Designing Suburban Futures, Now

Date(s) - Nov 1, 2013
10:00 am - 11:30 am

Urban Design and Preservation Division – CM Pending

The North American urban landscape is dominated by the products of late 20th century suburbanization, leaving the built environment littered with dead malls, failing strip centers, foreclosed houses, vacant big boxes, and acre upon acre of asphalt parking lots. What to do? June Williamson will discuss promising planning and design strategies and tactics, illustrated with competition-winning proposals from her book Designing Suburban Futures as well as case studies from her previous book Retrofitting Suburbia, co-authored with Ellen Dunham-Jones.

Presenter Biography: June Williamson is an architecture professor at The City College of New York/CUNY. She has taught and practiced in Boston, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Los Angeles and now, New York City. Her deep interest in rethinking suburban landscapes stems from growing up in several: Metairie in Louisiana, Needham and Westwood in Massachusetts, Mt. Lebanon in Pennsylvania, New Malden in Surrey, England, and even Ras Tanura, a gated company compound in Saudi Arabia modeled on a 1940s U.S. subdivision. She was advisor for Build a Better Burb, an ideas design competition for the suburbs of Long Island, which is documented in her newest book “Designing Suburban Futures.” June is co-author, with Ellen Dunham-Jones, of the book “Retrofitting Suburbia,” winner of the 2009 PROSE Award for Architecture and Urban Planning from the Association of American Publishers, and her writing has been published in the book “Writing Urbanism: A Design Reader,” “Independent for Life,” and “The Diverse Suburb: History, Politics, Prospects” as well as the journals Places, Harvard Design Magazine, Urban Land, the Journal of Urbanism, and Thresholds.

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