leading publications charting innovations in urban practice (launched in 2009 by The Architectural League of New York), Shepard explores a broad variety of projects in New York, a city at the forefront of experimental and practical research: a constructed wetland in Staten Island, a workforce development and technology program in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a public art installation in a Bronx housing project, a housing advocacy initiative in Jackson Heights, Queens. These and a wide variety of other examples in Citymakers comprise a cross-disciplinary, from-the-ground-up approach that encourage better choices for cities of the future.

By blending intimate portraits of individuals and projects with incisive social analysis, Citymakers reports from the front lines of urban practice with up-to-the-minute examples and arguments that reframe our understanding of urbanism. With original photography by Alex Fradkin, the book fuses the rich visual and graphic sensibility of architectural publishing with the informative readability of sophisticated, long-format journalism. Revising traditional notions of urban intervention and providing new directions for the next generation of citizen-practitioners, Citymakers is a lasting document of the perspectives driving cities today, and tomorrow.

Confirmed panelists include:
Naomi Iwasaki -  Deputy Director, Investing in Place 

Moderated by:


Cassim Shepard produces non-fiction media about cities, buildings and places. As the founding editor-in-chief of Urban Omnibus, an online publication of The Architectural League of New York, he spent six years working with hundreds of local architects, designers, artists, writers, and public servants to share their stories of urban innovation, with a particular emphasis on housing, infrastructure, and the changing nature of cultural institutions.

He lectures widely about the craft of visual storytelling in urban analysis and design, and is a frequent moderator of panel discussions on a wide variety of urban topics. His film and video work has been screened at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Ford Foundation, and the United Nations, among many other venues around the world. His writing on urbanism has appeared in Next City, Places, Domus, Public Culture, as well as in books and catalogues documenting work by Geoff Manaugh, David Adjaye, and others. 

Shepard teaches in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and has been a guest lecturer in the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography at Kings College London, and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Geoff Manaugh is the author of BLDGBLOG and the New York Times bestselling book A Burglar's Guide to the City. In addition to curating exhibitions for the Nevada Museum of Art, Storefront for Art and Architecture, and USC Libraries, he has lectured internationally at the Bauhaus Universität, the Australian National Architecture Conference, the Bartlett School of Architecture, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, SCI-Arc, and Harvard University, among many others. Manaugh regularly covers technology, urbanism, and design for The New York Times MagazineThe New YorkerThe AtlanticNew Scientist, and many other publications. He is currently working on a book about the history and future of quarantine with writer Nicola Twilley to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2018. 

CHELINA ODBERT is Co-founder and Executive Director of Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI), a non-profit design practice that partners with low income communities to improve physical, economic, and social quality of life through low-cost, high-impact design interventions. Since 2006, she has worked with community members in the slum of Kibera, Nairobi to design and implement a network of "Productive Public Spaces" — transformed waste spaces that link physical upgrading to micro-enterprise and community development. The Productive Public Space Network has won numerous awards including Van Alen Institutes' New York Prize for Public Architecture. Chelina has replicated the Productive Public Space process in Haiti, Ghana and the United States. She holds a BA from Claremont Mckenna College, where she graduated with magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. She received her Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University. Chelina has lectured extensively in the United States and internationally on KDI's community-engaged approach to planning, and written about it for Forbes Magazine and in the book, NOW Urbanism. In 2012, she was named by American Express as one of 15 Global Emerging Social Innovators. In 2014, she was named an Aspen Institute Ideas Scholar.

Naomi Iwasaki is the Deputy Director of Investing in Place. She is a knowledgeable professional with direct experience translating community perspectives into real policy and projects. Driven by social justice, she is a fourth generation Angeleno with a love and deep connection to the Los Angeles region and those who call it home.

Most recently, Naomi served as Director of Neighborhood Services and Great Streets in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, overseeing eight City departments and the Great Streets Initiative, which prioritizes public resources to develop our streets as safe and vibrant public spaces. She previously worked at Community Health Councils (CHC) analyzing transportation and transit-oriented development policies to advocate for improved health and mobility access for residents of South Los Angeles. Naomi holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from New York University and B.A.’s in Ethnic Studies and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley.

From her experience working on the inside of government – as well as her experience as a community advocate –  Naomi understands from multiple perspectives just how difficult systemic change can be to implement. But she brings a commitment to equity and belief that we can achieve change through smart, collaborative, strategic advocacy. She has seen her hometown grow and change so much in her life and has dedicated herself to improving it for her son and his generation and generations to come.

Josh Stephens  - A journalist with a penchant for covering cities and other large, tangible things, Josh Stephens is the former editor of and current contributing editor to the California Planning & Development Report, the state’s foremost independent publication dedicated to urban planning. Josh previously edited The Planning Report and the Metro Investment Report, monthly publications covering, respectively, land use and infrastructure in Southern California.