Newsletter | Jan/Mar 2023

Speakers for the Anniversary Symposium

Victoria Beard
Victoria Beard is Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University and Director of the Cornell Mui Ho Center for Cities. Beard’s research and teaching focus on comparative urbanization and international development planning. Her focus is on exploring how planners address urban inequality and poverty.

In cities in the Global South, communities often plan for themselves, outside of, in collaboration with, and in opposition to formal planning and regulatory frameworks.
In response to the limitations of community-based planning, Beard explores the city’s perspective both with regards to basic services, particularly water and sanitation access, as well as to the broader processes that create and sustain city-wide transformation.

From 2015 to 2017, Beard served as Director of Research for the Ross Center for Cities at the World Resources Institute. In this role, she was lead contributor to the World Resources Report, Towards a More Equal City. She has also worked for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, AusAID, Mercy Corps, the Research Triangle Institute, and RAND.

Beard holds a PhD in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia (1999); an MA in urban planning from University of California, Los Angeles (1995); and a BA in urban studies and planning from the University of California,
San Diego (1992).

Karen Parolek
Karen Parolek is co-founder and President of Opticos Design, Inc., an architecture and urban design firm specializing in walkable, sustainable, and equitable communities. Their work has earned a variety of national awards, including four national American Planning Association Awards and two NAHB Best in American Living™ Awards, including the Game Changer, Platinum Award for Culdesac Tempe, the first car-free neighborhood designed for shared mobility and built from scratch in the United States.

Parolek is a leading innovator and educator in zoning reform across the US and abroad, and co-author of the book Form-Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers (Wiley, 2008). Her efforts redesigning zoning codes have helped revolutionize the way we regulate land development in our communities to enable and reinforce walkable and sustainable places. She is Vice Chair of the steering committee of the Form-Based Codes Institute, a non-profit that offers classes, technical assistance and other resources to communities and professionals interested in learning about form-based codes.

Through that expertise, Opticos introduced the concept of Missing Middle Housing, a transformative idea that highlights the need for diverse, affordable housing options in walkable urban places. Parolek and her firm design, enable and educate about Missing Middle Housing as both a critical element of walkable communities and an effective tool to address the needs for housing choice and affordability.

Committed to developing better ways of running a business, Parolek led Opticos to become a founding B Corporation in 2007 and a California Benefit Corporation in 2012—new types of impact-driven companies committed to a triple bottom line of social, environmental, and fiscal responsibility.

Clara Irazábal
Clara Irazábal is the Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park. In her research and teaching, she explores the interactions of culture, politics, and placemaking, and their impact on community development and socio-spatial justice in Latin American cities and Latinx, immigrant, and minority communities in the US.

Irazábal was previously the Director of the Latinx and Latin American Studies and Professor of Planning at the University of Missouri, Kansas City; Associate Professor and Director of the Latin Lab at Columbia University; and Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and Masters degrees from UC Berkeley and the Central University of Venezuela. 

Irazábal is the author of Urban Governance and City Making in the Americas: Curitiba and Portland (Ashgate, 2005) and the editor of Transbordering Latin Americas: Liminal Places, Cultures, and Powers (T)Here (Routledge 2014) and Ordinary Places, Extraordinary Events: Citizenship, Democracy, and Public Space in Latin America (Routledge 2008, 2015). She is associate editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association and on the editorial board of other internationally accredited architectural and planning journals.

Irazábal has worked as a consultant, researcher, and professor in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. She is a lecturer at Universitat Internacional de Cataluya, Barcelona, and has taught award-winning planning and multidisciplinary studios in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, and Trinidad and Tobago as well as in Latinx, Black, and immigrant/refugee communities in the US.

Inés Sánchez de Madariaga

Inés Sánchez de Madariaga is UNESCO Chair on Gender in Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor of Urban Planning at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and Chair of AGGI the Advisory Group on Gender Issues to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat. She is a leading international expert on gender in transportation, urban planning, architecture, and STEM, with extensive experience in policy, practice, and research. She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Spanish UN-Sustainable Solutions Development Network, has been Chair of the international COST network Gender, Science, Technology and Environment, and co-Director of the EU-US Gendered Innovations Project. As member of the European Commission Helsinki Group on Gender in Research and Chair of the EC Expert Group on Structural Change, she led the negotiations to introduce gender as a central element of the EC research program Horizon2020. She has been a member of the Scientific Committees and Principal Investigator of a dozen European Research and Technology Development projects. Sánchez de Madariaga has also held public office as Deputy Director General for Architecture, Advisor to the Minister of Housing, Advisor to the Minister of Science, Director of the Women and Science Unit at the Cabinet of the Secretary of State for Research.

A former Fulbright grantee, Sánchez de Madariaga received her Masters and PhD from the School of Architecture of Madrid. She has been a Visiting Scholar at UCLA, the Bauhaus-Weimar, London School of Economics, and Columbia University. She is author of over 100 articles and editor of two reference books on gender in planning: Engendering Cities: Designing Sustainable Urban Spaces for All, Routledge, 2020, and Fair Shared Cities. The Impact of Gender Planning in Europe. 2013. In 2021, she received the Matilde Ucelay Award in recognition for her professional trajectory in promoting women in transportation, mobility and urban planning granted by the Spanish Ministry of Transportation and Urban Agenda.

Willow Lung-Amam
Willow Lung-Amam is Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she also serves as Director of Community Development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education and Director of the Small Business Anti-Displacement Network. She has written extensively

on suburban poverty, racial segregation, immigration, gentrification, redevelopment politics, and neighborhood opportunity. She is the author of Trespassers? Asian American and the Battle for Suburbia, and a forthcoming book on redevelopment politics and equitable development being organized in the Washington, DC suburbs. Her research has also appeared in various journals, books, and popular media outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, National Public Radio, New Republic, Bloomberg’s CityLab, and Al Jazeera.

Dr. Lung-Amam is a non-resident Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies program.

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