Citymakers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism

Early 2017 has not been a time of optimism. In a year of rising intolerance, inequality, and a deep distrust in the value of government, there has never been a better time to recognize and celebrate the under-reported individuals who work, quietly and tirelessly, to make cities into the proving grounds of a more equitable and sustainable future, a future that advances ideals of solidarity and resilience. In Citymakers: The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism, Cassim Shepard (MCP, '07) offers a cross-disciplinary approach to argue for a more expansive understanding of how, and by whom, cities are made today. The book focuses on emerging principles practiced by a diverse group of “citymakers,” including landscape designers, housing advocates, photographers, hackers, architects, ecologists, community organizers, activists, artists, and more. As founding editor of Urban Omnibus, an online publication that brings innovative projects in New York City to a wide, international audience, Shepard is uniquely situated to tell these stories and to place them in an intellectual and historical context. Shepard explores ideas that are tested in New York City but applicable to cities everywhere. In this talk, Shepard will discuss the ideas explored in the book and his vision of citymaking as a crucial arena of imagination, ethics, and action.