Heathcott, Joseph


Joseph  Heathcott
PhD, History and American Studies, Indiana University
Associate Professor of Urban Studies

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Areas of Expertise:
politics of redevelopment and urban design; urban planning and policy; creative cities debates; architectural theory and criticism; arts, historic preservation, and cultural resources; public housing and housing affordability; post-industrial regions and economies

Joseph Heathcott studies cities and their diverse cultures, institutions, and landscapes from a comparative and global perspective. His main area of interest is the politics and policies that shape urban built environments. Over the past decade he has advanced the study of cities by connecting the humanities and social sciences with practice fields such as architecture, city planning, social policy, and design.  His work has appeared in numerous formats including books, edited volumes, scholarly journals, magazines, exhibits, juried art shows, and reports.

During 2010-2011, Dr. Heathcott served as the U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair to the United Kingdom at the University of the Arts in London, and as a Senior Visiting Scholar at the London School of Economics.  He has also taught at the University of Vienna, the University of Maastricht, and the Catholic University of Portugal. At The New School he has served as Chair of Urban Studies, co-chair of the university-wide urban programs committee, and Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives.  In 2016 he will be the Mellon Distinguished Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism, and Humanities at Princeton University.

Dr. Heathcott has been invited to lecture, consult, and judge design reviews in a variety of venues both in the U.S. and internationally.  He has served on numerous boards, including the Urban History Association and the Center for Urban Pedagogy.  He is currently President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Planning Association and the Journal of Student Writing in the Arts.  He frequently volunteers his time with neighborhood groups and non-profit organizations around issues of community planning, preservation, and design.

Courses Taught:
  • The Design of Cities
  • Design and Urban Practice History Lab
  • Advanced Research Seminar in Urban Policy
  • Political Economy of the City
  • The Everyday City: Architecture, Technology, and Landscape
  • Historic Preservation in the City: Time, Space, and Design
Recent Publications:

"Boundary Worlds: Traveling the Brooklyn-Queens Border." Photographic and documentary essay in Urban Omnibus: The Journal of the Architectural League of New York, 15 January 2015.

"Race, Class, and American City Planning." Essay for The Aggregate, an Architectural History collaborative web site, edited by Meredith TenHoor and Jonathan Massey, March 2015.

"Public Housing as a Tool of Racial Segregation."  In Daniel D'Oca and Tobias Armborst, The Arsenal of Exclusion and Inclusion (Barcelona: Actar Press, 2015).

"The Bold and the Bland: Art, Redevelopment, and the Creative Commons in Post-Industrial New York." City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action 19, 1 (2015).  

"The Promenade Plantée: Politics, Planning, and Urban Design in Post-Industrial Paris." Journal of Planning Education and Research 33, 2 (2013).

"Heritage in the Dynamic City: The Politics and Practice of Conservation on the Swahili Coast." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37, 1 (2012). 

"The Historic Urban Landscape of the Swahili Coast: New Frameworks for Conservation." In World Heritage Papers Series No. 36: Swahili Historic Urban Landscapes (Paris: UNESCO World Heritage Center, 2013).

"The Strange Career of Public Housing: Policy, Planning, and the American Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century."  Lead article for the Journal of the American Planning Association special issue on the 75th Anniversary of Public Housing (2012).  Also served as the Guest Editor.  

"Dust and Design: The Architecture of the Farm Security Administration Migrant Camps, 1937 - 1942."  Special issue of Onsite Review on "Architecture and Dirt," (Fall 2011).

"In the Nature of a Clinic: The Design of Early Public Housing." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 70, 1 (March 2011).

"Infrastructure 2.0: A Stimulus Package for All of Us." National Civic Review 98, 2 (Summer 2010).

"Post-Industrial Urbanism as an Archival Project: The Work of the Building Arts Foundation." With Pamela Ambrose. Art Documentation 28, 1 (2009).

"The City Quietly Remade: National Priorities and Local Agendas in the Movement to Clear the Slums." Special issue of the Journal of Urban History 34, 2 (January 2008).

"The Street as a Transnational Space." On Site Review: Journal of Architecture and Culture 19, special issue on "Streets," (Summer 2008).

"Making Preservation Pay: Historic Tax Credits Generate Big Investment." Progressive Planning 172 (Fall 2007).

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