New School News

Social Justice & The City at 40

This weekend, the Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons The New School for Design is bringing some of the world’s foremost scholars in urbanism together to mark a momentous occasion. This year is the 40th anniversary of the publication of David Harvey’s seminal book, Social Justice and the City, a work that transformed the interplay of architecture, urban studies, and social justice.

Based on “Social Processes and Spatial Form: An Analysis of the Conceptual Problems of Urban Planning,” an article published a few years prior in Papers of the Regional Science Association called the book would ultimately herald an ongoing formation of radically new and unseen forms of urban practice. The book compelled professionals in the fields of urban planning and architecture to grapple with the implications their work had on the real people in the environments they inhabited: who was privileged, and who was disadvantaged, and how can that balance be altered to produce a more just society? Today, it still provokes views that remain at the core of socially just forms of urbanization.

This weekend’s conference, is organized by Miguel Robles-Duran, the Director of the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program. Its speakers include: Sharon Zukin, Don Mitchell, Andy Merrifield, Margit Mayer, Peter Marcuse, Ayreen Anastas, Martha Rosler, Miguel Robles-Durán, Rene Gabri, William Moorish, Andrew Ross, Jeanne van Heeswijk, William Tabb, John Krinsky, Teddy Cruz, Erik Swyngedouw, Nik Heynen, Neil Brenner, Melissa Wright, Tom Angotti, Linda McDowell, Miriam Greenberg, Richard Walker and others.

“The urban thinkers and practitioners that are represented in this conference have been the greatest inspiration for developing the graduate program in Design & Urban Ecologies, many of whom have started to be involved in it” said Robles-Duran, who is director of the program. “Our goal is to radically shift urban pedagogy into the social and environmental justice realms and I hope this event and many others we have organized show that we are serious about it”.


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