Latino Urbanism & Planning through Storytelling
Facilitated by urban planner James Rojas
Thursday, May 25, 2017 from 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free! Food provided and family friendly!
Are you someone who wants to influence how we shape our city? Join us as we welcome nationally recognized urban planner James Rojas to the Twin Cities for a two part interactive workshop on envisioning urban planning through storytelling, play and art.
Part 1: Latino Urbanism (6:00pm - 6:45pm)
James Rojas will present his award winning masters’s FREE thesis from MIT where he studied the Enacted Environment – the term to describe how Latinos of East Los Angeles use their front yards and street to create a sense of “place”. Come learn about how Rojas uses the lens of sociology, anthropology, architecture and urban planning, to investigate the cultural, social, and economic behavior patterns that shape this community’s physical form.
Part 2: Lake Street Communities Place IT Workshop (6:45pm - 8:30pm)
Using childhood memories, storytelling, and model-building, Place IT! will engage you in an urban planning practice that ventures beyond quantitative statistics. Led by James Rojas, Place IT! empowers you to tap into your visual, spatial, and experiential knowledge as you physically build a Lake Street that is reflective of our collective community values. Bring your imagination and dreams as we rebuild East Lake Street together!
James Rojas is an urban planner, community activist, and artist. He has developed an innovative public-engagement and community-visioning method that uses art-making as its medium. Through this method he has engaged thousands of people by facilitating over four hundred workshops and building over fifty interactive models around the world - from the streets of New York and San Francisco, to Mexico, Canada, Europe, and South America. He has collaborated with municipalities, non-profits, community groups, educational institutions, and museums, to engage, educate, and empower the public on transportation, housing, open space, and health issues.
Rojas is also one of the few nationally recognized urban planners to examine U.S. Latino cultural influences on urban design and sustainability. He has written and lectured extensively on how culture and immigration are transforming the American front yard and landscape. He is the founder of the Latino Urban Forum, an advocacy group dedicated to increasing awareness around planning and design issues facing low-income Latinos.
Rojas has lectured and facilitated workshops at MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, Cornell, and numerous other colleges and universities. His installation work has been shown at the Los Museum of Contemporary Art, The Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston, the Venice Biennale, the Exploratorium, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bronx Museum of Art, and the Getty. His research has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Dwell, Places, and in numerous books.