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Place Lab digest • Issue #15 • Friday, October 21, 2016
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The Place Lab digest is a weekly round-up of pertinent news, opinion, investigations, and explorations of the arts, architecture, and city-building in Chicago and beyond.

Happenings @ Place Lab

Pride of Place: Narrative in Historic Preservation

by Nootan "Noot" Bharani, AIA, Lead Design Manager

...I learned that the origins of the Historic Preservation movement actually have a lot in common with the work that I do. I discovered that early building preservation movements were acts of activism—where communities found common ground in the collective effort to save structures endangered by outside interests entering the neighborhood. Preservation became a vehicle for communities to find agency in saving important cultural icons in their communities.

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Save the Date - Grand Opening
ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen

Sat., Nov. 19 • 4–6pm
411 E 5th Ave, Gary, IN 46402
[map it]

Mark your calendar now to join the residents of Gary, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Theaster Gates, artists Ripple + Wilson, and Place Lab at the grand opening celebration of ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen.

What Place Lab is digesting

Motown Museum plans $50 million expansion
Dustin Walsh, Crain's Detroit

The project, announced Monday morning, would add 40,000 square feet to the existing museum, which includes the Motown studio and Hitsville USA house on West Grand Boulevard. The expansion would house interactive exhibits, a theater, a cafe and expanded retail, said Robin Terry, chair and CEO of the museum.
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Stay up-to-date on Place Lab projects, events, news, and happenings with our dedicated blog, SITE.
Everything You Need to Know About the Momentous Habitat III
John Metcalfe & Linda Poon, City Lab

For the next several days, more than 30,000 mayors, ministers, policymakers, and urbanists will flock to the city with one of Latin America’s largest and best preserved historic centers to make a plan for the future. They’re gathering in Quito, Ecuador, for the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, better known as Habitat III. The four-day summit, beginning Monday, takes place once every 20 years, and is a chance to develop a sustainable plan for a rapidly urbanizing world.
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Culture gives cities social and economic power, shows UNESCO report

Culture has the power to make cities more prosperous, safer, and sustainable, according to UNESCO’s Global Report, Culture: Urban Future to be launched in Quito (Ecuador) on 18 October. The Global Report presents evidence on how development policies in line with UNESCO’s conventions on the protection and promotion of culture and heritage can benefit cities.
Learn more
Read the report
Kerry James Marshall Is Shifting the Color of Art History
Wyatt Mason, New York Times

For more than 40 years, the Chicago-based artist has made it his mission to paint black figures into the canon...From the historical sense that, throughout the American experiment, very little has been possible for black people; to a generational sense that, despite a great deal of change in American society through time, a great deal still isn’t possible; to Marshall’s personal sense that, nonetheless, everything is possible...
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Kerry James Marshall in conversation with Theaster Gates.
Watch video
The Barrio’s Inadvertent Starchitect
Ana Cañizares, Next City

“This is a court for peace … a court for life,” proclaimed the municipal mayor to the crowd as he gave president Maduro a televised tour of “the spaceship.” It’s how some have dubbed the futuristic sports complex designed by Alejandro Haiek, a local architect who has been collaborating on community-led projects in the barrios of his hometown for over a decade.
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Turning Detroit's Abandoned Homes Into Greenhouses
Jessica Leigh Hester, CityLab

Two years after Detroit emerged from bankruptcy, its urban-farming scene is flourishing, with some 1,400 farms and community gardens spread across the city’s 139 square miles...But green spaces don’t have to be at odds with revitalization, says Maurice Cox, the city’s director of planning and development, who notes that farms and gardens are a key element of the Detroit Future City plan, a blueprint for diversifying local land use.
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Miss last Friday's edition of the digest? Read it in the archives here.
Opinion: The predator found anywhere
Natalie Y. Moore, Chicago Sun-Times

Riding the L is appropriate symbolism. There’s also a whole range of harassment that women — cis and trans — experience from unwanted attention on the CTA to grabbing on the street to tragedy like Hampton’s murder. I once had a man lurk and follow me on the Green Line platform downtown. He stared at me the entire ride to 47th Street on the packed train. I debated whether to get off early, whip out my cell phone to call someone or just sit there. Time kept passing and I didn’t know what to do. When I prepared to exit, in a lewd tone, he smirked, 'I could just eat you up.'
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The hip-hop architect on how music and the environment can influence one another
Patrick Sisson, Curbed

Hip-hop is often about place. And, according to architect Michael Ford, it is place—often poorly designed, underfunded, and cut off from the rest of the city through bad urban planning and structural racism—that birthed the genre. Ford, who has been tapped to design the forthcoming Universal Hip-Hop Museum in the Bronx, has helped coin the term 'hip-hop architecture,' popularizing the concept as a lens for looking at the intersections of culture and the built environment."
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Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. It took place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.
A round-up of post-conference articles:
The Guardian: After Habitat III: a stronger urban future must be based on the right to the city
The Guardian: The world is in Quito to discuss cities – but are local voices heard at Habitat III?
CitiScope: Habitat III prompts hope for more inclusive view toward informal settlements
Cities Today: Habitat III: how will cities finance the New Urban Agenda?
Next City: What Detroit Can Teach Us About Implementing the New Urban Agenda
Visit H3 website
Race, School Ratings And Real Estate: A 'Legal Gray Area'
Kendra Yoshinaga & Anya Kamenetz, nprED

The National Fair Housing Alliance, an advocacy group, conducts 'mystery shopper' sales tests, sending out people of various backgrounds to pose as house hunters and determine whether they hear different messages... white testers reported that they were told to avoid the Tarrytown, N.Y., schools, which are predominately Hispanic. In several cases, the report says, agents there told whites that the schools were 'bad,' but Latinos were told that the same schools were 'good.'
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We Broke Down ArtReview’s Power 100 by Race, Gender, Profession, and Place of Birth
Artsy Editorial Staff

 The list is inherently a matter of opinion. But it’s useful as a benchmark, as a way to learn who the art world thinks the most powerful people in the art world are. It’s worth taking a spin through the list yourself. But, to help parse the information, we’ve broken down the Power 100 by gender, race and ethnicity, region of birth, and profession to see the bigger picture of who’s shaping art today. (Where the entities included are more than one person, we counted each as an individual, so some totals will exceed 100.)
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Mayor wants to build architectural library gems in CHA housing
Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune

A concept called "co-location" puts libraries in everything from community centers to high schools as a way to lower building costs and increase the number of library patrons. Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to give it a new twist, putting Chicago Public Library branches in eye-catching works of architecture that will also house tenants of the Chicago Housing Authority.
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Ethical Redevelopment
Urban Consulate

To help shape and share these ideas, Place Lab invited a group of city builders from across the country to participate in a series of salon sessions. Thanks to support from Knight Foundation, a dozen of our friends & colleagues from Detroit & Philadelphia have been participating. Eager to hear what they are learning, we invited the Philly fellows to share insights at City Lobby, our monthly parlor for urban exchange. A group of 45 city planners, artists, nonprofit leaders and neighborhood advocates gathered at Le Meridien in Philadelphia on October 6, 2016 to discuss.
From our bookshelf:

Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power 
by Susan E. Cahan

Purchase it here
Penn calculates financial toll of blight, violence in Philadelphia
Michael Tanenbaum, Philly Voice

The direct and indirect economic costs of crime are incurred by victims (e.g., medical expenses, property loss or damage), the criminal justice system (e.g., police, court, and incarceration costs), and society at large (including the aforementioned costs as well as other indirect costs; e.g., productivity losses resulting from criminals choosing to engage in illegal activities instead of legal activities that contribute to gross domestic product, pain, and suffering costs).
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PODCAST: Who Is This Restaurant For?
The Sporkful with Dan Pashman

This podcast series from the The Sporkful with Dan Pashman takes a look at the coded environment of restaurants. The podcast is now in episode 4, but you can find all of the episodes in the archive. Episode 1 is about 44 minutes long, so it's perfect for a lunch break: "When you walk into a restaurant, you’re bombarded with signals that tell you what kind of place it is. But what happens when those signals bring certain people in, and keep others out?"
Listen now
A not-so-harrowing trip through Chicago’s South Side
Hosea L. Martin, The Washington Post

I finally rolled into the parking lot of my apartment complex and climbed out of the car to go to my unit. There I prepared a simple meal, which I ate at a leisurely pace as I sat in front of the television and waited for the Monday Night Football game to come on. I felt I deserved a bit of relaxation after surviving another harrowing trip through war-torn Chicago.
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Half a House
Sam Greenspan, 99% Invisible

Elemental has made a name for itself building these half-a-homes, and not just as disaster relief. The response from the architectural community has been overwhelmingly positive. In 2016, the firm’s founder, Alejandro Aravena, was awarded the Pritzker Prize, one of the top prizes in the field.
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President Obama is casting his lot in the middle of a debate as old as America itself: Are we rugged individualists pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps? Or are we a nation of community, all connected and counting on one another?
—Ron Fournier
3 bold ideas Chicago should swipe from great cities
Noah Gottlieb, Crain's Chicago Business

Chicago's political leaders need creative alternatives to budget cuts and tax increases for addressing our mounting financial crisis. By seeking inspiration from other great cities that took bold approaches to increasing quality of life while tackling difficult financial realities, we can improve city planning and fiscal order.
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Place Lab is a team of professionals from the diverse fields of law, urban planning, architecture, design, social work, arts administration, and gender and cultural studies.  A partnership between Arts + Public Life, an initiative of UChicago Arts, and the Harris School of Public Policy, Place Lab is a catalyst for mindful urban transformation and creative redevelopment. Led by renowned artist and University of Chicago faculty member Theaster Gates, this joint enterprise merges Chicago Harris’ Cultural Policy Center’s commitment to cultural policy and evidence-based analysis with Place Lab’s work at Arts + Public Life on arts- and culture-led neighborhood transformation.
Copyright © 2016 Place Lab, All rights reserved.

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