Lettus Talk is an interdisciplinary and fresh podcast from the clever minds at Lettus Collective, fueled by the need to speak on topics often censored or overlooked within three disciplines: Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, and Historic Preservation.

The podcast is hosted by CED students Brett Conn, & Saba Serkhel (MUPD'21), and threaded with insights from guest professionals, scholars, faculty, community members, students, and perhaps extraterrestrials (if they ever email us back). 

We want to start a conversation, so click on every episode for guest biosketches, references, and comment boxes.

Lettus Talk episodes will be weekly (Wednesdays) so stay tuned!

Ep01. Biosketch

 

 Dr. Mitchell Sipus is an urban planner and technology designer, who continually develops new methods to tackle entrenched problems in governments, companies, and communities. He has a Masters in Community Planning from University of Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in Design from Carnegie Mellon University. More so, he has an extensive portfolio spanning over 12 years of leading transformative outcomes in some of the world’s most challenging environments including Somalia and Afghanistan. More recently, Mitchell has explored the intersection of  AI and robotics within urban planning and organizational change. He has been featured in various media outlets, including WIRED, Popular Science, Forbes, and Gizmodo. 

References

 

Donation links

Ep01. discussion + digression 

Tweet at us!

War and Planning is such a broad topic. In our pursuit of this topic, we are curious how you would answer (and digress on!) these questions:////01. What techniques can planners/designers use in order to mitigate the negative impacts of planning in a war zone///02. Keeping in mind Mogadishu’s example, how do you think the information can play a vital role in community planning in the United States? ///03. Do you know of examples where a post-conflict planning intervention led to re-building of a city or a region? ////04. What are some topics that you think we missed that hold bearing as it relates to planning in conflict zones? ///05. Have you been personally involved in working under conflict zones? If so please share your experiences with us. 

Ep03. GLOSSARY

  • Brahminism today: It is a sociopolitical ideology that encodes a memory of an ideal past and a vision of society in the future, one in which Brahmins occupy the highest place not only as exclusive guardians of a higher, spiritual realm but also as sole providers of wisdom on virtually every practical issue of this world.  The Hindu newsletter definition

  • Brahmins: The highest of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally priests.

  • Kshatriya: The second of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally the armed forces.  

  • Vaishya: The third of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally merchants and farmers. 

  • Shudras: The fourth of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally labors. 

  • Dalits: The lowest of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were sweepers and latrine cleaners. 

  • Clientelism: a political or social system based on the relation of the client to the patron with the client giving political or financial support to a patron (as in the form of votes) in exchange for some special privilege or benefit. Merriam-Webster definition.

  • Informal settlement aka Slums: Areas emerged due to migration and the lack of housing affordability in the cities. These houses are built informally, often time, illegally, and are deprived of necessities such as water, sanitation, and power.

  • Apartheid: a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa. Merriam-Webster definition.

  • Township (South African): Neighborhood located away from the major urban areas with the intent to deprive the black community access to city areas.

References: India

 

References: South Africa

References: Lebanon

 

Take a step!

DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE 

Ep03. discussion + digression 

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///01. As planners and designers, how often does your academic curriculum deal with inequity? If the answer is quite often, let us know how your institution has integrated this topic in your curriculum and if not. let’s discuss how this topic can be actively integrated.  ///02. Do you know of similar stories of communities that are victims of inequity? ///03. Have you been involved with projects that have positively/negatively impacted the equity of the community? ///04. Share with us some suggestions you may have regarding possible solutions for the US, India, Lebanon and South Africa to potentially solve their issues of inequity.  

Ep03. GLOSSARY

  • Brahminism today: It is a sociopolitical ideology that encodes a memory of an ideal past and a vision of society in the future, one in which Brahmins occupy the highest place not only as exclusive guardians of a higher, spiritual realm but also as sole providers of wisdom on virtually every practical issue of this world.  The Hindu newsletter definition

  • Brahmins: The highest of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally priests.

  • Kshatriya: The second of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally the armed forces.  

  • Vaishya: The third of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally merchants and farmers. 

  • Shudras: The fourth of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were originally labors. 

  • Dalits: The lowest of the five major castes of Hinduism. They were sweepers and latrine cleaners. 

  • Clientelism: a political or social system based on the relation of the client to the patron with the client giving political or financial support to a patron (as in the form of votes) in exchange for some special privilege or benefit. Merriam-Webster definition.

  • Informal settlement aka Slums: Areas emerged due to migration and the lack of housing affordability in the cities. These houses are built informally, often time, illegally, and are deprived of necessities such as water, sanitation, and power.

  • Apartheid: a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa. Merriam-Webster definition.

  • Township (South African): Neighborhood located away from the major urban areas with the intent to deprive the black community access to city areas.

References: India

 

References: South Africa

References: Lebanon

 

Take a step!

DO NOT FORGET TO VOTE 

Ep03. discussion + digression 

Tweet at us!

///01. As planners and designers, how often does your academic curriculum deal with inequity? If the answer is quite often, let us know how your institution has integrated this topic in your curriculum and if not. let’s discuss how this topic can be actively integrated.  ///02. Do you know of similar stories of communities that are victims of inequity? ///03. Have you been involved with projects that have positively/negatively impacted the equity of the community? ///04. Share with us some suggestions you may have regarding possible solutions for the US, India, Lebanon and South Africa to potentially solve their issues of inequity.  

References

  • Pandemics and the future of urban density: Michael Hooper on hygiene, public perception and the “urban penalty”

  • Are Crowded Cities the Reason for the COVID-19 Pandemic?

  • What We Know About Density and Covid-19's Spread

  • Urban Density Is Not the Problem

  • Don't Blame Density for Pandemics

  • A Timeline of South Korea’s Response to COVID-19

  • India enforced the world's biggest lockdown. But critics say it's taken a heavy toll

  • American individualism has shaped the conflicting coronavirus response

  • A Timeline of the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • Amsterdam to embrace 'doughnut' model to mend post-coronavirus economy

  • Cities That Heal: How The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Change Urban Design

  • How do you build a city for a pandemic? 

  • How the Coronavirus Could Change City Planning

  • SUMMARY OF VITAL STATISTICS 2017 THE CITY OF NEW YORK

  • New World Cities: Challenges of Urbanization and Globalization in the Americas on JSTOR

  • Ebola Virus Disease: international perspective on enhanced health surveillance, disposition of the dead, and their effect on isolation and quarantine practices

  • What an Ethical City Looks Like

  • Planning for life in cities after the pandemic

  • Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies 

  • MIT’s Sloan School of Management 

  • Cities That Heal: How The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Change Urban Design

  • How do you build a city for a pandemic?

  • Association between adiposity outcomes and residential density: a full-data, cross-sectional analysis of 419 562 UK Biobank adult participants

  • Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults From Rural and Urban Areas of the United States: Findings From NHANES (2005‐2008)

  • Is it really healthier to live in the countryside?

  • Planning for life in cities after the pandemic

  • A functional city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic

  • How do you build a city for a pandemic?

  • Senseable City Lab at MIT

  • How the Coronavirus Could Change City Planning

Ep04. discussion + digression 

Tweet at us!

///01. How can density act as a tool to combat the pandemic? ///02. Is the rural area a better model for habitation than a city during a pandemic? 

What should be our new normal? ///03. Should Individual rights outweigh national interest with regards to the dissemination of information in a pandemic? ///04. What does the future look like with workplace flexibility?

///05.  Can you predict an area where we will see radical transformation post-Covid 19?

 

Ep02.  Racial Inequity in America

Ep01.War Zones  and Planning!

 

Ep04. Pandemic Planning

 

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Ep03.  Global Inequity