2012-13 Lecture Series, Open Gates

Life in the City:

Exploring Urban Issues


Half the world’s population now lives in cities—and this is only increasing in the wake of a worldwide urban migration. Despite the problems usually associated with the city—higher crime rates, poverty, pollution–Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, author of the Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier, claims that “cities are our best and brightest hope.” The 2012-2013 Open Gates lecture series will explore a variety of urban issues, with a special focus on the City of Worcester.

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Kerry Spitzer and Anne Bowman

October 18, 2012 (7-8 pm, Warner Theatre)


Kerry Spitzer is a Ph.D. student at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Her research focuses on affordable housing policy and incarceration in the United States. Prior to coming to MIT, Kerry worked for over four years in New York City government. As a budget and policy analyst at the NYC Independent Budget Office she authored reports on the city’s juvenile justice system, jails, and supportive housing programs. Prior to her work at IBO, she was a project manager at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development in the Inclusionary Housing Program. In addition, she has conducted research for the NYC Department of Homeless Services and Department of Corrections on the population of individuals who cycle between the jail and shelter system. She has also worked for the Supportive Housing Network of New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where she co-authored an article on Latino small business (click here). She holds a Masters in Public Administration from NYU Wagner and a Bachelors in Government from Cornell University.

A recent graduate of the Master’s Program at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, Anne Bowman joined the housing development group of Heartland Alliance, an anti-poverty organization in Chicago, in 2011. During her time at MIT, Anne focused her studies on the relationship between design and community development, an interest that culminated in her Master’s thesis, which examined the ways universities are looking at the design and development of their edges—and beyond—in new and innovative ways. She found Clark University in Worcester and Trinity College in Hartford – her two main case studies – to provide many lessons for institutions and cities everywhere. Anne’s current work as Associate Director of Real Estate Development at Heartland continues to bring design and development together through the planning and building of affordable housing. She is currently working on the redevelopment of a 35-acre public housing development in Chicago, a community center, and an apartment building for 37 families in Milwaukee. Prior to attending MIT and joining Heartland, Anne was an architect at Torti Gallas and Partners: Architects of Community, a firm in Washington, DC focused on creating buildings and plans that contribute to the cities and towns of which they are a part, physically, socially, and economically. Anne also received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame and is a licensed architect.

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The City Dark

Thursday, January 17th 2013. From 6:30 to 8 PM in Warner Theater

Big cities run 24/7,  supported by artificial lighting. Does this pose health risks? Does it matter that people in cities seldom see the night sky? Filmmaker Ian Cheney thinks that it does.

THE CITY DARK is a new feature documentary from filmmaker Ian Cheney (KING CORN, THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE) chronicling the disappearance of darkness and the extinction of the starry night sky. The film won awards in the Documentary Competition at SXSW Film Festival in March 2011.

We will screen and then discuss this film. Michael Carroll, Worcester Academy’s Director of Sustainabilty, and Dr. John Murnane, Director of the Open Gates program, will co-host this event.

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The City Dark/Part Two ?

Monday, March 4th 2013. 7-8 PM  Warner Theater/Morse Field


Building on the discuss and the program of Jan 17th, The Open Gates program will team up again with Mike Carroll the Director of Sustainabilty and Worcester Academy Astronomy instructor, Drew Tanzosh. We will begin with a brief introduction in Warner Theater, followed by a walk to Morse Field (glow-sticks for everybody) where Mr. Tanzosh will present a mini-class in Astronomy. In order to dramatize the theme of the film, City Dark, we hope to shut off as many of the light on campus between 7:15 and 7:30 as possible–Morse Field will dark during the astronomy portion of the program.

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Worcester in 2020 by David Forsberg


David Forsberg will sketch out major changes and initiatives to revitalize and modernize the city of Worcester–past, present and future. As former President of the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) and a leader in the development and revitalization of Worcester, he brings a unique hands-on perspective. He will put the future of the city into a historical context and outline some of the major projects designed to improve life in the city of Worcester over the next 10 years.

For More on the Open Gates program click here.


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