Roundtable on Idea City: How to Make Boston More Livable, Equitable, and Resilient

Join us for a roundtable talk on Idea City: How to Make Boston More Livable, Equitable, and Resilient (UMass Press, 2023) with editor David Gamble and contributors Marie Law Adams, Alice Brown, Michelle Danila, and Andres Sevtsuk. This discussion is free, open to the public, and will be held in person in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square.

Racial strife, increased social and economic discrimination, amplified political friction, and growing uncertainty around the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have laid bare many inequalities within the city of Boston. How will these disruptions and inequities influence the city’s future, especially as Boston celebrates its quadricentennial in 2030?

Just released over the summer, this collection of original essays addresses the many challenges Boston contends with in the twenty-first century and considers ways to improve the city for everyone. Presenting a range of perspectives written by area experts—academics, reflective practitioners, and policymakers—these essays tackle issues of resiliency, mobility, affordable housing, health outcomes, social equity, economic equality, zoning, regionalism, and more. Reflecting the diversity of the city and the challenges and opportunities Boston currently faces, Idea City will help readers think differently about their own areas of expertise and draw conclusions from urban regeneration work in other fields.

Marie Law Adams is a co-founder of Landing Studio, an urban design practice focused on the development of more just and sustainable urban infrastructure, and Associate Professor of Architecture at Northeastern University.

Alice Brown, AICP, is the Chief of Planning and Policy at Boston Harbor Now. Her work extends around the Boston waterfront and to the Boston Harbor Islands where she works on water transportation, park improvements, and creating high quality privately owned public space along the Harborwalk. Through planning processes, public workshops, and comment letters, Alice strives to improve the accessibility, inclusiveness, and resilience of the region’s coast. Prior to joining Boston Harbor Now, Alice worked at the Boston Transportation Department as the project manager for Go Boston 2030. She has previously worked as a planner at Sasaki, at the LivableStreets Alliance, and as a middle school and high school math teacher. Alice holds a MUP from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design as well as degrees in math, philosophy, and teaching. You may find her around the city riding her bike, leading a tour, or eating ice cream.

David Gamble, AIA AICP LEED AP Principal, Gamble Associates. David Gamble is an architect and urban planner and Principal of Gamble Associates, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The firm focuses on urban revitalization and community development. He is a Lecturer in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and his research looks at the catalytic effects of urban design and planning projects with a focus on the creative design and implementation strategies.  David is Editor of “Idea City” (UMass Press, 2023) and co-author of “Rebuilding the American City” (co-author Patty Heyda, Routledge Press, 2016) which looks at the catalytic effects of urban design and planning projects with a focus on creative implementation strategies. His next book “Repositioning the American Town” will be published in 2024.

Michelle Danila, PE, PTOE strives to improve safety for all roadway users, especially people walking, biking, and taking transit. Michelle has worked on roadway and intersection design projects throughout the United States, and is skilled in taking designs from concept through construction. During her career, she has worked in both the public and private engineering sectors.

Andres Sevtsuk is Head of the City Design and Development Group and the Charles and Ann Spaulding Career Development Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where he also leads the City Form Lab. His research focuses on public qualities of cities, and on making urban environments more walkable, sustainable and equitable, bridging the fields of urban design, spatial analytics and mobility research. Andres is the author of the Urban Network Analysis toolbox, used by researchers and practitioners around the world to model pedestrian flows along city streets and to study coordinated land use and transportation development along networks. He has published a book entitled “Street Commerce: Creating Vibrant Urban Sidewalks” with Penn Press and before that, “Urban Network Analysis: Tools for Modeling Walking and Biking in Cities” with Tianjin University Press. Andres has collaborated with a number of city governments, international organizations, planning practices and developers on urban designs, plans and policies in both developed and rapidly developing urban environments, most recently including those in US, Indonesia, Australia, Lebanon, Estonia and Singapore. He has led various international research projects, published in planning, transportation and urban design journals, and received numerous awards for his work. Before joining MIT, Andres was an Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He holds a PhD from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and an SMArchs in Architecture and Urbanism from MIT.