What Hip-Hop Can Teach Cities About More Inclusive Planning

Hip-hop artists are vocal about critiques of their neighborhoods, but are planners and architects listening?

September 26, 2017, 8:00 AM PDT

By jwilliams @jwillia22


The Bronx

Tutti Frutti / Shutterstock

Anya Khalamayzer of GreenBiz interviews Michael Ford, founder of BrandNu Design, about the influence urban planning has had on hip-hop and how he's hoping to flip the script; increasing the influence of "non-traditional" stakeholders on the planning process. Ford acknowledges the role that Robert Moses' urban renewal initiatives in New York City had in creating the landscapes that came to pepper the music of the artists who grew up among the towers and slums. He also sees the residents of these communities as active participants in shaping the city for the better. Ford challenges companies and organizations working on development in communities of color to engage the youth and seek out people from within these neighborhoods to be a part of the process. He cites the genius of the musicians in these communities who have voiced their critiques and concerns about their built environment through music, and asks that planners and architects listen to what's being said and work with communities to give them the tools to participate and contribute in the planning and development process.

Friday, September 15, 2017 in GreenBiz

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