2020 Attainable Housing and the Future of Prosperity & Inclusion in Pierce County
2020 Urban Studies Forum: Attainable Housing and the Future of Prosperity and Inclusion in Pierce County
Access to attainable housing is a perennial challenge in American urban planning and policy. The ever-climbing housing costs in most metropolitan areas have far exceeded incomes, and every generation finds itself further distanced from the "American Dream." Cities that once produced the middle class have turned into consumers of the middle class, attracting only those that can afford their "lifestyles."
Over the last decade, median housing-sale prices have more than doubled, while incomes have barely kept up with inflation. The increase in home values has affected the rental market as well, putting certain neighborhoods and cities out of reach. The result is seen during every morning and afternoon rush hour. More than half of the households in Pierce County are cost-burdened, meaning that they pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. Nearly a quarter are also severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing. The "positive" direction of the county housing market, making it one of the hottest in the nation, creates additional worry about the future of housing for working families.
It is time for the region to formulate strategies and policies that prevent displacement and makes this region a producer and not a consumer of the middle class. Furthermore, given the historical and current data on the impact of housing costs and the resulting displacement on communities of color and their neighborhoods, housing policies need to fully consider social and spatial equity issues in our region.
This year’s annual forum will bring experts from around the nation to discuss various housing policies, their implementation, and patterns of success and failure. This will include both housing experts and regional decision-makers. A panel of local policymakers will then present their approaches and strategies, while considering the wide array of presentations preceding them.
2019 Urban Studies Forum: Learning from Other Cities Forum
“Learning From Other Cities,” the theme for the 2019 Urban Studies Forum, is a chance to take best practice used elsewhere and create our own local adaptations.
This year's Forum includes leadership, planners and researchers from four cities:
Bristol, U.K. (inclusive governance)
Leeds, U.K. (child-centered city)
New York, NY (coalition building and community development)
All presentations will focus on the role of inclusivity and coalition building in shaping policy, planning, and governance environments that advance urban conditions and create a more participatory decision-making process.
Keynote speaker Dr. Michael J. Rich will present "Collaborative Governance and Urban Revitalization: City Strategies for Reducing Poverty and Inequality."
For 2018, the annual Urban Studies Forum explores urban livability through the perspective of children and youth. Urban areas that support the safety and success of children and youth are attractive to all, and provide for our future.
In addition to their centrality for our future, youth comprise a significant population. Nearly 20% of Pierce County residents are aged 15 or younger. Every aspect of urban sustainability and livability directly affects our children and youth: neighborhood safety, education opportunities, recreational spaces, healthcare, healthy food, and affordable housing shape our children’s lives and futures. Not surprisingly, these characteristics draw and keep families in our cities and towns.
The Forum will begin with a panel of youth, setting the stage with their experiences and hopes. A panel of local youth-service leaders will follow, and finally we’ll hear from a scholar of urban spaces for children.
2017 Assessing the South Sound's Prospects as a Welcoming Region
2017 Urban Studies Forum: Assessing the South Sound's Prospects as a Welcoming Region
Washington houses over 900,000 immigrants, accounting for one out of every 7 residents in the state. Nearly 80% of the immigrant population is between the working ages of 16 and 64. For the native born, this figure stands at 63%. This means that even though immigrants make up 13.2% of the population, they constitute 16.7% of the active workforce, and their contribution to the economy far exceeds their level of workforce participation. Fifteen percent of all business owners in the state are foreign born, contributing $2.4 billion to the state economy. Based on the Immigration Policy Institute's report, "Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $44.7 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $22 billion and employed more than 94,000 people at last count." It is clear that not unlike the nation, the state of Washington and its economy benefit greatly from the global labor migration process. The question is what our state and local governments are doing to be considered 'welcoming regions.' What have we done well, what have we done badly, and what else can we do to remain competitive at the global level for attracting the labor needed for the new economy? These and many other related questions will be discussed by our speakers and panel of experts.
Panel 1 Immigrant contribution to urban revitalization speakers: Marty Campbell, Tacoma City Council, Felipe Amin Filomeno, Asst. Professor, Dept of Political Science Program in Global Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Liesl Santkuyl, Coalition Coordinator, Leaders in Women's Health, Sulja Warnick, Korean Women's Association, Tacoma
Marie Price, The George Washington University, Elliot School of International Affairs
Panel 2 What constitutes a welcoming region speakers: Marilyn Strickland, Mayor, City of Tacoma, Melissa Bertolo, Coordinator, Welcome Dayton, Liz Dunbar, Exec. Director, Tacoma Community House, Rich Stolz, Exec. Director OneAmerica - Washington
2016 Urban Studies Forum: Alternative Visions of Livability
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.’
2015 Urban Studies Forum: Jobs and Housing in the South Sound
Last year, we focused on the topic of Urban Branding: what it means and how it may be deployed in an urban region. We concluded that moving from vision to action requires coordinated efforts among various stakeholders, including residents. We also emphasized the role of leadership and anchor institutions in realizing the adopted vision. For the South Sound region, the urgency for economic development and meeting the associated housing needs fit within this larger visioning process. As such, we will follow the 2014 Urban Forum with a conversation surrounding the challenges and opportunities for development in the South Sound region.
As the region expands its search for new investors who can shape our collective vision for development, the interests of current residents and employers must also be considered. We plan to assemble a number of experts, developers, and public sector decision makers to discuss what the future might hold for the South Sound region and how our visioning process may be realized.
Opening Presentation: Ali Modarres, Director, Urban Studies, University of Washington Tacoma.
Keynote Speaker: Joel Kotkin, Roger Hobbs Distinguished Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University and Executive Editor of New Geography
UW Tacoma Urban Studies Fifth Annual Forum “Beyond Urban Branding: The Promise. The Problem. The Potential.” will offer a chance for Tacoma and South Sound communities and beyond to hear about urban branding — what it is and what it is not. It will encourage participants to discuss and consider how a process to brand a city or region can be a unifying force for the entire community — encouraging the development of an authentic vision and the stories and narratives that make a place unique. The 2014 Forum will spark collective thinking about developing the next iteration of the region’s story as it relates to all stakeholders — residents and visitors, businesses and educators, students and faculty, government and nonprofits, young and old.
The School of Urban Studies is proud to honor the memory and work of Dr. Friedman by putting together a series of lectures that focus on urban studies. Dr. Friedman was commitment to the transformative power of education, social justice, public scholarship, and community partnership. Her lasting legacy for UW Tacoma has been to elevate the urban serving mission of this campus and assure that access and excellence are simultaneous and complementary.
In addition to being our chancellor, Dr. Friedman was also a faculty member in Urban Studies. She fully understood the academic role urban studies can play in delivering on the urban mission of UW Tacoma. As such, we saw it fit that Urban Studies would honor her legacy through these annual memorial lectures.
Please enjoy the following lectures.
Echoes of a Chocolate City: Race, Aesthetics and Black Urbanism
Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 5-6 PM
Echoes of a Chocolate City: Race, Aesthetics and Black Urbanism
Reading America’s present through its past brings up a sense of déjà-vu, especially if we pause and reflect on the events of the past couple of years. Urban problems are at the heart of what we are seeing in the world today. Especially since 2020, when an interracial coalition of people organized demonstrations in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black Americans by police officers, it has been difficult to ignore how the events of the present-day echo a time in the 1960s, when a wave of urban race rebellions, led by Black Americans, gripped the United States. Feelings of cyclical loss and anxiety about unrelenting state violence, uneven development, and physical and cultural displacement are currently exacerbated by processes of gentrification. So, what does it mean for Black people to have the same experience over and over again? What does it mean for Black people to live through constant cycles of movement, containment, dispossession, and erasure? How can we imagine various forms of displacement and emplacement alongside the mechanisms (policies) that attempt to keep Black people in place?
Dr. Brandi T. Summers
Brandi Thompson Summers is faculty in Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies (GMS) at the University of California, Berkeley where she also is co-founder and co-director of the Berkeley Lab for Speculative Urbanisms. Her research examines urban cultural landscapes and the political and economic dynamics by which race and space are reimagined and reordered. Her first book, Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City (University of North Carolina Press), explores how aesthetics and race converge to locate or map blackness in Washington, D.C. In it, she demonstrates the way that competing notions of blackness structure efforts to raise capital and develop land in the gentrifying city. Her current book project focuses on the complex ways in which uses of space and placemaking practices inform productions of knowledge and power. This project examines representations and experiences of space, place, and landscape in Oakland, CA across historical contexts. Dr. Summers has also published widely in journals on the relationship between race, power, aesthetics and urbanization.
The present historical conjuncture makes evident the ongoing emergency that is global racial capitalism. Yet, it also presents key political openings, including a rethinking of the protocols of property and rent. Evident in the legal battles over eviction moratoria, the demand for rent cancellation by tenant movements, and the call for the public acquisition of vacant or distressed property, such openings suggest that property has become insurgent ground. In this talk, Ananya Roy provides a conceptual and political framework of emergency urbanism and analyzes whether such a formation represents a radical reconfiguration of the relationship between sovereignty, life, and property that undergirds liberal democracy in U.S. cities.
Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography and The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is inaugural Director of the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, which promotes research and scholarship concerned with displacement and dispossession in Los Angeles and seeks to build power to make social change. She has received numerous awards, including the Paul Davidoff Book Award in 2011, Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and “California Professor of the Year” from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The Earth, the City and the Hidden Narrative of Race
Thursday, April 26, 2018, 6-7 p.m.
Carl C. Anthony, Co-Founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project, and Visiting Professor at The Center for Regional Change, UC Davis
University of Washington Tacoma
William Philip Hall
1918 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma
Carl Anthony is an architect, regional planner, environmental justice pioneer, and a committed social activist. As the founding director of one of the nation's first environmental justice organizations, Urban Habitat, he led efforts to prod mainstream environmental movements to confront issues of race and class and to understand the dynamic intersections between them. Carl founded and edited the journal Race, Poverty, and the Environment. He led the Ford Foundation's Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and is the co-founder/co-director of the Breakthrough Communities Project, empowering grassroots communities in metropolitan areas and supporting multiracial leadership. As the sole African American architecture student at Columbia University in the 1960s, Carl recognized the contradictions of the profession and sought ways to change it. During those student years he kick-started the national Conversation on Regional Equity (CORE), a dialogue that brought national policy experts and advocates together to consider how to bring about metropolitan racial justice.
Carl has taught at Columbia, UC Berkeley, Harvard's Kennedy School, and is currently visiting faculty at UC Davis' Center for Regional Change. He has published widely and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Trailblazer Award from the Sierra Club, UC Davis Community Engagement Award, and the Duveneck Humanitarian Award. His work has influenced the lives of thousands of American communities.
People, Place, Power: Advancing Racial and Economic Equity in Changing Communities
Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 6-8 p.m.
Judith Bell, Vice President of Programs, The San Francisco Foundation
University of Washington Tacoma
William Philip Hall
1918 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma
As communities face economic and demographic changes — and new forms of work and education, and policies that don't always consider all of us — they seek positive reforms and to understand the impact of advancing equity and greater inclusion. What successes and struggles can we learn from? How are communities addressing new levels of prosperity that are widening inequality and impeding upward mobility? The San Francsico Foundation, under Bell's leadership, sees equity as both a "moral imperactive, and an economic necessity."
Judith Bell is the Vice President of Programs at the San Francisco Foundation. Judith brings extensive experience in strategic planning and policy development, with a focus on economic and social equity to the Foundation. Previous to joining the Foundation, Judith was the President of PolicyLink where she had been since its inception, becoming President in 2004. As President, Judith worked to develop the organization into a national leader on a range of equity issues, with her particular focus being policy development and campaign strategy at the local, state, and national levels. Her leadership helped ignite a new national narrative around access and opportunity for all people with a focus on improving health and infrastructure, including increasing access to healthy foods.
The University and the City: Place-Based Anchor Institutions and Community Development
Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Dr. David Perry, Senior Fellow of the Great Cities Institute and Professor of Urban Planning and Policy, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at University of Illinois Chicago
William W. Philip Hall, UW Tacoma
Place based institutions in general, and universities in particular, are not going anywhere. The question is whether these institutions will simply be mired in their urban context or be foundational and instrumental to urban change—transforming and/or stimulating new rounds of urban development? For universities, it is not if they will be anchor institutions for urban change, but how they will do this and in what ways will the state and the region act to help them be foundational developmental institutions.
David Perry will address this question and report on the movement of the university from its pastoral roots as a ‘contemplative site of knowledge creation’ to a new role of ‘fully-vested urban institution.’ In such a role, the modern urban university may not be the “engine” of urban and global development (as some would rhetorically claim) but it certainly has acceded to a position of a key place-based institution in the urban and global economy.
David Perry is Senior Fellow of the Great Cities Institute and Professor of Urban Planning and Policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the UIC. He served for almost 12 years as Director of the Great Cities Institute and as the Associate Chancellor for the UIC's Great Cities Commitment. Perry is the author/editor of 12 books, including Here for Good: Community Foundations as the Challenges of the 21st Century and University Developers: Case Studies and Analysis.
Perry has worked with numerous international, national and local public boards and commissions, including Chicago's Zoning Reform Commission and the Urban Land Institute's national Public Infrastructure Committee.
Community Livability: Learning from Home and the Global Community
Roger W. Caves, Professor Emeritus of City Planning
School of Public Affairs
San Diego State University
October 30, 2019 Lecture
Making Our Neighborhoods, Making Our Selves
George C. Galser
October 3, 2019 Lecture
Suburbs for Settlers: Reconciling layers of Indigenous land rights, affect and trauma in the postcolonial landscape of Canadian suburbia.
Robert Shields, Ph.D., Endowed Research Chair and Professor of Sociology
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
May 18, 2017 Lecture
After Latino Metropolis
Rodolfo D. Torres, Ph.D., Professor of Planning, Policy & Design and Political Science
University of California, Irvine
November 1, 2016 Lecture - viewable through UW Tacoma Library (UWNetId authentication required).
Justice as Subject and Object of Planning
Robert W. Lake, Ph.D., Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
June 2, 2016 Lecture
What's So Hard About Collaborative Governance?
Dr. Susan Clarke, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder
Thursday, May 12, 2016 Lecture
(Not) Hating Growth. If done right, growth will let this region grow gracefully
Gene Duvernoy, Forterra President
April 7, 2016 Lecture
New Deal Ruins: Race, Gentrification and the Dismantling of Public Housing in the United States
Dr. Edward Goetz
Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and co-Director of the University-Metropolitan Consortium
Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota
May 12, 2015 Video of introduction to lecture Video of lecture
Housing Trends for Millenials in Seattle
Ali Modarres, Director of Urban Studies
Event hosted by the Urban Land Institute Northwest
April 29, 2015, Urban Land Institute Northwest Presentation Slides
Behind the Image of Urban Success: Learning from Baltimore and Atlanta
Dr. Heywood Sanders, Professor
Department of Public Affairs
University of Texas, San Antonio
October 16, 2014, 12:30pm-1:30pm, Lucien Boardroom, UW Tacoma Presentation Slides
The University and the City: Place-based Anchor Institutions and Community Development
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
May 6, 2014, 6:00pm-7:30pm, William W. Philip Hall. UW Tacoma Presentation Slides
Place-based Leadership and the Inclusive City: An International Analysis
University of the West of England
March 12, 2014, 6:00pm-7:30pm, Carwein Auditorium, UW Tacoma Presentation Slides
Other Urban Studies Lectures
South Sound Economy
Transportation Club Meeting
Ali Modarres, Director of Urban Studies
Transportation Club Meeting
May 14, 2018 Presentation Slides
Historic Factors Shaping Housing in Seattle
American Institute of Architects (AIA) Meeting
April 25, 2016 Presentation Slides
Rethinking the South Puget Sound Region: Trends and Prospects
2016 Economic Development Board of Tacoma-Pierce County Annual Meeting
March 2, 2016 Presentation Slides
Hipster Lifestyles, High-Rise Living, Hard Lives: Fashioning, Urban Hegemony after the Crisis
Dr. Jamie Peck, Professor
Department of Geography, University of British Columbia
February 10, 2016 Flyer
Facing the Challenges of Urban Transportation
Downtown On the Go Annual Luncheon and Fundraiser
October 9, 2015 Presentation Slides
Immigration and Immigrants: Embracing the American Promise
Organized by Tacoma Community House.
October 5, 2015 Presentation Slides
Urban Studies Panel: Density for Destiny?: Planning and Urban Design Implications of the Proposed New County Building Panelists: David Boe, Architect, Tacoma City Council Member; Marty Campbell, Tacoma City Council Member; Jim Merrit, Architect Moderator: Ali Modarres, Urban Studies UW Tacoma
February 4, 2015