Interview with Julia Koschinsky
As we gear up for the launch of our masters program this fall, in the following weeks we’ll be introducing some of our stellar faculty members in a series of exclusive short and sweet interviews that tell us a bit more about these seasoned urban practicioners; from personal favorites to snippets of advice to young urbanism students.
First up is Julia Koschinsky, Research Director of the GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation at Arizona State University and Assistant Research Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, who we are thrilled to have on the team.
Before we begin…
Your specialty: Spatial data analysis, program evaluation methods and affordable housing research
What will you bring to the course Regenerating Intermediate Landscapes? An emphasis on how recently developed spatial concepts, methods and free tools can aid planning in general and the regeneration of intermediate landscapes in particular.
What do you think differentiates this masters course from other lines of urban study/practice? Its emphasis on urban morphology, its place at the intersection between architecture and planning, and its integration of faculty from Barcelona and around the world.
1. A model city, or one you would choose to live in: Istanbul and Barcelona because they facilitate unexpected connections.
2. Favorite urbanism books: Joseph Stübben’s City Building [Der Städtebau], which we’re about to publish in English, and McDonough & Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle.
3. Something you like and dislike about [city you live in]: Phoenix and Munich. The fact that much of Phoenix is inaccessible without a car but there are amazing canyons and mountains to drive to outside of the city. The “laptop and Lederhosen” dynamic in Munich, which tries to combine traditions and modern developments even though the city is less experimental and affordable than Berlin.
4. When you aren’t working, you most enjoy: Hiking the high peaks of the Pirineus and Alps and the valleys of the Grand Canyon.
5. The biggest challenge architects and urban planners face today: Finding innovative, attractive and affordable shelter and infrastructure solutions for urbanizing regions, from developing informal settlements to retrofitting suburbia. Interesting in this context: Open Architecture Network and open source blueprints.
6. One of your projects that you are most proud of: Our current 2-year research project with Emily Talen on Affordable Housing and Walkability and our open source spatial software development at the GeoDa Center.
7. A recent example of successful urban regeneration: Highline Park in New York City.
8. An example of failed urban regeneration: Urban renewal policies in the U.S.
9. An urban planner or other professional whose work you admire, and why: The affordable housing projects of OFIS architects in Slovenia because they manage to make modular design extremely attractive, interesting and colorful. Teddy Cruz’ affordable housing developments along the US-Mexican border because he integrates them with global political and economic issues.
10. A piece of advice for the future generation of urban planners: Find the 18th camel! When looking for solutions to difficult urban problems, try to zoom out and look at the problem from outside of the established frameworks that have traditionally been applied in urban planning.