University of Pittsburgh
April 16, 2012

Pitt to Host April 18-21 Conference on the Future of Urbanism

Urban affairs scholars, activists, and citizens to participate in sessions ranging from urban issues and policies to citizen journalism
Pitt professor John Wallace will receive the 2012 UAA-SAGE Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award at conference
Contact:  412-624-4147

 

PITTSBURGH—“Rethinking the Future of Urbanism: Cities and Regions in a Post-Industrial Era”—a three-day event hosted by the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) that will include presentations on such topics as urban issues and policies, citizen journalism and engagement, and forms of local communication—will take place April 18-21 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, 600 Commonwealth Place, Downtown. The symposium is cosponsored by Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR), and Center for Metropolitan Studies, along with philanthropist and media scholar Gene Burd and SAGE Publications. At the conference, John Wallace, the Philip Hallen Chair in Community Health and Social Justice in the School of Social Work, will receive the 2012 UAA-SAGE Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award.

The opening session, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. April 19, is titled “Post-Industrial Pittsburgh—Bridging the Past, Pointing to the Future” and will feature a panel of Pittsburgh urban scholars, including Edward Muller, Pitt professor of history; Lisa Schroeder, CEO of Riverlife, a nonprofit organization aiming to reclaim, restore, and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts; and Sala Udin, president and CEO of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership. The panel will be moderated by local host organizer and UCSUR director Sabina Deitrick, associate professor in Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. 

“We chose Pittsburgh as our conference destination because it is the iconic American urban phoenix, rising from the dense air that once characterized its environment,” said Margaret Wilder, UAA executive director. “It now reflects all the things that are possible through urban revitalization and civic engagement: renewed physical spaces, enriched cultural assets, preserved neighborhoods and traditions, and, most importantly, a renewed sense of self.”

Through the generous support of Gene Burd, associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, UAA is launching the conference track “Media and Urban Life,” designed to increase the exchange of knowledge and interaction between researchers and practitioners who focus on urban issues and those who focus on media and urban life. 

Concurrent sessions, roundtable discussions, and poster sessions will take place throughout the conference. To view the “Media and Urban Life” track and a full list of presentations or to register, visit http://urbanaffairsassociation.org/conference/conference2012/

Honored at this year’s UAA conference will be Pitt professor John Wallace, the Philip Hallen Chair in Community Health and Social Justice in the School of Social Work. He will receive the 2012 UAA-SAGE Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award, established to highlight the importance of field-based urban scholarship and promote the dissemination of work by activist urban scholars. Wallace will give a 4-5 p.m. April 20 plenary session detailing his work and discussing the Homewood Children’s Village, a comprehensive community initiative aimed at improving the educational, health, and social well-being of Homewood’s youngsters and reweaving the fabric of their community.

Urban Affairs Association

The UAA is the international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service professionals. It is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life. Through theoretical, empirical, and action-oriented research, the UAA fosters diverse activities to understand and shape a more just and equitable urban world. 

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs 

Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs is a professional school with a diverse, cosmopolitan community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni. The mission of GSPIA is to prepare students to make substantive contributions to society through careers as managers, advisors, and policy analysts in government and nonprofit organizations in a multitude of geographic locations. Throughout its 50-year history, GSPIA has created a legacy that inspires graduates to make public institutions better, create a higher quality of government, and promote social responsibility throughout the world. 

University Center for Social and Urban Research

Pitt’s University Center for Social and Urban Research was established in 1972 to serve as a resource for researchers and educators interested in the basic and applied social and behavioral sciences. As a hub for interdisciplinary research and collaboration, UCSUR promotes a research agenda focused on the social, economic, and health issues most relevant to our society.

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4/16/12/mab/lks/jdh

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