I started tutoring students online during the COVID-19 pandemic and brought together my passions in Librarianship and Urban Planning. In this Medium article, I wrote about becoming a Virtual Librarian with specializations in Urban Studies, Urban Planning, and Library & Information Science.
On April 20, 2021, I delivered the guest lecture, “Creating Equitable Public Spaces Through Embedded Planning.”
It was originally scheduled for one graduate class at UCLA. By day’s end I added a second talk for undergraduates at Cal Poly Pomona.
The talk was created for the UP 279: Public Space Seminar at UCLA Urban Planning. This was one of my favorite courses when I was a student there. Professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris invited me to return as a speaker. She was my advisor in the MAUP (now MURP) program at UCLA, and taught this course back then too.
The presentation traced my work since graduation in 2005. I explained how I’ve created inclusive public spaces, and interrogated exclusionary hostile architecture, through street-level planning praxis.
The second talk was an evening presentation in Professor Alvaro Huerta’s course, Planning for Minority Communities, at Cal Poly Pomona Urban & Regional Planning. I appreciated the students welcoming this unscheduled event. Fun fact: I met Alvaro when we were both MAUP students in Anastasia’s Introduction to the History of the Built Environment course at UCLA Urban Planning.
Many students said that this was their introduction to the concept of #HostileArchitecture. Students continue to show excitement for the idea of Embedded Planning — planning practice on the ground. As always, I learned a lot from both Q & A sessions. Every question, comment, and critique advances Embedded Planning.
Just wrapped a presentation on Embedded Planning praxis with planners and city staff at the City of South Bendin support of the Linden Avenue Greenhouse Project ✔️ Shout out to my South Bend colleagues for the conversation and help growing #EmbeddedPlanning. And huge thank you to Dominique D. Edwards for organizing today’s talk 🙌🏽 💙 🏁
️Thanks to Bianca Paulino, Claudia Loayza, and Professor Stacy Harwood!
Bio: Jonathan Pacheco Bell is a practicing urban planner with over 20 years of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors spanning the fields of urban planning, architecture, and library/information science. He is the creator of #EmbeddedPlanning, a praxis that situates the work of planners on the ground to advance equity, build authentic relationships, and increase public participation for historically marginalized communities through street-level engagement. Its maxim is: We Cannot Plan From Our Desks! After 14 years as an Embedded Planner in South Central LA for local government and community-based organizations, he recently launched C1TYPLANN3R Company, a workshop to produce new thought and action in his intersecting fields. Jonathan holds an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, an MLIS from SJSU iSchool, and undergraduate degrees in political science and architecture.
On February 25th, I launched my new virtual speaking series on #EmbeddedPlanning. It was only right to inaugurate this public talk at UCLA Urban Planning, where I was a student of Edward Soja and Jackie Leavitt in 2003-2005. Much of the DNA of Embedded Planning traces back to their courses.
This talk covered the origins of the idea, defined the praxis, showed what Embedded Planning looks like on the ground, offered some benefits and critiques, and concluded with takeaways for theory and practice. A lively discussion followed, and from there I was able to advance my thinking about the praxis. I also took that opportunity to announce my pivot to freelance practice with the newly launched C1TYPLANN3R Company.
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