Spring 2013

Semester Start Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2013

In the News: Annette Kim on Beijing's Bomb Shelters

Nate Berg, writing in Atlantic Cities, has a new article on recent research by Professor Annette M.

Honoring Patrol Officer Sean Collier

Wednesday, April 22,  at noon, MIT hosted a memorial service honoring the late Sean Collier, President L. Rafael Reif. The event was open to the MIT community and to law enforcement officers from across the nation.

Top state and federal officials attended the event, held on Briggs Field.  The event followed a private memorial service and funeral in Wilmington, Mass. for Collier, the MIT Police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Thursday evening.

Excellence in Public Service Awards: 2013 Call for Applications

The department is now accepting applications for our annual Excellence in Public Service Awards.  Deadline: May 22, 2013.


Purpose.   In 1999, DUSP established the Fund for Excellence in Public Service to raise funds to assist and encourage graduates from the Master in City Planning (MCP) program who choose to pursue public service careers.  The Excellence in Public Service Awards, as the Fund’s first initiative, is designed to advance three purposes:

The Neighborhood's Story

In 2012, the Boston Globe undertook a year-long effort to understand the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood of Dorchester. For decades, journalists have been reporting shootings and homicides there – rushing to crime scenes and then leaving to file their articles on time. The Globe wanted to tell a more complete story of the neighborhood.

Xav Briggs at APA: "Inventing the Next American Economy"

On Sunday, April 14, 2013, DUSP Professor Xav Briggs delivered the opening keynote address for the National Conference of the American Planning Association in Chicago.  The title of his talk was "Inventing the Next American Economy: Why Planning Matters and Where the Pitfalls Lie."

To view the full Presi presentation from his address, see below.


The Mapping America exhibition attempts to visually represent the complexity of the American election and electorate through a collection of Infographics. The Civic Data Design Lab curated the exhibition with Kessels Kramer, a graphic design firm based in Amsterdam, with an office in London.

DUSP Get-Together at APA/Chicago

On Sunday, April 14, DUSP will be holding an informal get-together in Chicago at THE PUBLIC HOUSE, just a few blocks away from the APA conference. Professor Xav Briggs will be there, along with our new Department Head, Eran Ben-Joseph.

The Public House
400 N State Street, Chicago
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Drinks on you, snacks on us.



As many of you know, the Garment District has been under enourmous pressure to rezone over the past several years. This proposal could possibly erode the way in which designers are able to work and innovate. During Summer of 2011, the Spatial Information Design Lab, in partnership with Elizabeth Currid, set out to quantify the importance of manufacturing firms in the Garment District. In this project we used smart phone technology to perform a survey of the spatial patterns of New York City deisgn firms.

Purging the Poorest

Larry Vale new book  Purging the Poorest: Public Housing and the Design Politics of Twice-Cleared Communities offers a new narrative of the seventy-five-year struggle to house the “deserving poor.”  In the 1930s, two iconic American cities, Atlanta and Chicago, demolished their slums and established some of this country’s first public housing. Six decades later, these same cities also led the way in clearing public housing itself.