Sasaki planner Wendell Joseph recently spoke on a panel presented by WGBH and LivableStreets Alliance titled “Transportation and Housing: What Will Make Communities Resilient in the Future?” With density and public transit recast as a danger in the midst of COVID-19, the panelists discussed what urban planning in a post-pandemic era might look like. Joseph offered his thoughts on the relationship between urban density and the pandemic, noting that “‘Density’ is not a value-neutral metric. It is incredibly contextual and nuanced.”
Joseph also appeared as a guest on the podcast unPlanned hosted by Sam Seidel, a principal at Urban Strategies. In light of the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, Joseph and Seidel had a conversation about race and bias in city planning. “When it comes to justice and equity in urban planning, it’s not about being an expert, but instead having a fundamental understanding of different systemic issues and how they play out in space,” Joseph said in the podcast. “Racism — how does that play out in space? Sexism, ableism, wealth disparities — how do they play out in space? Paying attention to the world around us and the history that precedes us makes us better planners because it deepens our literacy of space, and of people, and how the two come together. Space is not an abstract thing, it’s real, and people are a part of it.”
Watch both conversations below.