Planning for Equity
Inspiring Design: Creating Beautiful, Just, and Resilient Places in America

Hosted in partnership with the Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy as a part of its 2021 Spring Myra Kraft Open Classroom, Inspiring Design: Creating Beautiful, Just, and Resilient Places in America explores the role of design in cities.

The series is presented in partnership with the Association of Architecture Organizations, Association of Collegiate Schools of ArchitectureBoston Society for Architecture, and the Boston Society of Landscape Architects.

How do we create beautiful, just, and resilient places? In this session Anne-Marie Lubenau and Ted Landsmark reflect on the conversations over the course of the semester about the role of design in creating equitable and resilient places and cities. They were joined by architect and urban planner David Gamble, Principal of Gamble Associates and editor of Unconventional Conventions: Transforming Boston’s Future—a collection of essays on the challenges Boston faces in the 21st century and efforts to make the city more livable, equitable, resilient, and beautiful—and Northeastern University Fellow for Public Life and former Massachusetts House speaker Robert Deleo. Together with the audience we’ll identify and discuss emerging themes and ideas to apply to our collective work. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand and describe how the creation of inclusive places can address community welfare and affect economic, environmental, and social change.
  • Discuss the value of engaging in collaborative partnerships in the planning, design, and development of inclusive, community-based projects.
  • Identify and describe approaches to addressing equity via the planning, design, and development of places and programming.
  • Identify and describe examples of award-winning projects that illustrate the role of design in addressing equity.

This session was recorded on Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 as part of Northeastern University’s Myra Kraft Open Classroom 2021 Spring series. ASLA and APA continuing education credits are available thanks to partnerships with Boston Society of Landscape Architects and the American Planning Association, Ohio Chapter.

David Gamble, Principal, Gamble Associates
David Gamble is Principal of Gamble Associates, a Cambridge-MA based practice that focuses on urban revitalization and community development. He is a Lecturer and Design Critic in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and is Chair of the American Institute of Architects Regional and Urban Design Committee. David is co-author of “Rebuilding the American City” (co-author Patty Heyda) which looks at the catalytic effects of urban design and planning projects with a focus on creative implementation strategies. His forthcoming book “Unconventional Conventions” convenes more than two dozen Boston-based educators and practitioners that reflect on ways to make Boston more equitable, resilient and beautiful in the future.

Robert DeLeo, University Fellow for Public Life, Northeastern University
The longest-serving Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, University Fellow for Public Life Robert DeLeo has successfully led the State through economic crises, healthcare reform, and nation-leading gun safety laws. During his tenure in the legislature, Speaker DeLeo has consistently recognized the value of investing in the community; under his leadership, the State invested billions of dollars in education, climate change, and economic development. A Northeastern University Graduate, former Selectman, and long-time Red Sox fan, Speaker DeLeo is proud to continue serving his community by sharing his expertise with the leaders of tomorrow.

Anne-Marie Lubenau (moderator), FAIA, is the director of the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence at the Bruner Foundation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An architect, educator and writer, she is an advocate for engaging people in the design of the built environment and increasing awareness of its impact on our lives. She contributes regularly to national and international publications and forums on design and urban development and is a member of the Boston Civic Design Commission, Harvard GSD Alumni Council, and the Association of Architecture Organization’s board of directors. She holds a BArch from Carnegie Mellon and was a 2012 Harvard Loeb Fellow.

Ted Landsmark (facilitator) is a Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs; Director, Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University. Ted is an architect, attorney, academic, and civil rights activist who serves as one of five members of the Boston Planning and Development Agency.




Creating Excellent Urban Places: Learning from the Rudy Bruner Award

Composite Courtesy Bruner Foundation.
  • How do we make excellent urban places? The RBA was created to explore this question by seeking out and sharing examples of inspiring and transformative urban development. While there is no one recipe, five common themes have emerged from the organization’s 32 years of investigation and documentation of 88 medalists: vision and leadership, collaborative partnerships, engaging community, anchoring in place, and leveraging design. Learn more about these and the RBA’s history and method of inquiry in Creating Excellent Urban Places: Learning from the Rudy Bruner Award by Anne-Marie Lubenau and Robert Shibley.

Unconventional Conventions: Transforming Boston’s Future

Courtesy David Gamble.
  • How do we make cities more livable, equitable, resilient, and beautiful? David Gamble assembled a collection of essays by Boston-based civic leaders, urban development practitioners, and educators that address this question as the city navigates a period of substantial change and challenges in the 21st century. Organized around a dozen themes, Unconventional Conventions: Transforming Boston’s Future (coming soon) offers valuable insight and innovative approaches and is intended to be a platform for community conversations in Boston and elsewhere. Watch the Lessons Learned video recording (14:56) for a preview.

Suffolk Downs Redevelopment

Courtesy Suffolk Downs Redevelopment.
  • Suffolk Downs Redevelopment is the proposed redevelopment of a former racetrack facility straddling the communities of East Boston and Revere. Planned with the goals of connectivity and accessibility in mind, the new mixed-use development will incorporate residential, office, and retail uses along with approximately 40 acres of publicly accessible resilient open space woven throughout the development that link it to adjoining neighborhoods and public transit. Robert DeLeo reflected on his experience with the project and the importance of engaging communities, public agencies, and elected representatives throughout the planning and development process.