Open City: Blogging Urban Change


As the founding director of Hester Street Collaborative (HSC), Anne Frederick has worked to develop a community design-build practice that responds to the needs of HSC’s local neighborhood of the Lower East Side/Chinatown as well as the needs of under-resourced NYC communities city-wide. Her unique approach to community design integrates education and youth development programming with participatory art, architecture, and planning strategies. This approach is rooted in partnership and collaboration with various community based organizations, schools, and local residents. Prior to founding HSC, Anne worked as an architect at Leroy Street Studio Architecture and as a design educator at Parsons School of Design and the New York Foundation for Architecture. Anne graduated from Parsons School of Design and The New School for Social Research in 1998, and has represented the work of HSC at various conferences, lectures, and exhibitions.  To date, she has coordinated design education programs in over a dozen schools citywide, has overseen community design initiatives in a variety of parks and open spaces on the Lower East Side, and has initiated partnerships with a range of local and city-level organizations to improve the built environment in underserved New York neighborhoods.

Andrew Hsiao is a senior editor with Verso Books. He was formerly the executive editor of The New Press, and an editor and staff writer with The Village Voice. He’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Spin, and other publications, and is the editor of The Verso Book of Dissent and the author of a deck of playing cards, Regime Change Begins at Home. He produces Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI 99.5FM as well as The Communique on WNYE 91.5FM. He’s been a labor organizer and a board member of CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities and of the Asian American Writers Workshop, where he has initiated Wordstrike: Writers Against SB 1070.

Tarry Hum is Associate Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College/City University of New York whose research areas focus broadly on immigration, community economic development, and urban planning. She has researched and published papers on the socioeconomic processes and outcomes of immigrant incorporation in urban labor markets, related issues of immigrant settlement and neighborhood change, and the consequences for urban inequality, race and ethnic relations, political representation, and community definition and development. She is currently researching the role of ethnic banks in immigrant financial incorporation and community economic development. Her publications include articles in the Economic Development Quarterly, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Progressive Planning Magazine, Regional Labor Review, AAPI Nexus: Policy, Practice and Community, and chapters in edited volumes published by the Russell Sage Foundation, Stanford University Press, and Temple University Press. She is completing a book monograph titled, The Making of an Immigrant Global Neighborhood: Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. Tarry was recently appointed to the Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Center’s Environmental Psychology program. She received her Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her doctorate from UCLA’s School of Public Policy and Social Research.

Peter Kwong is Professor of Asian American Studies and Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College, as well as Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His latest books are Chinese America: The Untold Story of America’s Oldest New Community and Chinese Americans: An Immigrant Experience, co-authored with his wife, Chinese historian Dusanka Miscevic. A frequent contributor to The Nation, Kwong was a co-producer of Academy Award-nominatedUnnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province for HBO and was named “one of the 100 Most Influential Asian Americans of the Decade” by A Magazine.

Cassim Shepard is the director of Urban Omnibus, an online publication of The Architectural League of New York. Alongside his editorial role, he makes non-fiction films and writes about the design, planning and experience of cities, buildings and places. He studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography at the University of London (King’s College) and urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has lectured at New York University; Parsons, the New School for Design; the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India; and the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics, and he has exhibited work at the Musee de la civilisation, Quebec; the Cineteca di Bologna; the Salone del Mobile, Milan; and the Venice Architecture Biennale 2006, for which he produced all audio/video content for the International Exhibition. He is currently a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.

John Kuo Wei (Jack) Tchen is a historian and cultural activist who for 30 years has been helping to give voice to individuals and communities of the past and the present who have been absent from our public history. He is the founding director of the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific/American) Studies Program and Institute at New York University and the New York Chinatown History Project (1980), now called the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. In 1991, he was awarded the Charles S. Frankel Prize from the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is author of the award-winning books: Genthe’s Photographs of San Francisco’s Old Chinatown, 1895-1906 (1987) and New York before Chinatown: Orientalism, and Shaping of American Culture, 1776-1882.

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About Open City
Open City: Blogging Urban Change is an interdisciplinary neighborhood blog and community project coordinated by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Five commissioned writers, called Organizing Fellows, are working with community organizations and neighborhood folks in Manhattan’s Chinatown/Lower East Side (LES), Flushing, Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn to collect oral histories and interviews, offer commentary about gentrification, neighborhood change, and produce new creative work around these themes. Read more.
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Featured Profile
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities was formed in 1986 (formerly known as the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) as a response to an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes both in New York City and around the country (which included violence by police officers against Asians).
They have two offices – one in Manhattan’s Chinatown (which houses the Chinatown Tenants Union, and the new Asian Youth in Action organizing project) and the Youth Leadership Project office in the Bronx – and have members from all over the city. Over the years, CAAAV’s main campaigns have focused on community-based organizing work rooted in Asian immigrant and refugee communities. Although their advocacy and organizing work is focused mainly in Manhattan’s Chinatown and the northwest Bronx, CAAAV’s work also touches upon larger issues (such as affordable housing, war, and immigration) shaping communities all over the world: “Our work is primarily centered around issues facing New Yorkers, but always with a global analysis.”
CAAAV’s mission is to organize and build the power of working-class Asian immigrants, refugees, and youth to change concrete conditions and participate in a broader social justice movement. In the past, CAAAV’s work included organizing South Asian taxi drivers, Korean women workers, and Filipina domestic workers. Several of these organizing projects have gone on to become their own organizations, such as the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and Domestic Workers United. CAAAV’s current work focus on three different program areas: Read more.

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Community Announcements
Manhattan CB3 Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee
Monday, May 2 at 6:30 pm -- Rutgers Community Center, Gymnasium - 200 Madison Street (btwn Rutgers & Pike Sts)

Brooklyn CB7, Land Use/Landmarks Committee Regular meeting
Continued discussion on potential 8th Avenue rezoning

Manhattan CB3 Economic Development Committee Tuesday, May 3 at 6:30pm -- Community Board 3 Office - 59 East 4th Street (btwn 2nd Ave & Bowery)

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