Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning
DID YOU MISS THE LARCP TOWN HALL?
We covered a lot of ground. Key take aways as you prepare for the fall semester are:
- Quarantine 14 days if you move from a high-risk state or country
- Complete the face mask training
Be flexible and patient
- Faculty furloughs will not impact teaching but will require attention to stated availability
- Faculty/advisors/staff will rotate working on-campus/at home, expect to meet online
Be ready if conditions change
- Plan for how you will get work done
- Ask questions, make suggestions, be proactive
- Email email@example.com
- Anonymous LARCP Suggestion Box https://tinyurl.com/y3jwsed3 (See some of the sugestions below.)
A COMMITMENT TO CHANGE
The pandemic laid bare the inequities and iniquities of centuries of structural racism and social and environmental injustice. The murder of George Floyd – and so many Black people before and since his death – sparked necessary and moving protests across the country, including several marches and the #blackatkstate protest here in Manhattan. We hear the experiences shared in the #blackatkstate protest. We are listening and learning from that event, other protests, rallies, webinars, and a broad range of sources.
Black lives matter. Unequivocally. Some might say that this belief is implied in our department’s vision statement: that we “seek planning, design, and management of human settlement that fosters a just, resilient, and democratic world.” But our current societal awakening shows us that this hasn’t been and is no longer enough.
Reflecting on the past and current shortcomings we realize, collectively and individually, that we need to:
- Talk and teach more about bias, discrimination and racism;
- Consider that we might not be all on the same page when we define and value diversity, equity and inclusivity;
- Include more academic material created by BIPOC authors in class and resources about inequity and injustice;
- Work more diligently to correct the underrepresentation of BIPOC designers and planners in our academic programs;
- Recruit more broadly and avoid relying on admission metrics that limit potentially diverse applicant pools;
- Acknowledge that, inherently, traditional practice of our professions frequently perpetuates racism and inequity, and this must change; and,
- Be aware of our own potential internalized biases and recognize that we have a lot to learn.
Intent is a first step. Each member of the LARCP faculty takes the need for change seriously. We are acting deliberately so that, moving forward, our teaching will ensure you are learning landscape architecture and planning history, theory and contemporary thought that prepares you to shape anti-racist and more equitable professions and world.
“Anti-racist” refers to each of us choosing every day to think, act and advocate for equality, which will require changing systems and policies that may have gone unexamined for a long time. The author Ibram X. Kendi explains this approach in his book, How To Be An Antiracist, and his TED Talk. We find the diagram below, based on his work, helpful as we reflect on what we thought we knew, what we are learning, and how we each will strive to act now and in the future.
Moving forward, we are committed to:
- Learning more about how to be anti-racist by seeking to actively embrace all people as equals, acknowledge and respect difference, and listen and respond humanely;
- Examining our current attitudes and practices to recognize where we need to improve, and then identifying and incorporating necessary changes in this ongoing endeavor;
- Being intentional and active about engaging in difficult and uncomfortable conversations about racism and the need to create equitable policies, places, and communities;
- Developing concrete goals and plans towards these ends, and tracking and reporting our actions and progress more intentionally;
- Making our department a safe space for us to do this work, offering each other community, accountability, and grace.
We invite you to join us in this commitment. We want to do this work alongside you, because student engagement is essential to real transformation. You may download a PDF
of this statement here. Please let us know if you have a specific interest in our department’s work to shape loving, inclusive, equitable, and anti-racist curricula and community.
The LARCP Faculty
July 21, 2020
FROM THE LARCP SUGGESTION BOX (as of July 28, 2020):
Topic: Availability of studio desks
The health and safety limitations on space this fall are frustrating. The decision to focus studio space allocations on those enrolled in project-based classes with space requirements for making and collaborating impacts RCP, ARCH, and IAID students. (Students who completed their fall studio requirement during the summer will not be assigned a studio space).
Responses to the college survey tell us that there are students in all disciplines who intend to work at home. Their studio desks will be made available to those who are not enrolled in project-based classes. And, the college is working to identify additional spaces that can be used by students who aren't assigned a studio desk and want to work on campus. APDesign Student and Academic Services advisors are following up with those who don't plan to work on campus as well as those who are eligible to be on a waiting list for a studio desk. Please respond quickly to all inquiries so we can make the most of our reduced resources.
Topic: Tech Fees
Comments from some indicate that they would like to only pay for resources they are able to use at all times in the manner in which they would like to use them. APDesign Tech Fees support staff salaries, computer lab hardware and software, classroom technology, printing and plotting, fab lab equipment, and other infrastructure that supports students, faculty, and staff. When the building was completed, the fees supported purchase of the studio desks. We'll be using some technology differently this year and we'll be using all of it more than ever to deliver classes in all seven degree programs and ENVD. Working as a community, everyone has access to more than they would if students in each program could only use resources supported by their cohort.