Past Events

Archive of recorded events held at the Bloustein School. Not all events are recorded. If you attended an event at the Bloustein School that was hosted by another organization, please check with that organization for information about whether the event was recorded.

Note: If you click the link to watch a recording and the video does not begin, hit the pause button (two vertical lines, lower left of video screen) wait a few seconds and hit the play button)


9/25 The Future of Planning for Economic Democracy and Self-Determination: Towards a Post-COVID Just Recovery

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Historic urban planning and policy decisions have led to higher impacts of COVID-19 in low-income communities — special attention should be paid to Black and brown women, undocumented immigrant communities, etc. As future planners and policymakers, it is our responsibility to consider how we can un-do these dynamics while working hand-in-hand with low-income communities to fight forward processes of self-determination and economic democracy. This discussion will be of interest to anyone willing to help to create a post-COVID “new normal” that is just for everyone. Presented by the Bloustein Graduate Student Association with community organizers and planners from MIT Community Lab Innovators (CoLab) working with Black and brown communities from the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Bios of guest speakers: 

Presentation (PPT) 
MIT Colab materials on economic democracy (PDF) and community land trusts (PDF)

5/8 How COVID-19 is Affecting Public Transportation

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A diverse group of panelists in the transportation arena discussed their agencies’ responses to COVID-19 on an online panel hosted by the Bloustein School and the Bloustein/New York City Alumni Group. Public transit agencies deliver a vital service every day, especially during times of emergency – providing critical mobility options for millions of frontline health care, public safety, grocery and restaurant workers fulfilling essential roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming months, public transit agencies face a crisis that could result in catastrophic revenue losses that threaten the viability and availability of transit services in the near- and long-term. Our panelists spoke on a range of topics including how the current global pandemic has and might impact travel patterns, service, operations, ridership, and local and regional planning initiatives that they are engaged in.

3/5 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture: The Crises of American Democracy 

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During the Trump presidency, the challenges facing our democratic institutions become clear. Voting restrictions, disinformation, and rampant partisanship pose immense threats to the long-term health of our politics. In his talk, Professor Zelizer, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs, School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, provided historical context to these issues and offer a path forward after 2020. 

02/27 Affordability: The New Innovation Imperative

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Why would a successful health care system change its winning strategies to move toward value-based care?  Brian Gragnolati, President & CEO of Atlantic Health System, offers a real-life view of one organization’s transformational journey in the name of greater access and affordability for every patient and consumer. The discussion focuses on the adaptive change required to mobilize key stakeholders in governance and leadership, build collaborative relationships with former competitors and those who pay for care (employers, private insurers and government), all while experimenting with new payment and physician integration models and innovative care coordination initiatives. Looking at health care through the lens of affordability, this session encourages individuals and organizations to work together to design a more inclusive, equitable health care system that puts patients first.

2/27 – Panel Presentation: Hazard Mitigation and Climate Resilience

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Alumni practitioners working in a variety of organizations, sectors and focus areas discuss the variety of careers in this arena. Kelly Pflicke (MCRP ’14) of FEMA Region II moderates panelists from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP), Michael Baker International, Wharton Risk Center at the University of Pennsylvania, NYC Planning and consultant Sea Change Planning Services, LLC.  

2/19 Gov. James J. Florio Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Public Policy Lecture

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled a bevy of ethics reforms that aim to change the culture of New Jersey’s government.

1/30 – The CROWN Conference: Can Public Policy End Hair Discrimination?

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The purpose of this conference was to discuss, educate, and illuminate the need for a New Jersey bill known as the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Naturals) to protect the rights of those who choose to wear their hair in natural (just the way it grows) hairstyles such as Afros, braids, twists, and locs, hairstyles commonly worn by people of African descent in the workplace and schools. Moderated by Patricia O’Brien-Richardson, Ph.D., MS. Ed, Associate Professor of Teaching, Bloustein School. Panelists included Sandra Cunningham, State Senator and Co-Sponsor of the bill; Angela McKnight, Assemblywoman and Co-Sponsor of the bill; Dr. Bernice B. Rumala, Crown Campaign Co-founder; Shemekka Ebony Coleman, Crown Campaign Co-founder.

12/3 Accelerating the Transition to a Clean, Equitable, and Resilient Transportation Future 

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Alan M. Voorhees Distinguished Lecture

Climate change is already affecting our region, the U.S., and the planet, bringing risks to public health and safety as well as to our infrastructure and communities. The transportation sector is now the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, and is also quite vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate. Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center; Professor from Practice and Assistant Dean, Centers and Institutes, Georgetown University Law Center discusses what’s at stake and the steps that leaders in states and communities are taking to reduce emissions and shift to cleaner transportation alternatives while preparing for climate change impacts, including heat waves, intense storms, and rising seas. Cosponsored with the Rutgers Climate Institute.

11/12 Planning for climate change: building equity into sustainable urban futures 

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2019-20 Stuart Meck Memorial Lecture in Land Use Law and Affordable Housing 

Climate change raises many profound questions about the future of cities. How will cities adapt to more frequent and extreme weather events? How will they change their infrastructure and energy systems to move toward a zero-carbon future? As researchers in planning and allied fields, explore these questions, an emerging, cross-cutting theme is the issue of equity: what will climate adaptation and mitigation mean for less advantaged urban residents and communities? who will have a voice in climate-related decisions and actions? and, most importantly, where are the leverage points for building a sustainable and equitable urban future? This emphasis on equity is not only front and center for urban governments, but is also foundational for a proposed Green New Deal and the climate justice movement more generally. Robin Leichenko, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, Rutgers University explores opportunities, synergies, and challenges associated with bringing equity into planning for climate change in cities, drawing from Leichenko’s work on equity-based community adaptation in New York City.

10/30 Implications of the New Jersey Aid in Dying Act for Healthcare Providers and Administrators

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New Jersey joins seven other states in promulgating an Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill statute, sponsored by Senator Kip Bateman (R16) and Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D3), signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy and enacted on August 1, 2019. The law allows terminally ill New Jersey adults who are within 6 months of dying to end their lives peacefully, with dignity, and at their own discretion. In light of its societal significance for New Jersey, the Bloustein School convened a distinguished panel of our state’s healthcare leaders to participate in an open dialogue about the implications this law may have for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare administrators, related healthcare professionals and society at large.

5/20 Fourth Annual Research Conference on Education Reform, Communities and Social Justice: Exploring the Intersections 

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2/28 The LULU: A Wider Theory

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From the early 1980s through the early 1990s, Frank Popper wrote extensively on Locally Unwanted Land Uses or LULUs. These are developments society needs but no one wants nearby. Examples are nuclear power plants, hazardous waste facilities, highways, and low-income housing. Planning routinely solves the seeming riddle they present. LULUs quickly became a common term in planning and later environmental justice. Dr. Popper returns to the topic, revealing big gaps in his past work neither he or nor later researchers and policymakers found. He also shows why LULUs do not offer a complete theory of land use but why a broader theory of them might.

11/7 Hospitals in an Era of Tumult

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Hospitals face a chaotic political environment in the wake of failed attempts to repeal the ACA and cut entitlements. Meanwhile others are calling for “Medicare for All.” But this uncertainty also stems from disruptive changes as new private sector actors enter the business of healthcare. Dr. Bruce Siegel, President and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, will try to make sense of these trends and assess the opportunities and risks faced by the hospital industry.

11/6 An Overview of The Fourth Regional Plan

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Work on The Fourth Regional Plan began by talking with and listening to people from across the region. What the Regional Plan Association heard was that people loved where they live, but they had serious concerns. Housing was too expensive. Commutes were long and unreliable. The destruction brought by Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy underscored the region’s vulnerability to climate change and raised questions about how prepared we were for the storms to come. Tom Wright, President and CEO of the Regional Plan Association, led the production of The Fourth Regional Plan, released in November 2017, proposes 61 recommendations to improve prosperity and quality of life in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region.

10/10 Building Communities for All Ages in New Jersey: Advancing Local Economies, Quality of Life, and Social Cohesion

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Presented by the Bloustein School, Rutgers School of Social Work, and AARP

New Jersey is a state with many diverse residents of all ages. Baby Boomers, GenXers and Millennials all want to live in towns and cities that are clean, safe and secure, prosperous, affordable and with access to healthy food, transportation options and open spaces. Experts from AARP, the Bloustein School and the Rutgers School of Social Work discussed the benefits of building communities for all ages in New Jersey and provided an overview of efforts already underway in New Jersey to build communities that are livable for people of all ages.

4/18 The Path to 2050: New Jersey’s Clean Energy Economy

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Presented by the Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy and the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development

New Jersey is in the process of transforming its energy sector to develop a clean energy economy. This public forum explores the intersection of clean energy and the economy with a keynote presentation by Laurence M. Downes, Chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources, along with a panel of experts in workforce development and energy planning.

3/27 – Place, Race, and Power: Advancing Health Equity in New Jersey and Nationally

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2018 Robert A. Catlin Memorial Lecture

Residential segregation is a powerful root cause of racial and ethnic health inequities because it concentrates health risks in communities of color while limiting access to health-enhancing resources. This talk by Brian D. Smedley, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis, and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity, reviewsr research on the importance of place for health, and discusses policy strategies that can improve equity. In particular, the talk offers a preview of the Health Opportunity and Equity Measures, which offer state-level rankings of health and the major drivers of health equity. It also focuses on how patterns of residential segregation reinforce health inequities, and both place- and people-based strategies to counter the effects of segregation.

2/20 – Leading Their Communities: Exploring Women’s Impact in Entrepreneurial Roles

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2018 Ruth Ellen Steinman and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture

This engaging panel features accomplished, female entrepreneurs, all alumni of the Bloustein School,  who lead diverse businesses in the state of New Jersey. Each discuss their individual experiences, successes, and the challenges faced while developing their businesses, and explain how they were able to find success in the areas of urban planning and related fields. As women leaders, each of these urban planners also demonstrated how their businesses have both influenced and transformed the communities in which they serve.  Moderated by Bloustein School Associate Professor Julia Sass Rubin  (MBA, MA, PhD, Harvard University). Panelists: Christiana R. Foglio, MCRP ’86 (GSNB), DC ‘84, President, Community Investment Strategies, Inc.; Courtenay D. Mercer, MCRP ’02, Principal, Mercer Planning Associates; Jessica Schellack, MCRP ’11, Co-founder, OQ Coffee Co.

2/13 – Walking While Black

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A discussion on the ProPublica/Florida Times-Union “Walking While Black” investigative series. Reporters Topher Sanders and Ben Conarck discussed the series and answered questions about the innovative project which focused on Jacksonville, Fla. Some of the findings included: jaywalking tickets were disproportionally given to black pedestrians; tickets were often used as a means to question and search pedestrians and; the city’s pedestrian infrastructure was poorest in the areas police ticketed.

01/30 – Adapting to Change: Environmental Science and Policy in the Time of Trump

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2018 Ruth Ellen Steinman and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture

presented by Thomas A. Burke, PhD, MPH, Jacob I. and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor and Chair in Health Risk and Society and Director, Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Former EPA Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, Jan. 2015-Jan. 2017

11/08 – History and Evolution of Metuchen, 1967-2017

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2017 Isadore Candeub Memorial Lecture in Planning