Unraveling Urban Life and Space
My interview about Immigrant Pastoral (my first book) dropped today, further promoting the paperback edition. The last answer in the interview is a preview of my second book, the currently-in-progress Design by Deficit. Readers of this blog will know that as the City Wild book, although it's got material from my other classes Studio: Next and even a little People in the Environment in it, too. Take a look at this link, if you like.
Today: Saturday morning, Main Street: around the corner sits something new. Brilliant blue leaps off the freshly painted storefront, its impact dwarfing its modest size. Against the background of dilapidation, color draws the eye. The storefront windows are a riotous display of brightly colored ads and signs for the store’s products, with one window dominated by a flag in stripes of red, white, and green. The door stands open, and customers come and go from cars parked along the street. Their greetings, like the signs in the windows and the store name newly painted across the façade, are in Spanish …It’s a part of Mexico in the Midwest, a place made by outsiders, a landscape reflecting a new culture in an old place, but it is also more than any of these. It’s the one storefront with fresh paint and windows with current displays and signs; it’s the one business with the lights on. It’s a reason to go downtown, a small counterweight against the tide of abandonment sweeping this city. It looks like the future, no more, no less.
- From Chapter 1, Hope and Home.
That “something new” isn’t new at all. Immigrants have always built this country, since before the Revolution to today. That includes projects we don’t see, like moribund shopping areas in small Rustbelt cities, and projects that make headlines. Like border walls.
Want more? Find the complete first chapter of Immigrant Pastoral here.
Also posted on Medium.
I'm pleased to announce I have a new study out this week, co-authored with former student Meghan Hazer and two Upstate Medical University faculty, Margaret Formica and Chris Morley. "The relationship between self-reported exposure to greenspace and human stress in Baltimore, MD," presents an investigation of the reduction of stress associated with spending time in or looking at green spaces. The article is available now online and will be out in print in an upcoming issue of Landscape and Urban Planning. As a journal article, it will be behind a paywall soon - but until October 13, it is available open access (that's free full text!) at this link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Vbv0cUG56y~D
In celebration of the new softcover edition of my first book Immigrant Pastoral: Midwestern Landscapes and Mexican-American Neighborhoods, I've written a short essay setting the book within the context of the current (acrimonious) conversation about immigration and immigrants. It's strange how immigration, particularly immigration from Mexico, is simultaneously such old news and yet so very current.
You can read "Immigrants, Cities, and Why You Should Care" in its entirety here. The essay is posted on my new Routledge Featured Authors page, still under construction.
If you want more information about the softcover edition of Immigrant Pastoral, you can find that here.
Over the years I've had many people tell me they'd like to see an edition of this book at a price point more friendly to the student or young professional wallet - this is that edition! Have a look.
Assorted drafts, previews, and outtakes from the book I'm currently writing about the impact of vegetation and neglect on urban life. I also take other thoughts for a test drive here, including nascent design and research ideas.