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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Now Urbanism

Now Urbanism

Now Urbanism, a 2010-2012 John E. Sawyer Seminar in the Study of Comparative Cultures, investigated social, environmental, and cultural approaches to the study of cities in the global context.

Examining the historical contexts, existing realities, and future potentials of contemporary urbanism, the seminar sought to connect and critically assess the diverse territories of sustainability theory and practice evidenced in multidisciplinary urban scholarship, activism, and policy.

Now Urbanism supplemented its faculty and graduate seminars with a year-long series of evening public colloquia that brought faculty, graduate students, architecture and urban planning professionals, and members of the general public together around issues of:

•    social justice and  activism
•    environmental urbanism and ecological design
•    social networks
•    leisure and culture
•    the role of the university in generating a robust definition and practice of resilient urbanism

For details on the 2010-2011 seminars and public colloquia, visit the Now Urbanism webpage:  

Co-directed by Margaret O’Mara (History) and Thaisa Way (Landscape Architecture) and hosted by the Simpson Center, this program received major funding from the Mellon Foundation and was sponsored by UW’s College of Built Environment and College of Arts & Sciences.

Now Urbanism is a central component of NEXT CITY, a special initiative of the UW Office of the Provost.

In 2011-2012, Way and O’Mara plan to explore the ways in which we might create a digital three-dimensional map of Seattle that focuses on urban environmental history; quarterly workshops with faculty will also be held.