Embedded Planning at Whittier College

My guest speaker role at the 2021 Environmental Justice Enforcement Symposium connected me with Dr. Rebecca Overmeyer-Velazquez at Whittier College.

Earlier this month, I joined the professor’s class sharing #EmbeddedPlanning with students in the β€œJobs for Justice” series.

We didn’t stop there.

Next month, I’m at the campus Sustainability Club talking career pathways into city planning and Embedded Planning praxis.

We cannot plan from our desks πŸ“’

Embedded Planning at SUNY Buffalo

This week I joined the SUNY Buffalo classroom of Wes Grooms, Ph.D. for a lunchtime chat on #EmbeddedPlanning praxis. It was one talk in a 2-part conversation about equity, with Carlton Eley, MSURP delivering the companion talk on equitable development.

Shout out to Dr. Grooms and students for the discussion. Dialog helps this praxis grow. I appreciated Dr. Grooms’ observation that while planning theory typically develops in the academy, Embedded Planning is a product of the community.

Embedded Planning at AARP Livable Communities Workshop

I spoke about #EmbeddedPlanning praxis at the 2021 AARP Livable Communities Workshop on engaging older adults. Shout out to my co-panelists. And big up to AARP organizers for the session transcript and video. Check it out.

Transcript and video together: https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/about/info-2021/2021-Livable-Workshop-Collaborating-With-Community.html

Voices of Equity and Embedded Planning

Recorded January 18, 2019 at American Planning Association HQ amidst our work on the national Social Equity Task Force. Since then, #EmbeddedPlanning has exploded onto the scene. And as my mentees will attest, I continue to big up Mike Davis’s City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (1990). Start with the Fortress LA chapter. It’s a groundbreaking critique of #HostileArchitecture βš”οΈ

Podcast: Embedded Planning in the Plains of Id

Excerpt of South Central LA Thick Map for “Flatlands: We Cannot Pod From Our Desks”

In November 2020, I was interviewed by grad students from the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative. Their research methods seminar examined LA urban theory + praxis through the lens of Reyner Banham’s Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971).

I spoke at length about @EmbeddedPlanning praxis, west coast hip hop origins, and South Central LA.

The group distilled our conversation into a dope podcast called, β€œFlatlands: We Cannot Pod From Our Desks.”

Listen to my podcast interview and view the companion Thick Map of South Central LA β€” portion of it is this post’s image. Check out all project podcasts and infographics.

Thank you to Samantha Solis, Miranda Hirujo-Rincon, Carrie Gammell, and Celia Sanchez Zelaya.

Creating Equitable Public Spaces Through Embedded Planning

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.

Embedded Planning Talk in South Bend, Indiana

Just wrapped a presentation on Embedded Planning praxis with planners and city staff at the City of South Bend in support of the Linden Avenue Greenhouse Project βœ”οΈ 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 πŸ™ŒπŸ½ πŸ’™ 🏁

Let’s take planning to the streets.

We Cannot Plan From Our Desks!

Embedded Planning Keynote at the University of Utah

Stoked to announce that I’m delivering the keynote address for the Internalizing Equity series at the University of Utah Department of City & Metropolitan Planning:

β€œπ™’π™š π˜Ύπ™–π™£π™£π™€π™© 𝙋𝙑𝙖𝙣 𝙁𝙧𝙀𝙒 π™Šπ™ͺ𝙧 π˜Ώπ™šπ™¨π™ π™¨: π™π™π™š π™‰π™šπ™šπ™™ 𝙁𝙀𝙧 π™€π™’π™—π™šπ™™π™™π™šπ™™ π™‹π™‘π™–π™£π™£π™žπ™£π™œ,” Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Note the different Timezone start times: 11am Los Angeles / 12pm Salt Lake City.

RSVP to join here: http://plan.cap.utah.edu/2021/02/internalizing-equity-series/

️Thanks to Bianca Paulino, Claudia Loayza, and Professor Stacy Harwood!

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.

Embedded Planning Is Praxis

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.

Huge shout outs to our event’s co-sponsors: PRAXIS, Planners of Color for Social Equity, and the UCLA Institute on Inequality and Democracy. Thanks so much for bringing everyone together here. And thank you to everyone who joined from across different time zones, geographies, and hemispheres! The talk was recorded and archived for later viewing. Please contact me if you’d like to see it.

Are you interested in hosting an Embedded Planning talk in your community? Please hit me up.

AARP Coverage of Embedded Planning

My Embedded Planning work at @LANLT is spotlighted in AARP’s Livable Communities Interview Series. I made sure to give a shout out to my hero, Ron Finley, South Central LA’s Gangsta Gardener.

Article link: https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/livable-in-action/info-2021/jonathan-pacheco-bell-los-angeles.html

Thanks to Danielle Arigoni and Melissa Stanton at AARP, and writer Ken Miller.

Embedded Planning Returns to ELARA

We Cannot Plan From Our Desks. [Collage by artist Jax Arriola @mijacutsdeep]

I trace Embedded Planning back to my high school days as a 90s graffiti writer in LA, and tell the story of Embedded Planning’s origins and evolution, all while situating it within an 11th grade classroom of future planners in East LA, in β€œEmbedded Planning Returns to ELARA.”

Published on December 18, 2020 at c1typlann3r.medium.com.