Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.


Joseph Heathcott

Joseph Heathcott

Associate Professor of Urban Studies, Bachelor's Program,Milano,Design Strategies

Associate Professor of Urban Studies

Office Location:

Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Building
  • Email:

  • Professor Heathcott studies the metropolis and its diverse cultures, institutions, and environments within a comparative and global perspective. His main interest is in the public role of scholarship and teaching, and the civic engagement of students and teachers in the world around them. He is also a compulsive peripatetic, amateur archivist, and collector of LPs, post cards, old radios, books, and found objects.

    During the academic year 2010-2011, Professor 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 as a visting faculty member at the University of Vienna, University of Maastricht, the Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon, and Washington University.  At The New School he has served as Chair of Urban Studies at Eugene Lang College and Associate Dean of Academic Initiatives at NSPE.  

    His articles, photographs, maps, and drawings have appeared in a range of venues, from books and magazines, to exhibits, blogs, DIY 'zines, reports, and journals of opinion. His research on the social and design history of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe public housing project led to an exhibition at MIT titled Vertical City and to a documentary film titled The Pruitt-Igoe Myth.  Most recently he curated a photography exhibit Post-Acropolis Metropolis for the Town Hall Gallery in Stuttgart, Germany, and an exhibit of his photographs titled BQ Borderlands was installed at the Queens Museum of Art. 

    Professor Heathcott has been awarded fellowships from U.S. Fulbright, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Erasmus Institute, the Mellon Foundation, and the Brown Center for the Humanities. He has been invited to lecture, consult, and judge design reviews in a wide variety of venues both in the U.S. and internationally. He frequently volunteers his time with neighborhood groups and community organizations around issues of planning, preservation, and urban design. He served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Urban Pedagogy and the Urban History Association.  Currently he is the President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Planning Association.

    Recent Publications:

    Books and Editions

    Special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association on the 75th Anniversary of Public Housing.  Guest Editor. Fall 2012.

    Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization.  Edited with Jefferson Cowie. Cornell University Press, 2003.  Listed as an "essential" text in labor history by Academia, the Magazine and Resource Guide for Academic Librarians.


    Visual and Documentary Work (since 2007)

    "Urban Typefaces."  Photograph for group show, Oceana Gallery, San Francisco, CA.  Nov-Dec 2013.

    "BQ Borderlands."  Installation of photographs and archival maps detailing the Brooklyn-Queens border landscapes, prepared for the reopening of the Queens Museum of Art.  Nov 2013-Jan 2014.

    "Skin flâneur."  100 Word Story.  Fall 2013. 

    "Laboratories of the New Europe: Immigrant Neighborhoods in Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam."  Forthcoming in Public Culture (2014).

    "Morning in the Casbah, Marrakech, 2010."  34th Parallel (October 2013).

    "Loot."  Graphic appropriation.  Dark Matter 11 (Fall 2013).

    "Setting Table in Old Stone Town, Zanzibar." Photographic essay in The Inquisitive Eater (June 2013).

    "When Angels Held Fast."  Worked photograph.  5 x 5 magazine (Winter 2011).

    "The Urban Oblique."  Photographic series, Folly magazine (November 2011).

    "Six Miles from Wall Street."  Digital scan of prepared found materials. Bosphorous Art Project Quarterly (Summer 2011).

    "One Night in Belleville, Paris, 2011."  Photographic essay for XCP Streetnotes 19, 1 special issue on 'The New Europe" (June 2011).

    "Surface Moments, Marrakech."  Photographic essay for Camera Obscura 18 (March 2011).

    "Post-Acropolis." Five photographers document the Midwest industrial landscape, with work by Michael Allen, Toby Weiss, Robert Powers, Clare Boyd, and John Montre.  Curator.  City Hall Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany, May-June 2010.

    "Sacred to the Memory."  Worked photograph.  Bosphorous Art Project Quarterly (Winter 2010).

    "Cognitive Map of Rosedale." Drawing. On Site Review (Summer 2009).

    "Block Signs." Photographic essay with Damon Rich.  In Public Phenomena, ed. Temporary Services.  Chicago: Half Letter Press, 2008.

    Creation of the "Joseph Heathcott Collection of Counterculture Publications, 1971-2000, Saint Louis Univeristy Archives.  (4 cu ft, 500 publications).


    Articles, Essays, Chapters (since 2007)

    "A Library, A City." Meridian.  Winter 2014.

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

    "The Science and Art of City-Making: The Model Street at the 1904 World's Fair." In Robert Freestone and Marco Amati, eds., Exhibitions and the Development of Modern Planning Culture (London: Ashgate Press, 2014).

    "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).

    "Ephemeral City: Design and Civic Meaning at the 1904 World's Fair." Journal of Design History 26, 1 (2013).

    "The Strange Career of Public Housing: Policy, Planning, and the American Metropolis in the Twenty-First Century."  In the special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association 78, 4 (2012).

    "The Archival Uncanny: A Photograph, A Family Lacunae." Rhizomes 23. Special issue on 'Deleuze and Photography.' (March 2012).

    "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).

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

    "Six Miles from Wall Street."  Collage of prepared found materials. Bosphorous Art Project Quarterly (Spring 2011).

    "One Night in Belleville, Paris, 2011."  Photographic essay for XCP Streetnotes 19.  Special issue on "The New Europe" (June 2011). 

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

    "Through a City, Darkly."  Catalogue essay for In Light: An Exhibition of Photographs by Chris Wainwright.  Amsterdam: Castrum Peregrini, 2011. 

    "Surface Moments, Marrakech."  Photographic essay for Camera Obscura 18 (March 2011). 

    "One New Year's Eve in a Dying City." Antioch Review 69, 2 (Spring 2011).

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

    "Cognitive Map of Rosedale." Drawing.  On Site Review: Journal of Architecture and Culture (Summer 2009).

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

    "Block Signs." Photographic essay with Damon Rich.  In Public Phenomena, ed. Temporary Services.  Chicago: Half Letter Press, 2008.

    "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: Journal of Architecture and Culture 19, special issue on "Streets," Summer 2008.

    "Reading the Accidental Archive: Architecture, Ephemera, and Landscape as Evidence of Urban Public Culture." Winterthur Portfolio 41, 2 (December 2007).

    "Making Preservation Pay: Historic Tax Credits Generate Big Investment.  So Why Ruin a Good Thing?" Progressive Planning 172 (Fall 2007).

    "The Value of Architecture: Bruce Lindsey Brings the Lessons of the Rural Studio to the Metropolis." Metropolis magazine, May 2007. 


    Research Interests:

    Cities real and imagined; architectural history, theory, and criticism in the twentieth century; metropolitan and community studies; civic and public cultures; cities as living archives of creativity, urbanity, and design 

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