2016 Urban Studies Forum: Alternative Visions of Livability Choices, Costs and Consequences

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February 25, 2016

For a city or a suburb to be livable, we assume certain characteristics and experiences. What are these and how do we define a livable place? Is there an agreement on what defines livability? The 2016 Urban Studies Forum will focus on these questions and what they might mean to the South Sound. In two separate panel discussions, we will focus on both the built environment dimensions of livability, as well as cultural and sociopolitical processes that produce them. Our panelists will debate various aspects of urban form, governance, social equity, and cultural productions that shape our perceptions of ‘livability.’

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Forum Speakers

 
Jason Schupbach became director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts in May 2010.  In this position, he manages the NEA's grantmaking for design and the NEA's design initiatives, such as the Mayors' Institute on City Design as well Our Town, which provides funding in recognition of the role that the arts can play in economic revitalization and in creating livable, sustainable communities. 

Prior to coming to the NEA, Schupbach held the first-in-the-nation position of creative economy industry director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development where his accomplishments included coordinating the growth of new industry cluster groups, such as the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts (DIGMA), and launching a Design Excellence initiative, an effort to improve procurement processes in Massachusetts in order to build more sustainable and longer-lasting buildings and communities, and increase the number of designers being offered contracts.

From 2004 to 2008, Schupbach was director of ArtistLink, where among other duties he managed a statewide artist space development technical assistance initiative that resulted in the creation of more than 60 projects in 20 communities for a total of 350 units of live/work spaces and more than 500,000 square feet of artist space. In addition, he managed the first ever artist housing predevelopment grant program, giving out $50,000 in awards.

Schupbach's experience also includes serving as National Artist Space Initiative Consultant for Leveraging Investments in Creativity from 2003 to 2007, where he was the key editor for two reports from the Urban Institute on developing artist space. From 2003 to 2004, Schupbach worked as capital projects manager and staff urban planner/designer for New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs. In this position, his accomplishments included managing more than $100 million in capital projects for cultural institutions in coordination with other New York City agencies and assisting in the development of guidelines to involve artists in streetscape design and planning processes in New York City.

Schupbach received his BS in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master's degree in city planning with an urban design certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 
Lauren Flemister works for the City of Auburn as a Senior Planner – Urban Design, focusing on downtown revitalization and the strategic development of a stronger spatial, visual, and cultural identity for the city. As a design and planning professional, her previous work with HOK, United Nations-Habitat, the City of Austin, and the Environmental Defense Fund concerned itself with how cities change and function over time through the lens of development and infrastructure. Her current interests focus on how the intersection of design, economy, land use, political will, and culture affect the evolution of cities.

Lauren has Masters of Architecture, Masters of Urban Planning, and Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, conferred with High Honors, from Princeton University.

 
Peg Staeheli is a principal of MIG|SvR a multidisciplinary firm, founded in 1982, that focuses on planning, designing and sustaining environments that support human development and active lifestyles. Peg has focused her career in the public realm where landscape design meets engineering. Her work includes green infrastructure, complete streets, accessibility, utility systems, urban forestry, parks, and site design. She and her coworkers consistently push the local and national agenda to improve urban conditions.  Peg brings a comprehensive understanding of the issues large public infrastructure projects present: from funding to equity to operations and maintenance. Her thoughtful insights and approach – collaborating with clients and agency staff, understanding regulations, working with the community, and maintaining a deep commitment to the environment – allows her to envision integrated solutions where balance for human needs is brought to infrastructure. 

 
Mark Hinshaw is a Principal Planner and Urban Designer with Walker Macy with a nationally recognized portfolio of creative and transformative urban design projects. For seventeen years prior to joining Walker Macy, Mark headed a staff of planners, architects and urban designers, developing plans for a wide range of policies, programs and projects in cities and towns throughout the greater Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the country. This work included downtown plans, corridor plans, master plans for town centers, gateways and civic centers, urban parks, and transit-oriented development sites. It also included developing land use regulations as well as design standards and guidelines that would govern streets and private development. Mark has also occasionally worked in the public sector, most recently for Seattle Housing Authority. Mark is known nationally for his presentations, panels, books and articles about approaches to and critiques of contemporary urban design. His recent book "True Urbanism," predicted the recent and escalating rediscovery of city centers as good places to live.

 
Jordan Rash is the Conservation Director for Forterra based here in Tacoma. He leads Forterra’s conservation projects in the South Sound and southern half of the Olympic Peninsula. Prior to joining Forterra in 2012, he served on the executive staff for Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark as well as for state legislators in Oregon and Washington. When not traversing the state working to conserve working lands, create parks, improve resiliency to climate change, and protect critical habitats, he can often be found bird hunting in the Puyallup Valley or fishing for salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. Jordan and his family live in University Place.

 
Karen Brosius became the Executive Director for the Columbia Museum of Art in February 2004. Ms. Brosius has worked in all facets of arts management and outreach and came to the museum from the Altria Group in New York, where she served as a senior philanthropic, arts, and communications executive at the company.  Through her work in the U.S. and abroad in the corporate, education, and arts arenas, she has collaborated extensively with arts, government, nonprofit, and civic leaders to support artists and creativity and to engage and involve the public in the arts and arts education. 

Her recent awards include the 2013 Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce Recognition of Excellence in Community Leadership, and in 2014, she was appointed by the South Carolina Arts Commission as a Leo Twiggs Scholar and by Furman University as a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow, named for former U.S. Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley.

Ms. Brosius received a White House appointment to serve six years on the board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., which is the largest federal funder of museums and libraries in America. She has served on the board of directors of a wide variety of civic and nonprofit groups, including those for art and art advocacy, hunger relief and AIDS organizations, and business leadership groups. She enjoys public speaking and is passionate about all of the opportunities that museums have to offer.  

Ms. Brosius received a master’s degree in music history, summa cum laude, from City University of New York, Hunter College. She also attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York; studied with French composer, conductor, and educator Nadia Boulanger in Fontainebleau, France; attended Bryn Mawr College in Avignon, France; and received her bachelor’s degree from Butler University in Indiana.  

 
Susan Coliton is a partner with Luma Consulting, where she offers strategic counsel to philanthropists, foundations, and non-profits to help them deepen their impact in the communities they serve. She spent 15 years as the head of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s philanthropic programs, where she oversaw regional, national and international grant-making programs through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.  Through her work, she aligned donor vision with results; designed new initiatives in science, education, and the arts; and built non-profit capacity through research, workshops, and convenings.

Prior to joining the Allen Foundation, Coliton held management positions at several national philanthropic organizations.  She directed the west coast office of the New York-based Nonprofit Finance Fund, designed corporate giving programs for Gap, Inc., and worked as a visual arts specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts.  

Coliton is a gubernatorial appointment on the Washington State Arts Commission, where she serves as Vice Chair, and is past-chair of the Philanthropy Northwest Board. She serves on the board and the executive committee of Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy organization in Washington D.C.  She is also a member of the Board of Earshot Jazz Society and Spectrum Dance Theater, two Seattle-based arts organizations.

Coliton received a B.A. from Saint Mary’s College and a masters from Johns Hopkins University. She completed Stanford’s Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders and the Executive Seminar at the Aspen Institute.  She lives in Seattle.

 
Janine Terrano is a successful entrepreneur with an extensive background in advertising, marketing and community leadership. She is the owner of Topia Technology Inc. a company that bridges technology, enabling communication between disparate components, devices, platforms and systems. But it is her passion for building community that inspires and drives Janine’s volunteer efforts.  She’s shared her time with several local organizations in Tacoma, including more than 10 years at the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM). Over the years at TAM, Janine has served as a trustee, as Board President and as co-chair of the museum’s Building Committee for the $15.5 million Haub Family Galleries expansion; she now serves again in that capacity for the new Benaroya Wing project.  Under her leadership on the Building Committee, the Haub project was completed on time and on budget. Other highlights of Janine’s engagement as a TAM trustee include a successful endowment campaign, and the development of a new strategic plan.  Janine and her husband Keith have two children, Brock and Amanda.  In her spare time, she enjoys sailing, fly fishing and golfing.

 
David Fischer Since 2006, serving as Executive Director of Tacoma’s Broadway Center, Fischer has focused Tacoma’s Historic Theaters on strengthening community relevance, more than doubling the annual budget, and increasing educational service to 45,000 annually; all resulting in core systems improvement and elimination of debt/increasing reserves.  During this time, Fischer has led more than $11 million in completed capital projects and will see an additional $24.3 million completed by 2019. In 2001, he served as Executive Director of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California, and reorganized that non-profit, resulting in more than doubling the operations and boosting of the net assets by $14 million.  Fischer’s educational attainment includes a terminal degree (Masters of Fine Arts), in Theater from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in Theater and Film from the State University of NY, Albany. He is the recipient of the Jules Irving Scholarship for performance.  From 1974-1999, Fischer worked in the theater as a performer, director and producer in both California and Washington State.  In the late 1980’s, Fischer worked for the world-renowned Urban Planner and Architect, Lawrence Halprin, where Fischer supported Halprin, who designed the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC, Haas Promenade in Jerusalem, the master plan for the I.M. Pei Tower in Los Angeles, and the master plan for Alcatraz Island. Fischer’s has served as a Board member or volunteered for many agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, National Park Service, SF-MOMA, Western Arts Alliance, various chambers of commerce, tourism bureaus, schools and all levels of government. He currently serves the UW Tacoma School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the Western Arts Alliance’s Advisory Board CODA, and Cultural Access Washington.

 
Amy McBride is the Arts Administrator for the City of Tacoma with over 20 years’ experience as an art professional. Working with the Tacoma Arts Commission, Ms. McBride manages three funding programs for arts organizations and artists, implements public art projects, develops innovative and collaborative programming and formulates effective policy with the goal of creating a fertile ecosystem for a thriving community.  

She holds an M.A. from the University of Washington-Tacoma in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on urban art and BA from the University of Colorado Boulder in French and Art History with a year of focused study at the Michel de Montaigne University Bordeaux 3, France.  She stimulated both sides of her brain by studying sculpture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and Fundraising Management from the University of Washington. Occasionally she still finds time to make art herself.

Amy has presented nationally on issues of public art, innovation, temporary art interventions, and civic democracy.

 

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