Category: Uncategorized
Incomplete Streets: New Book by Julian Agyeman
| December 5, 2014 | 2:22 pm | Uncategorized | No comments

UEP professor Julian Agyeman, along with other contributors, is releasing a new book titled Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, and Possibilities. The book, and the accompanying blog, addresses the concept and movement of “Complete Streets.”

Complete Streets stresses the need to enable safe access for all users. Incomplete Streets suggests that roadways be treated as more than just physical spaces. Complete Streets may actually be reproducing many of the spatial inequalities characterizing cities for the last century. Incomplete Streets calls for a planning process that gives voice to marginalized communities and treats streets as dynamic, fluid, and public social spaces. More about Incomplete Streets and the new book can be found here.

Environmental Justice Executive Order Signed
| November 28, 2014 | 2:54 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

The order, signed by Governor Deval Patrick on Tuesday November 25th, directs state agencies to devote resources to protect the health, safety, and environment of the state’s most vulnerable residents. It also encourages public participation in governmental decisions. This Factsheet provides a summary of the order, as well as the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Alliance and its efforts leading up to the signing. It also lists the agencies affected by the order.

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

The Massachusetts EJ Alliance is convened by Alternatives for Community and Environment, ACE. The campaign began in 2009 and will be finally implemented by May 24, 2015. ACE’s senior attorney, Staci Rubin states that “This Executive Order is unique in that it requires the state to focus enforcement and funding efforts for environmental benefits in environmental justice communities.” The order creates a public participation plan including a multilingual outreach program and accessible, convenient public meetings. It will also set up an advisory council with community stakeholders.

This is a big step forward for Massachusetts, joining 7 other states that have previously passed executive orders on environmental justice. As Governor Patrick declared, “Today we reaffirm our commitment to providing the whole Commonwealth with better quality of life through parks, open space and sound environmental policy.”

The Week at UEP: Student Group Meetings
| November 22, 2014 | 7:16 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

This week at UEP both the Tufts New Economy and the Intercultural Practice Group held their monthly meetings on campus.

Wednesday evening, students interested in exploring cooperative economic models came together for dinner and discussion around plans for this and next semester. The campus New Economy group shares the goal of examining and promoting more sustainable and equitable alternatives to the dominant economic paradigm, though this can mean different things to different people. The discussion started with introductions of the new attendees and a talk about what new economy means to each of them.

Group members brainstormed ideas for activities to facilitate learning about new economy and spreading ideas to the rest of the Tufts community. Previous activities have included trips to the CERO cooperative energy, recycling and organics organization, the Hayley House Bakery Café in Roxbury, and the Taza fair trade chocolate factory in Somerville. Future plans include bringing on speakers and intellectual leaders on the topic, trips to the Wellspring Collaborative in Springfield, and coordinating with other local new economy groups.

The following Thursday evening, the Intercultural Practice Group assembled for a viewing of the documentary “Can We Talk?” about Boston’s busing and desegregation crisis  in the 1970s. The documentary brings together former students, teachers, bus drivers, and community leaders from the time period, during which Boston attempted and failed to address racism, classism and segregation plaguing the city’s public schools. Truly heartbreaking stories are told about a generation of Boston students, mostly students of color, who were effectively robbed of their formative educational years.

A post-viewing discussion focused on how different Boston may look now, but in many regards nothing has changed. There remains a huge disparity in school and education quality between rich and poor neighborhoods in Boston. The racial make up of Boston Public Schools has changed drastically since the busing period, with the flight of many white families and families of means into areas with better conditions and greater educational resources. The busing period and the failure of public policy to address issues of equality in Boston is hugely relevant to the Intercultural Practice Group, whose focus is to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue and challenge self-segregation.

Both groups will continue to meet regularly on campus, and all are welcome to join, not just UEP students. The more people involved, the more impact these groups can have. If you are interested in getting involved, please visit the web sites above or keep your eye out for flyers around campus.

UEP Professor Penn Loh in YES! Magazine
| November 17, 2014 | 12:57 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

Land, Co-ops, Compost: A Local Food Economy Emerges in Boston’s Poorest Neighborhoods

In a new article for YES! Magazine, UEP Professor Penn Loh writes about the emergence of a local food economy in the Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods of Boston.

Glynn Lloyd has run Fresh City Food in Roxbury since 1994, serving locally sourced food. Finding good, local food hard to come by, he founded City Growers in 2009. City Growers has joined a network of urban food enterprises in Roxbury and Dorchester. The network includes community land trusts for growers, locally sourced kitchens and retailers, to new food waste and compost processing co-ops.

After decades of disinvestment and redlining, it is inspiring to see groups like the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative bringing together residents to decide fate of their community. DSNI has helped to provide affordable homes, common areas and gardens, as well as the neighborhood’s community greenhouse.

Finding difficulty in locating areas available for further commercial growing, Lloyd founded the Urban Farming Institute to advocate for zoning reform.

More examples of Boston’s emerging local food economy can be found in Loh’s article. New businesses, restaurants, and food co-ops continue to open, but work cannot stop here. There is still much more that can be done to create sustainable, healthy food systems in historically disinvested communities.


UEP Alum Liz Holden on MIT’s CoLab Radio Blog
| October 27, 2014 | 6:16 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

Can anchor institutions save New Hampshire’s polluted Great Bay?

Liz Holden’s article, which can be found here on MIT’s CoLab Radio Blog, shifts the historically urban focus of anchor institutions to a more rural setting. Specifically, how can the University of New Hampshire use its position as an anchor institution to improve the condition of the nearby estuary, Great Bay?

Holden details the problems of nitrogen loading pollution and lack of state funding for UNH, as well as highlighting the work being done by nonprofits and small businesses in the region. As an anchor institution, the university could act as a uniting and legitimizing force in the effort. Read more, and be sure to check out MIT’s CoLab Radio.

Map Credit:

Map Credit:

Winning Hearts and Minds: Anti-Racism, Feminism, and the New Economy
| October 18, 2014 | 2:19 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

As part of the nationwide New Economy Week, Tufts welcomed organizer, educator and public speaker Chris Crass to explore what it takes to achieve a just and sustainable economy through inter-movement cooperation. With the goal of Collective Liberation, students at Tufts, MIT, along with interested community members, came together to discuss their shared experiences and frustrations with the status quo.

More importantly, Crass encouraged the audience to focus on individuals and movements in their lives and throughout history that have inspired them to seek change. The frustration and loneliness felt by many in the audience was channeled into small group discussions, helping to build a feeling of unity among the audience. Drawing from the history of anti-racist organizing, feminist praxis, and class struggle, Crass demonstrated the overwhelming similarities and overlaps between these movements and the power available to create change through their collaboration.

Crass emphasized the need for organizing people of privilege in the building of a movement, specifically white anti-racist organizing and bringing more men into feminist work.

Crass’s book, Toward Collective Liberation, can be found at his website, here.chriscrass

UEP Colloquium: Fair Food Access Is Urban Planning
| October 3, 2014 | 4:42 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

The second installment of UEP’s Fall Colloquium series, hosted by the Food Systems Planning Coalition, featured Joan Squeri, founder of Healthy Communities Capital Consulting.

Bringing together farmers, urban planners, public health officials and business owners, HCC Consulting aims to work around the barriers of getting healthy, local food to urban communities. The opportunities and benefits, as well as the general excitement surrounding farmers markets, make working on this an important task.

Squeri touched on many of the barriers facing equitable food access:

  • Legal restrictions around food vendors on private property
  • Lack of municipal support
  • Burdens on farmers in transporting their products to the market
  • Lack of adequate planning in the implementation of farmers markets
  • Difficulty incorporating the SNAP program

Many farmers markets have waiting lists of vendors trying to bring their products to new customers, while hasty implementation of other markets have left some farmers worse off. Issues of perceived exclusivity mean that farmers markets are frequently seen by residents as something for foodies, not for “regular people” or the community at large.

HCC Consulting seeks to bring all parties to the table in an effort to spread the benefits of the farmers market equitably. Members of the audience discussed how Shape Up Somerville and ‘Reverse’ Food Trucks have been/could be influential in improving fair access to healthy food.

Next week’s colloquium (10/8) will be a special afternoon meeting of the four Massachusetts urban planning programs regarding affordable housing in hot market areas. The rest of the schedule can be found here:

Fall 2014 Colloquium Schedule

Tufts UEP Professor Julian Agyeman in Time Magazine
| October 3, 2014 | 3:08 pm | Uncategorized | Comments closed

A recent article by UEP professor Julian Agyeman and co-author Duncan MacLaren has been featured in the latest issue of Time Magazine. The article, titled ‘Smart Cities’ Should Mean ‘Sharing Cities’ highlights issues of inequality in cities’ attempts to develop technology and attract businesses.

“After researching leading cities around the world, we’ve concluded that truly smart cities will be those that deploy modern technology in building a new urban commons to support communal sharing.”

Cities that invest in modern information and computing technology without accounting for social externalities miss the point of urban living.

The physical nature of urban space demands—and in some ways, facilitates—sharing: of resources, infrastructures, goods, services, experiences and capabilities.”

As “sharing technologies” are increasingly co-opted by venture capital for rapid growth and competition, they lose sight of their original social purposes.

“Humans are natural sharers. Traditional, old-fashioned face-to-face sharing still happens in communities everywhere, but it has largely broken down in modern cities in the face of commercialization of the public realm, and of rapid, destabilizing economic and technological change.”

More on this topic can be found at Agyeman’s blog and in his and MacLaren’s forthcoming book, Sharing Cities (MIT Press 2015).

UEP Wins National Planning Award — Again!
| March 5, 2014 | 12:17 am | Uncategorized | Comments closed

UEP second-year students Tida Infahsaeng, Ian Jakus, Denise Chin, and Valerie Oorthuys have won the 2014 American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Student Project Award for Application of the Planning Process. Their project, titled “Urban Farming in Boston: A Survey of Opportunities” and advised by Penn Loh, was part of the UEP Field Projects course in Spring 2013. It also won the American Planning Association (APA) Massachusetts Chapter Student Project Award in 2013. The AICP Award will be presented at the Annual Meeting and Leadership Honors Ceremony at the 2014 APA National Planning Conference in Atlanta in April.

Common UEP questions
| August 25, 2011 | 12:00 am | Uncategorized | Comments closed

Updated Q: You mention Cities below, but what are requirements for the other core courses?

  • Everyone must take Foundations in their first semester, as well as Quant. You have to take Econ in your first spring semester. Those are the only requirements. You can get a waiver for either Quant or Econ if you majored in the subject or if you have significant work experience using those methods. Those are the only acceptable criteria for a waiver. If you want to try to waive Quant or Econ, contact Mary Davis or the folks at the office.

Q: How many classes should I take, and when?

  • A common courseload schedule for UEP is 4-4-3-1. For non-native English speakers and folks working a lot, three courses per semester might be more comfortable than four. UEP allows you to count your thesis as one credit instead of two, if you want to squeeze in another class for credit. But most faculty are also happy to have an enthusiastic auditor in their course, if you want to take a class but not for credit.

Q: When should I take Cities in Space, Place, and Time?

  • Cities is the only core course whose timing we get to decide. It’s offered in the fall, and you can take it during your first year or your second year. Last year, some people felt like they benefited from taking Foundations and Cities at the same time, that the two courses complimented each other. Foundations is more on the theoretical side of planning and policy (at least it was last year) and Cities is more on the historical side. Other people felt like that combination didn’t matter, or even that they’d prefer not to pair them. I liked having them at the same time, but it’s really up to you based on what other courses you want to take. Cities is also a good place to meet people who aren’t in your class year, because it’s about half and half usually.

    Barbara raises another factor: if you see an elective you really want to take this fall, then she recommends doing the elective in place of Cities. But if you don’t see something else you really want to take,  then go ahead and take Cities. That leaves you free the fall of your 2nd year for an elective.

Q: How many hours do UEPers normally study?

  • I always have trouble estimating this sort of thing, partly because it varies greatly depending on your personal learning style. Some people are good at skimming or reading only the important bits, and then it will take less time. Some people need to read every word closely, and for those people it will take more time. Also, it depends greatly on what classes you take. Some classes put more emphasis on the readings, and some put less. A figure the faculty sometimes cite is 10 hours per week per class, but that seems like a little high to both me and Ann U. Perhaps a good metric is this: for most people, working more than 15-20 hours per week and doing all their classwork is too much.

Q: How many people pursue dual degrees or other joint concentrations in each year?

  • Ann says about 8-10 students per year are enrolled in a joint or dual degree program. Typically about 2-3 with Child Development, maybe 1 in Economics, 2-4 in AFE with Friedman, 1-2 in Fletcher. There used to not be many Fletcher dual degrees, but there used to be 1-2 with Engineering. However, it’s all up to you. If everyone in the incoming class wanted to do a dual degree…that would be a lot. But the number could be a lot higher or lower; it’s up to you.

Q: What extracurricular activities do UEP students get involved in?

  • UEP has the Student Policy and Planning Association (SPPA), which organizes weekly socials (Thursty Thursdays) and other events for UEP students. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) puts on a lot of events for grad students, as does the Graduate Student Council (GSC). Also, the Tufts Institute for the Environment (TIE) and the Office of Sustainability (OoS) host events that UEP students attend, as do Fletcher School (international relations) and Tisch College (volunteerism and citizenship). You’ll get emails for most of these events. People generally don’t get involved in clubs the way you do during undergrad, but there are lots of other fun things that happen. Last year, several UEPers were involved in HONK!fest, a festival of activist street bands that happens around Davis Square around the end of September. Other people get involved in organizations like Bikes Not Bombs in Jamaica Plain (JP). Some people work, which takes up a chunk of time. A lot of social activity, though, happens informally within UEP.

Q: Do you walk around campus or bike?

  • The campus is small enough and hilly enough that to get around campus, most people walk. However, a lot of students do bike to campus, and some hardcore people even bike to class in the winter!

Q: Where do people study around campus?

In rough order of popularity:

  1. Tower Cafe (in Tisch Library, snacks & coffee)
  2. GIS Lab
  3. Student Center (mediocre but plentiful food)
  4. Tisch Library
  5. White House
  6. Brown House
  7. Grad Student Lounge (snacks and printing and no undergrads)

Q: Where is there good food near campus?

  • Boloco, just north of campus
  • Nick’s Pizza, just north of campus
  • Yoshi’s, in Powderhouse Square
  • Tu y Yo, in Powderhouse Square
  • Sound Bites, in Ball Square
  • Istanbulu’u, in Teele Square
  • PJ Ryan’s, in Teele Square
  • Boston Burger Company, in Davis Square
  • Dave’s Fresh Pasta, in Davis Square
  • Anna’s Taqueria, in Davis Square
  • Blue Shirt Cafe, in Davis Square
  • Mike’s, in Davis Square
  • Redbones, in Davis Square

Q: Where are the good coffeeshops?

  • Danish Pastry House, just north of campus
  • Diesel Cafe in Davis Square
  • True Grounds in Ball Square
  • Cafe Rustica, near Porter Square
  • Simon’s Coffee House, near Porter Square (one of Julian’s favorites)

Q: What’s the deal with the internship?

  • Most people do their internship in the summer after the first year, but you don’t have to – you can do it during the semester as well. A lot of people count their job as their UEP internship if it’s applicable. And applicability is flexible as well: one of last year’s second-years got a summer job working at big music festivals working to make them greener, and it was fine. That topic then became his thesis. It’s never too early to start looking for good internships, but for our year the period between mid-March and mid-April was the most comfortable window in which to find one for the summer. Many people were still scrambling for internships after that, though.

Q: Where do I go for student services stuff?

Q: How do I get a refund on excess financial aid?

Q: Where is there a microwave that I can use to heat my (home-made, organic, totally delicious) lunch/dinner?

  1. Brown House, in the kitchen. Great if you want to hang out with other lunching UEPers or you want to wash your dishes.
  2. Mayer Student Center third floor. Go up the stairs where the banners, turn up the stairs to the right then turn left at the top of the flight.
  3. Tisch College basement. Enter the side door of Lincoln-Filene to the right just before the main entrance to Tisch College. Go down the stairs, then turn left. The microwave is on the left. Theoretically, this one is only for Tisch College staff, I assume. But everyone has always been friendly and welcoming down there.