Public Engagement

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Cities and Social Justice

  • The Cities and Social Justice Concentration focuses on how global factors interact with local environments, actors, and institutions to produce new urban forms, problems, and opportunities. The unique interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with the analytic and practical skills necessary to understand and productively engage with urban processes in a globalizing world. The coursework and practical training enables students to focus on a diversity of topics and issues affecting urban centers, including urban development and infrastructure, urban poverty and inequality, urban governance, citizenship and human rights, media and culture, environment, and sustainability. The faculty is comprised of scholars with backgrounds in economics, political science, anthropology, history, urban planning, and architecture. Students gain practical skills in geographic information systems, architecture and design, urban economics and finance, impact analysis, and critical analysis. In addition, students have access to a broad range of opportunities for research and practice through organizations in New York City and through International Field Program sites in Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Istanbul, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro.

  • Faculty

    Maria Carrizosa

    Maria Carrizosa is a doctoral student in public and urban policy, the coordinator of the  Observatory on Latin America, and a teaching fellow for the graduate course Slums and Urban Development at the Schools of Public Engagement. She is also a 2016-2017 GIDEST Fellow. Carrizosa has a BA in Architecture and another in Philosophy and an MS in International Affairs and has completed graduate studies in geography. During her ten years in Colombia, she worked with several United Nations organizations (UNDP, OCHA, WB, IFC), NGOs, and a government agency and taught at the undergraduate level. Since 2006, she has advised a Latin American habitat and social housing competition called Convive

    Michael Cohen

    Michael Cohen is a U.S. political economist with long experience working on urban policy issues. He led the Urban Development Division at the World Bank for many years, wrote much of the World Bank's urban policy, and worked in 55 countries. He currently advises UN Habitat and various development institutions on urban assistance policy. He has written books on urban issues in Africa, development policy in Argentina and Latin America, and the global economic crisis and is also co-director of the Observatory on Latin America. He teaches Urban Century, New York City and the World, and Global Urban Futures and chairs the Cities and Social Justice concentration.

    Margarita Gutman

    Margarita Gutman is an Argentine architect and urban historian who researches the anticipations of the urban future in Buenos Aires in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her widely reviewed book Buenos Aires: El Poder de la anticipacion: Imagenes Itinerantes del future metropolitan en el primer Centenario (2011) contrasts the expectations of the professional disciplines and the popular imagination. She taught for many years at the School of Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning at the University of Buenos Aires, where she held a chair in urban history. At Milano, she teaches courses on urban theory, on the urban future, and on Latin American cities and is co-director of the Observatory on Latin America.

    Achilles Kallergis

    Achilles Kallergis is a Greek urban policy specialist completing his PhD in Public and Urban Policy at Milano, focusing on housing and infrastructure issues in Africa. He has led students in the International Field Program to Uganda, Southern Africa, and India. He teaches Communities in Urban Development.

    Stephen Metts

    Stephen Metts is a U.S. specialist in geographical information systems. He has worked with a diverse group of organizations, firms, and city agencies, including the international organization Engineers Without Borders, as well as New York City's planning department (NYCDCP) and housing authority (NYCHA). He developed a GIS-related curriculum at Parsons School of Design and teaches GIS for International Crises, Development, and the Environment.

    Alberto Minujin

    Alberto Minujin works on issues of social policy and children's rights in the context of the development and human rights paradigm. He directs the initiative Equity for Children and the International Field Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Minujin teaches Children, Rights, Poverty, Equality and Urban Environmental Development Practices.

    William Morrish

    William Morrish is a nationally recognized U.S. architect and urban planner specializing in the field of urban ecologies and infrastructure. Morrish is a professor of urban ecologies in the School of Design Strategies of Parsons School of Design. He previously taught at the University of Minnesota and the University of Virginia. He has worked throughout the United States and in numerous countries on urban issues. Within the Cities and Social Justice concentration he teaches Infrastructure for the New Social Compact.

    Antina von Schnitzler

    Antina von Schnitzler is a German anthropologist who has researched extensively in Johannesburg, South Africa, studying community responses to the metering of urban water supply. She received her doctorate from Columbia University and later taught at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She teaches Urban Africa; Cities, Infrastructure, Development; and Techno-Politics: Infrastructure, Technology, Power. She is currently completing a book on her research in South Africa.


    African Cities - Gulelat Kebede

    Climate Change – Shagun Mehrotra

    Community Development Finance Lab II – Alex Schwartz

    Communities in Urban Development – Achilles Kallergis

    Havana Studio: Historic Presentation and Urban Strategy - Michael Cohen and Anthony Tung

    Immigrant Gateway City - Julie Behrens

    Infrastructure for the New Social Compact – William Morrish

    Political Economy of the City – Mindy Fullilove

    Politics of Infrastructure - Antina von Schnitzler

    Slums and Urban Development – Maria Carrizosa

    Urban Century (Foundation Course) – Michael Cohen and Margarita Gutman

    Urban Poverty and Inequality – Alberto Minujin

    Urbanization and Economic Growth – Michael Cohen