Redesigning Cities student interns set up a classroom for a podcast featuring Chuck Marohn, Kari Watkins, and Ellen Dunham-Jones.

Redesigning Cities

Redesigning Cities

How should existing cities, their systems and policies, be redesigned to address 21st Century challenges?

REDESIGNING CITIES: The Speedwell Foundation Talks @ Georgia Institute of Technology is a series of presentations + conversations between leading urbanists that address 21st Century urban challenges: social capital, equity, climate change, outdated infrastructure, disruptive technologies, and money. The series is hosted by Ellen Dunham-Jones, professor and director of the Master of Science in Urban Design degree in the Georgia Tech School of Architecture.

Headshots of all of the Redesigning Cities speakers from seasons one, two, and three.


Episode 27 | Redesigning the House

Change the house, change the city? The American Dream of ownership of a detached single-family house is increasingly under attack. It has a racist history and ongoing legacy of segregation, a high environmental footprint, fosters sprawl and loneliness in ever-smaller households, and is increasingly unaffordable. Diana Lind, of the Penn Institute for Urban Research and author of Brave New Home: Our Future in Smarter, Simpler, Happier Housing, Ellen Dunham-Jones and Andrew Bruno of Georgia Tech will discuss the impact on cities and neighborhoods of both exclusive single-family house zoning and alternative forms of houses/housing. 

Free event October 19 at 3:00pm ET – in person in the Reinsch-Pierce Auditorium, 245 4th St NW, Atlanta with reception to follow – and on Zoom. Register to attend virtually here

Season Five

Season Five is ongoing. So far you will hear from Monte Anderson, Bernice Radle, Diana Lind, and Andrew Bruno.

Season 5: Episode 27 | Redesigning the House

This episode asks if you change the house, do you change the city? The American Dream of ownership of a detached single-family house is increasingly out of reach – and out of date. It has an ongoing legacy of racist segregation, a high environmental footprint, fosters sprawl and loneliness in ever-smaller households, and is increasingly unaffordable. Diana Lind, of the Penn Institute for Urban Research and Andrew Bruno of Georgia Tech will discuss the impact on cities and neighborhoods of alternative forms of houses/housing.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 5: Episode 26 | Redesigning Cities for Local Entrepreneurs

What if developers thought of themselves as farmers nurturing their neighborhood’s abandoned buildings, planting symbiotic uses, and growing small business entrepreneurs? And what if they wanted to teach you how to do the same in your neighborhood? Monte Anderson of Options Real Estate in Dallas and Bernice Radle of Buffalove in Buffalo discuss how they have incrementally engaged in what they call “gentlefication” not gentrification to provide affordable, local solutions reviving their neighborhoods.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season Four

In Season Four you will hear from Lisa Yaszek, Shaunitra Wisdom, Vikas Mehta, Tony Garcia, Kari Watkins, Andrew Ross, Shelley Poticha, Adrian Benepe, Clyde Higgs, and Tim Keane.

Season 4: Episode 25 | Redesigning Cities for Public Health

Dr. Richard Jackson, emeritus professor of public health at UCLA and former Director of the CDC National Center for Environmental Health and has argued that architects and planners can have more impact on the health of the next generation of kids than all the physicians in the world. His words are best proven correct through the work of renowned architect Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group, dedicated to the construction of dignity and rooted in healthcare design. Tune in to their conversation reinvigorating what it means today to design for health, safety, and welfare.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 4: Episode 24 | Atlanta's Parks and Greenways as Agents of Urban Transformation

Building in part on its Olmstedian legacy, Atlanta is making unprecedented investments in new parks, greenways, and forests. Adrian Benepe of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will lead a conversation with Clyde Higgs of the Atlanta Beltline and Tim Keane of the City of Atlanta on how this is radically transforming development patterns, trip modes, and the intersection of equity and ecology.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 4: Episode 23 | Redesigning Cities with Affordable Housing

Today, a minimum-wage earner can afford a one-bedroom apartment in only 145 out of 3,143 counties in America. Andrew Ross of NYU and author of Sunbelt Blues: The Failure of American Housing (2021) and Shelley Poticha of the NRDC and former Director of Sustainable Housing and Communities at HUD will discuss how ineffective government planning, property market speculation, and poverty wages have created this housing crisis -- and the policy and design measures needed to pull us out of it.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 4: Episode 22 | Redesigning Cities Post-Pandemic

Lock-downs, work from home, and fears of crowded indoor space during the pandemic have shifted how many of us use streets. From “streateries” and street racing, to drive-by birthday parades and outdoor schools, our streets have become significantly more social. Will these shifts last if and when the pandemic eases – and what do they mean for public space, transit, and mode-splits? Professor Vikas Mehta of the architecture and urban design programs at the University of Cincinnati, Tony Garcia of Street Plans Collaborative and Tactical Urbanism fame, and Professor Kari Watkins, civil engineering at Georgia Tech help us figure it out.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 4: Episode 21 | Redesigning Cities in Science Fiction

What can urbanists learn from how Sci-Fi authors have reimagined cities? GT Regents Professor in Science Fiction and author Lisa Yaszek discusses with host Ellen Dunham-Jones how diverse voices from around the world have challenged racial and gender norms in science and technology while proposing alternative kinds of cities, spaces, and social justice. Shaunitra Wisdom, GT School of Architecture Academic Advisor, author, and Periplus Fellow shares her insights.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season Three

In Season Three you will hear from Billy Fleming, Nancy Levinson, Eva Kail, Dolores Hayden, Douglas Kelbaugh, Brian Stone, Jr., and Sarah Williams Goldhagen, and Sonit Bafna. 

Season 3: Episode 20 | Redesigning Cities to Tackle Structural Racism

How can we undo the ways economic policies have contributed to structural racism? And how should we redesign cities to reflect and advance equitable economies? Raphael Bostic, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Catherine Ross, Regents Professor of City Planning and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology will discuss solutions to these and other questions.

Video: Watch Here

Season 3: Episode 19 | Redesigning Cities for a Tele-Everything World

Post-pandemic, how might we leverage tele-work-medicine-education-everything to even the playing field between rich and poor places instead of exacerbating the digital divide? University of Arizona Professor Arthur C. Nelson and Debra Lam, Executive Director of Georgia Tech’s Partnership for Inclusive Innovation will help me, Redesigning Cities host Ellen Dunham-Jones, think through this question.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 3: Episode 18 | Redesigning Cities with Green Infrastructure

Josiah Cain, Director of Innovation at Sherwood Design Engineers presents the firm’s advanced techniques for regenerative site design before Mike Messner, Professor in Practice at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, leads their conversation on the implementation, financing, and future prospects of these high-performing sustainable strategies.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 3: Episode 17 | Redesigning Cities with Neuroscience

Sarah Williams Goldhagen, critic and author of the award-winning Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives, Sonit Bafna, associate professor and director of the Georgia Tech SoA Ph.D. program, and Harrison Fraker, Dean Emeritus at UC Berkeley and author of Minding The City: Field Notes on the Poetics of Sustainable Public Space will present their research on how spatial design impacts meaning, emotions and behavior, before discussing the implications for redesigning cities.  

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here

Season 3: Episode 16 | Redesigning Critical Infrastructure for Climate Change

As climate change and urban heat islands compound the impacts of non-climatic events such as pandemics and blackouts, critical infrastructure too often fails just when it is needed most. How do we rethink and redesign critical infrastructure at the city, neighborhood, and microclimate scales? Brian Stone will present new research findings from the Urban Climate Lab at Georgia Tech in discussion with Doug Kelbaugh, author of The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here!

Season 3: Episode 15 | Redesigning Cities and Suburbs for Women

Dolores Hayden, professor emerita of Yale, kicks off this episode with her seminal research on the history of feminist architecture and urbanism and how it contrasts to suburbia’s construction of women’s roles. Eva Kail then presents how she has implemented gender mainstreaming in the design of parks, housing, transit and neighborhoods while working for the city of Vienna, Austria for over thirty years. The rich conversation that follows, led by Julie Kim and Ellen Dunham-Jones of Georgia Tech, discusses why the US hasn’t followed Austria’s lead, hopes for future feminists, and more.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here!

Season 3: Episode 14 | Redesigning Cities with the Green New Deal

What is the Green New Deal and what might its advancing of equity, jobs, and justice in relation to climate change mean for redesigning cities? Billy Fleming of the University of Pennsylvania and Nancy Levinson of Places Journal inform, interrogate, and invite designers to figure it out in this co-hosted Places Event.

Podcast: Listen Here!

Video: Watch Here!

Season Two

In Season Two you will hear from Josh Margolis, Dan Matisoff, Chuck Marohn, the Newsweek Momentum Awards, Majora Carter, Carol Coletta, Alan Organschi, Scott Marble, and Marcel Wilson.

Season 2: Episode 13 | Redesigning Cities’ Integration of Ecology with Technology

Marcel Wilson, founder of the San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm Bionic, presents his work in the REDESIGNING CITIES video, extracted from his presentation of the 2020 Doug Allen lecture. In the podcast, he and host Ellen Dunham-Jones discuss shifts in how we’re redesigning the integration of nature as an amenity, performative ecology, and infrastructural technology into cities and landscapes.

Season 2: Episode 12 | Building Carbon Positive Cities

Alan Organschi, partner in Gray Organschi Architecture and on the faculty at Yale University, and Scott Marble, Chair of the School of Architecture and partner in Marble Fairbanks, discuss Organischi’s research on the potential of timber construction combined with forest management to turn cities into massive carbon sinks.

VideoWatch Here!

Season 2: Episode 11 | Redesigning Cities with Philanthropy

Carol Coletta, President and CEO of the nonprofit Memphis River Parks Partnership, and Ellen Dunham-Jones, Director of the Master of Science in Urban Design degree at Georgia Tech and Co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia, discuss the utilization of philanthropy to improve the public realm with an emphasis on parks.

Podcast: Available on Podomatic.

VideoWatch here! 

Season 2: Episode 10 | Redesigning Cities for Low-Status Communities

Majora Carter, a revitalization entrepreneur, presents her decade-long work on 'self-gentrification' and incremental development as a means to stem the stigmatization and brain drain out of low-status communities.

Podcast: Available on Podomatic.

Video: Watch here!


Season 2: Episode 9 | Redesigning Cities for Smart Mobility and Inclusive Innovation

The Newsweek Momentum Award Winners - We are proud to formally kick-off Season 2 in partnership with Georgia Tech’s Smart Cities and Inclusive Innovation initiative with the 2019 winners of The Newsweek Momentum Awards. The Newsweek Momentum Awards celebrate the people and cities propelling the world toward an environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, economically viable future of autonomous mobility and smart urban environments. Come hear from the five individual 2019 winners and representatives of this year’s “smartest city in the world.”

Podcast: Available on Podomatic (Part 1) and Podomatic (Part 2).

Video 1: Newsweek CEO Dev Pragad & Medellin, Columbia–World’s Smartest City – Watch here!
Video 2: Jan Gehl, Gehl Architects, Copenhagen – Watch here!
Video 3: Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg Associates, former Commissioner of Transportation, New York City – Watch here!
Video 4: Reuben Abraham, IDFC, Mumbai – Watch here!
Video 5: Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation – Watch here!
Video 6: Carlo Ratti, MIT Senseable City Lab, Carlo Ratti Associati – Watch here!

Season 2: Episode 8 | Redesigning Cities' Investments in Transportation Infrastructure

Chuck Marohn is the President and founder of Strong Towns, a growing movement that questions the fiscal responsibility of sprawl development patterns. He is a civil engineer and city planner whose early career was spent widening roads and advancing auto-dependency in accordance with what he’d been taught. He was interviewed by Georgia Tech’s Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, and Kari Watkins, Olmsted Professor of Civil Engineering.

Podcast: Available on Podomatic.

Season 2: Episode 7 | Redesigning Cities with Carbon Pricing Markets?

How can cities get a double dividend from cap-and-trade programs that mitigate climate change and revenues that fund adaptation? Does market pricing of negative externalities provide cities with a new set of tools for localizing carbon neutral benefits? These are some of the topics discussed by Josh Margolis of the Environmental Defense Fund with Dan Matisoff and Ellen Dunham-Jones of Georgia Tech. 

Podcast: Available on SpotifyApple, and TuneIn.

Season One

In Season One, you will hear from Jeff Tumlin, Harriet Tregoning, June Williamson, Allison Arieff, Maurice Cox, Mitchell Silver, Robin Chase, Gabe Klein, Peter Calthorpe, Rob Kunzig, Joseph P. Riley, and Jess Zimbabwe. 

Season 2: Episode 6 | Gentrification without Displacement?

Is gentrification without displacement possible? Joseph P. Riley, a civil rights leader and founder of the Mayors Institute on City Design will describe his efforts as Mayor of Charleston, SC for 40 years to answer this question in conversation withJess Zimbabwe, architect and Director of the Rose Center for Public Leadership at the National League of Cities and the Urban Land Institute.

Live Event: April 24

What Are People Saying? Read Our Blog (English/Arabic/Chinese/Korean) |  Watch Testimonial

Podcast: Available on Google PlayTuneInStitcher, and iTunes.

VideoWatch here!

Season 1: Episode 5 | Redesigning Cities Against Climate Change

Peter Calthorpe, author of Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change, planner, and developer of Urban Footprint and Rob Kunzig, senior environment editor at National Geographic and author of Fixing Climate.

Live Event: March 27

What Are People Saying? Read Our Blog (English/Chinese) | Watch Testimonials

Podcast: Available on SoundcloudGoogle PlayTuneInStitcher, and iTunes.

Video: Watch here!

Season 1: Episode 4 | Redesigning Cities for the Collaborative Economy

Episode Four features Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar and author of Peers Inc. and Gabe Klein, author of Start-Up City and former Commissioner of Transportation for both Washington DC and Chicago. They will draw on their broad expertise to discuss both the role of cities in shaping entrepreneurial, collaborative economies and in being shaped by them. Robin Chase and Gabe Klein will be hosting a book signing prior to the event between 5:15 and 6:00 PM at the Academy of Medicine. Books will be available for purchase

Live Event: February 20

What Are People Saying? Read Our Blog (English/Arabic/Chinese/Korean)

Podcast: Available on SoundcloudGoogle PlayTuneInStitcher, and iTunes 

VideoWatch here!

Season 1: Episode 3 | Redesigning Cities' Parks as Social Infrastructure

Maurice Cox, Architect and Planning Commissioner of Detroit, and Mitchell Silver, Parks and Recreation Commissioner of New York City and former APA President will discuss redesigning parks as social infrastructure.

Live Event: January 30, 2019 from 6-8 PM, Historic Academy of Medicine

What Are People Saying? Read Our Blog (English/Chinese/Arabic) | Watch Testimonials 

Podcast: Available on SoundcloudGoogle PlayTuneInStitcher, and iTunes 

VideoWatch here!

Season 1: Episode 2 | Retrofitting Suburbia Too

Episode Two will explore the redesign of outdated, suburban infrastructure and associated aging malls, office parks, and other auto-oriented property types. How are suburbs confronting the challenges of climate change, equity, social capital, and new modes of mobility?

June Williamson and Allison Arieff will present and discuss innovative case studies and the forces helping or hindering their implementation. June Williamson is Associate Professor of Architecture at The City College of New York. She is author of Designing Suburban Futures and co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia as well as the forthcoming sequel. Allison Arieff is Executive Director of SPUR in San Francisco, Editorial Director of The Urbanist, contributing writer to The New York Times since 2006, and recipient of the 2018 American Institute of Graphic Arts Steven Heller Award for Cultural Commentary.

Live Event: January 9, 2019 from 6-8 PM, Historic Academy of Medicine

What Are People Saying?Read Our Blog (English/Chinese/Spanish/Korean) | Watch Testimonials 

Podcast: Available on SoundcloudGoogle PlayTuneInStitcher, and iTunes 

VideoWatch here! 

Season 1: Episode 1 | Redesigning Cities with Autonomous Vehicles

Episode One on December 4th will kick off the discussion on disruptive technologies with two pioneers at the forefront of smart cities design and regulations. Jeff Tumlin and Harriet Tregoning will present and discuss the leading strategies and questions for redesigning cities with autonomous vehicles. 

Live Event: December 4, 2018 from 6-8 PM, Academy of Medicine 

What Are People Saying? Read Our Blog (English/Arabic/Chinese/Korean) | Watch Testimonials 

Podcast: Available on SoundcloudGoogle PlayTuneInStitcher, and iTunes 

VideoWatch here! 


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