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Brown Bag Lecture Series

Academic Year 2013-14    

· Fall 2013 · 
McClean  ·  Hackworth  ·  Sternberg  ·  Headd  ·  Cain

"Aging in Place: An Exploration of Built Environment Challenges in the Rust Belt"

Beverly McLean, PhD

Friday, October 25, 2013
Noon to 1:15pm, 1st Floor Conference Room, 3343 Forbes Ave

Flyer  •   Slides

Beverly McLean is a research professor with the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York. Her recent research activities focus on sustainable, healthy neighborhood development, community crime prevention, and business development strategies in distressed neighborhoods. A particular emphasis of this research was exploration of three emerging paradigms for older adult housing—age-integrated neighborhoods, naturally-occurring retirement communities, and the age-restricted retirement community.
While at the Center for Urban Studies at University at Buffalo, she laid the framework for exploring the impacts of the neighborhood built environment on potential health outcomes of community residents through the study of health status of African-Americans in Near East Side Buffalo. She also worked with the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA)’s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Design and the Built Environment to explore the impacts of an older adult housing project on well-being of older adults in a distressed first-ring suburb. She continues the exploration of neighborhood inequities through the preparation of the regional fair housing and equity assessment for the HUD-funded One Region Forward Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. 

"The City After Abandonment; Urban Policy After Neoliberalism"

Jason Hackworth, PhD
Jason HackworthFriday, November 8, 2013
Noon to 1:15pm, 1st Floor Conference Room, 3343 Forbes Ave


Jason Hackworth is a Professor of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. He writes and teaches about cities, political economy and urban policy. Dr. Hackworth is also affiliated with the Centre for Study of the United States, and the Centre for Urban and Community Studies.
Dr. Hackworth is currently researching planning and policy issues pertaining to declining North American cities.  Land abandonment, the role of the market, and political challenges to government intervention in such contexts are of particular interest to him. He has also written a number of papers and books recently on how religion and economy collide in the urban landscape.
Prior to working joining the University of Toronto, he was an Assistant Professor of Geography at Florida State University. He received his Doctorate in Geography from Rutgers University in 2000, and has also received a Masters in Planning from Arizona State, a Masters in Geography at Arizona State, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Cincinnati.

"A Bridge for a Thousand Years: How Planners Should Think About Infrastructure"

Ernest Sternberg, PhD
Ernest SternbergFriday, Novenber 14, 2013
Noon to 1:15pm, 1st Floor Conference Room, 3343 Forbes Ave


Ernest Sternberg is professor and chair at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, where he loves teaching graduate studio-workshops, in which students conduct planning projects for local governments. Along with Professor George C. Lee, a civil engineer, he is the author of Bridges: A Beginner’s Guide to Their Engineering and Planning, to be published next year by State University of New York Press. The book reviews data on bridges in the U.S., asks whether there is an infrastructure crisis, explains engineering principles underlying structures, explains hazards to bridges, reviews capital planning and transportation and environmental planning for bridges, and examines why it takes so long to take a bridge from concept to final delivery. Ernie has previously written two books and a few handfuls of articles on planning theory, theory of urban design, economic development planning, disaster planning, and the relationships between culture and development. He holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

"The Promise and Power of Open Data"

Mark Headd
Mark Headd  Friday, November 21, 2013
Noon to 1:15pm
NOTE: O’Hara Student Center 4024 O’Hara St. (near Soldiers and Sailors Hall)

Flyer  •   Slides

Mark Headd is a writer, speaker, teacher and thought leader on web development, open government and civic hacking. Self-taught in programming, he has been developing communications applications for over 10 years. In August, 2012, Mayor Michael Nutter selected Mark to become the City of Philadelphia’s first Chief Data Officer, to lead the city’s open data and government transparency initiatives.
Mark was the Director of Government Relations at Code for America, previously worked for technology companies from the Delaware Valley to Silicon Valley, and served in government positions in Delaware and New York. Mark has also built open government software applications in many communities. He is also an organizer, judge, sponsor and participant in civic hacking events across the country, including Philadelphia and Baltimore. He holds a Master’s of Public Administration degreefrom the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and is a former adjunct instructor at the University of Delaware.
Learn how the act of freely and openly sharing government data is transforming communties. A growing number of national, state, and local governments have been releasing public information in open formats, allowing people to make use of it in new ways. Mark Headd will share examples of how an ecosystem of open government advocates, civic hackers, residents, and community leaders in Philadelphia use open data to solve problems and improve the lives of residents. He’ll also discuss opportunities for cross-state collaboration to open and use data.

"Negotiating with the Growth Machine: Community Benefits Agreements and Value-Conscious Growth"

Colleen Cain, PhD
Colleen Cain, PhD  Friday, December 6, 2013
Noon to 1:15pm
Noon to 1:15pm, 1st Floor Conference Room, 3343 Forbes Ave

Flyer  •   Slides

Colleen Cain, PhD, is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan policy/research organization based in Washington, DC. She researches and produces reports for the Institute on a number of topics, including regional demographic trends, environmental health, the revitalization of older cities, sustainable communities, workforce development, and federal funding. A native of Pittsburgh, Dr. Cain received master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Florida. She completed her bachelor’s degree, also in sociology, from John Carroll University. Dr. Cain’s primary areas of interest and research are urban studies and inequality as it relates to race, income, gender, and environment. 
Collen Cain will join us to discuss her doctoral dissertation on Pittsburgh’s first Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) in the Hill District negotiated prior to the construction of the Consol Energy Center. CBA’s are legally-binding agreements allowing communities to ensure investment from developers in return for the community’s support of a project. In her talk, Dr. Cain will address why communities choose to negotiate CBA’s, and also describe the community-developer negotiation process. She’ll also discuss the growth-related implications of the CBA on the Hill District and other communities. 


Brown Bag Lecture Series

Brown Bag RSVP
412-624-1019 or

Bring your lunch and join us for presentations that highlight neighborhood, community, economic, and other social research by our esteemed colleagues. Presenters include local, national, and international social research experts. Lectures are Noon – 1:15pm, 3911 Posvar Hall, 230 S. Bouquet St. Posvar Hall is next to the Hillman Library on the Schenley Oval. On-street metered parking is available, as well as a metered parking lot at Semple and Bouquet Streets. Other parking is available at the Soldiers and Sailors Parking Garage.

Brown Bag Summary List

University Center for Social & Urban Research
3343 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260   ·   412-624-5442