Producing Black Participatory Geographies in Public Goods | City & Regional Planning Lecture
Akira Drake Rodriguez, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design, joins us to discuss how the production, distribution, and quality of public goods in the United States are structured in racist, gendered, and classed ways that have disparate and harmful effects, especially on racially segregated, low-income communities. This talk focuses on public housing in Atlanta and public schools in Philadelphia, providing a history of these public good inequities and the political opportunities that emerge as a result. Over time, communities in both cities have organized to produce Black Participatory Geographies, or spaces of participation that expand political opportunities for marginalized groups, by creating legitimate access to decision-making processes, institutions, and actors around the production and distribution of public goods and services. The establishment of Black Participatory Geographies is critical to reshaping the public sphere to be more inclusive and accountable to communities historically excluded from planning and political participation.
About the Speaker
Akira Drake Rodriguez is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design. Her research examines the ways that disenfranchised groups reappropriate their marginalized spaces in the city to gain access to and sustain urban political power. She is the author of Diverging Space for Deviants: The Politics of Atlanta’s Public Housing, which explores how the politics of public housing planning and race in Atlanta created a politics of resistance within its public housing developments. She is also the lead author of A Green New Deal for K–12 Schools, through her work with the climate + community project. She has received funding from the Spencer Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Innovation Initiative and Projects for Progress funds to support her work around school facilities planning in Philadelphia public schools. Her next book manuscript examines the role of Black women community organizers in producing collective care in the built environment in the absence of capital and presence of harm over the 20th century.
Free and open to the public
If you require accommodations to fully participate, please contact the department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510.642.3256 at least ten days prior to the event.