Center for the Living City
June 7, 2022
4:00 PM ET
In the Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs wrote, “cities have the capacity of providing something for everybody, only when they are created by everybody.” Today, the tactics of reclaiming the street with Parklets, Slow Streets, and Shared Spaces has exploded during the COVID Pandemic. However, these street interventions are not equally distributed. As they have spread in cities throughout the United States, they have exacerbated growing spatial inequalities. How do we reclaim streets from cars to create public spaces that serve everyone? Roads account for more than 25% of urban areas. What are they best used for and how should they be programmed? Join a panel discussion with Tamika Butler, a national expert on the built environment and equity; Dani Simons, the Director of Public Affairs for the USDOT; and urbanist John Bela, one of the creators of Park(ing) Day, in conversation with Alison Sant, author of From the Ground Up.
Tamika Butler, Esq., is a national expert on the built environment and equity. She is the founder of Tamika L. Butler Consulting, LLC and previously served as the director of equity and inclusion at Toole Design and as executive director of both the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition. She is currently pursuing her PhD in urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles.
John Bela is an urbanist, designer and artist whose work spans city-wide public realm strategy and neighborhood design to parklets and placemaking. His practice as a designer and facilitator is to elicit fundamental values and inspire a strong sense of purpose. John co-founded the Rebar Art and Design Studio in 2005 and was a partner and director at Gehl from 2013-2022. John formed Bela Urbanism & Design in 2021. Current work includes the SF Downtown Public Realm action plan with Sitelab, urban design advising for Google’s neighborhood creation efforts in Silicon Valley, and consulting with a number of municipalities on their parklet and public space programs. johnbela.com
Dani Simons serves as the Assistant to the Secretary and Director of Public Affairs at the USDOT. Over the past two decades, Simons has held leadership roles in advocacy, government, and the private sector, using communications to advance sustainable transportation. She served as Director of Strategic Communications at NYCDOT, was part of the launch team for Citi Bike, and then served as Head of Communications for its parent company, Motivate. Most recently, she was Global Head of Public Partnerships at Waze.