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公平城市:建筑师能够做些什么?第1张图片

Image © Naima Green

为了公平:Toni Griffin的任务是促进社会公正
Planning For (In)Justice: Toni Griffin’s Mission to Foster Equitable Cities

由专筑网小R,吴静雅编译

Griffin创立了美国城市规划咨询公司,同时她还在哈佛大学研究生院任教。

在上世纪70至80年代,发生了文化的转变,同时,空间正义成为了活动价、规划师、建筑师们的口号,但是,正如许多具有学术起源的概念,这种理念在一开始仍然有些模糊。其中的某些概念已经随着城市的转变而愈发清晰,但事实上,很少会有诸如Toni Griffin这样的人物真正地为空间正义带来清晰的可实施要素。作为一名芝加哥人,Griffin曾经就职于SOM建筑事务所将近10年之久,后来她离开了这座城市,在华盛顿等地进行规划工作。2009年,她创办了美国城市规划咨询公司,同时她还在哈佛大学研究生院任教。在学校里,她开设了“公平城市(Just City Lab)”实验室,该实验室通过一系列的研究与项目,开发、传播、评估各项提升社会正义感的工具,从而改善城市现状。但是,公平与正义是否有真正的表达形式?那么建筑师与设计师可以做些什么呢?在接下来的对话中,记者与Griffin讨论了对于包容性的关注,并且接纳依赖性与复杂性。

Akiva Blander(下文称为AB):“公平城市”的概念你已经研究了一段时间了,那么它是怎么开始的呢?

Toni Griffin(下文称为TG):大约在10年前,我对于自己作品的影响力进行了思考,那时候,我在Cory Booker领导的纽瓦克市城市规划与社区开发负责人的岗位上离职,在这里的公共部门,我就职了10年之久。在所有工作过的城市中,我似乎都面临着同样的问题,而这些问题则成为了我关注的要点。

我看到了不同的贫困方式,部分城市仍然遭受着种族与经济的不公正现象,有的地区社会与人力资源匮乏,因此也缺少投资契机,面临着中产阶级危机,而这些危机与条件会让我们的部分城市处在社会与经济的边缘地区。

当我在纽约城市学院就职的时候,我的工作就是围绕着“公平城市”制定议程,这是对设计学科的广泛性研究,研究这类问题对其的影响。

Griffin founded the consultancy Urban Planning for the American City, which she complements with her pedagogical work at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Since its emergence with the cultural turn in the 1970s and ’80s, spatial justice has become a rallying cry among activists, planners, and plugged-in architects. But as with many concepts with academic origins, its precepts often remain elusive and uninterrogated. Though some of this has changed with the advent of city- and place-making discourse, few are doing as much to lend articulation, nuance, and malleability to spatial justice as Toni Griffin. A Chicago native, Griffin practiced architecture at SOM for nearly a decade before leaving the city to work as a planner in Newark and Washington, D.C., among other municipalities. In 2009, she founded the consultancy Urban Planning for the American City, which she complements with her pedagogical work at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. There, she runs the Just City Lab, which, through research and a host of programs, aims to develop, disseminate, and evaluate tools for enhancing justice—and remediating chronic, systematized injustice—in America’s cities. But what form could justice take in the U.S. context, and how can architects and designers help? Metropolis spoke with Griffin about how focusing on inclusivity and embracing interdependence and complexity are parts of the answer.

Akiva Blander: You’ve been developing your concept of the Just City for some time. How did that focus start?
Toni Griffin: Maybe about ten years ago, I became a bit more reflective about the impact of my work. I was coming off being the director of planning and community development for the city of Newark under Cory Booker and had just completed about a decade of work in the public sector. It was coming into focus that I was confronting the same types of issues in all the cities that I had worked in.
I was continuing to see concentrated and generational poverty, parts of cities that are still suffering from histories of racial and economic segregation, areas steeped in social and human capital vulnerabilities, lacking investment, facing sporadic gentrification—conditions that continue to leave parts of our cities on the margins of economic and social inclusion.
So my work in formulating this agenda around the Just City, beginning when I was at the City College of New York, has been an exploration of interrogating design disciplines broadly around the impact that they’re having on those types of issues.

公平城市:建筑师能够做些什么?第2张图片

Image © Naima Green

AB:那么你的研究如何改善当前状况呢?

TG:这项工作根植于数据的透明性的基础上,以便所有参与城市复兴的人员都能够利用到这些信息,同时充分接纳社区成员的关系,他们其实是这方面问题的专业人士。

针对城市与社区的更优化发展,我们能够看到其中的价值与结果是并不相同的。一般来讲,很难让来自不同社会经济部门的人群聚集在一起,更不必说讨论未来可能性,亦或是就当前问题达成一致看法。

我一直试着用各种工具来帮助人们就期待的问题而达到共识,因此我们设定了“公平城市指数(Just City Index)”,这是一个包含50个数值组成的指数,我们为社区提供这些指数,帮助他们找到明确的共同方向,然后再制定计划与策略,提出具有技术性的措施。

人们或者整个城市的社区意识可能与来源于另一个背景的个体完全不同。美国印第安纳州加里市的不公正现状则与迈阿密完全不同。因此,这个指数是一种接近其问题根源的方法,也是一种人们的期待。我们通过课程、研讨会、会议,发现这种指数是参与性的策略,它可以构成一种人们都认可且接受的语言。

AB: How can your research agenda ameliorate some of those conditions?
TG: This work has to be rooted in a transparency of data so that all participants in the work of building and revitalizing cities operate off the same information, but also recognizing community members as experts in the conditions of their own environment.
We’ve also been seeing how values and outcomes—and our prophecies for better cities and communities—could be different. Oftentimes it’s hard to get people from different socioeconomic sectors to come together to not only discuss future possibilities but also reach agreement on current issues.
I’ve been experimenting with tools to help people arrive at a common understanding about their aspirations through the idea of value. So we’ve created the Just City Index, an index of 50 values, which we offer to communities to use to help set a shared direction before moving into the more technocratic work of developing plans, strategies, and proposals.
One person’s or one city’s sense of community may be very different from that of another. Conditions of injustice in Gary, Indiana, are very different from those in El Paso or Miami. So the index is a way to get closer to the root of the challenge as well as the proposition for the aspiration. Using the index as a participatory tool—through classes, workshops, conferences—we’ve found that it creates dialogue to get people to a language that they can agree on.

公平城市:建筑师能够做些什么?第3张图片

Image © Naima Green

AB:就城市规划方面,你进行了许多工作,你甚至还给诸如底特律以及孟菲斯等城市提出过建议,那么你对政治提出了哪些建议呢?

TG:当我在公共部门的时候,最为重要的是重建一个专业的规划办公团队,那么这意味着我们要主动工作,而不仅仅起到监督的作用。我们希望与城市的各个部分展开更加广泛的合作,这些部分可以包括市区中心、滨水社区、商业廊道等等,然后与这些社区成员共同明确挑战与机遇。

在多种情况下,这是一种关乎创造的策略,让更多的社区成员不断参与,这些社区可以包括商业、机构、住宅等等,这是制定方案的过程。

除了政府人员之外,我还是一名顾问,那么我会把这些方法用在城市或者个体之中,这些个体十分有兴趣去解决那些不公平的现象,那这些解决策略也包含经济发展,亦或是像孟菲斯那样的贫富不均的问题,以及密尔沃基的城市中心与郊区的发展问题。

AB:那么我们该如何具有建设性地复兴呢?就管理投资而言,哪些策略能够促进公平发展?

TG:我的学生们在过去几年里对于中产阶级化有着这样的看法,那便是消极的。但是我希望学生们对于社区关系能够有更积极的理解,例如接纳当前紧张的种族关系。

重点在于是要削弱城市部分区域家庭或是企业的脆弱性,那么这种问题要怎么解决?我认为,最重要的是提高不同层次的所有权,包括住房和企业所有权。

我们常常会谈论到中产阶级,但是整个领域之中存在有复杂性,它存在于某个范围之中,变化会产生创造价值的趋势,或者造成负担能力紧张的趋势。

曾经我写过一篇文章,标题为“中产阶级的忏悔(Confessions of a Gentrifier)”,我也是一个中产阶级,同时我也是一位非裔美国女士,因此人们谈论到中产阶级、种族、收入问题时,这种趋势并不只是一件事。

AB: You’ve done substantial work in planning offices, and you also advise municipalities, such as Detroit and Memphis, that have experienced disinvestment. What did you accomplish with these governments?
TG: When I was in the public sector, what was very important to me was rebuilding a professional planning office. That means ensuring that planning is proactive and not only regulatory. We wanted to work more outwardly and with different parts of a city—whether it’s downtown, waterfront neighborhoods, commercial corridors—and set the expectations with members of those communities to identify challenges and opportunities.
So in a lot of cases, it was about creating a culture of engagement and involving different members of the community—whether that’s a business, institutional, residential community—in the process of making a plan.
Outside of government, as a consultant, I’m bringing those methods to cities and clients that are interested in tackling some of these long-standing conditions of what I call injustice—whether that’s looking to break down racial disparities in a city like St. Louis through an economic development strategy; or in Memphis, which is looking at its deep generational poverty alongside the growth of wealthy suburbs; or in Milwaukee, which is recognizing that growth downtown could have unintended consequences of displacement for surrounding neighborhoods.

AB: How can we talk constructively about revitalization and gentrification? And in terms of managing investment, what kinds of practices are conducive to equitable development?
TG: I have found that my students over the last several years would come into the classroom having a singular point of view about gentrification: that it was bad. But I wanted students to have a firmer understanding of neighborhood change and decouple it from a singularly negative position, or that it was only about tensions between races.
What’s critical is to lessen the vulnerability of households and businesses in parts of a city that are on a path of revitalization. Long before it starts, how are we lessening those vulnerabilities? For me, central to that is increasing various levels of ownership—of homes as well as businesses.
We often talk about who are and who are not gentrifiers. But there’s complexity to neighborhood change; it operates on a spectrum, and there are moments on that spectrum when change creates a trend of either value creation or tensions on affordability.
I wrote an article a few years back for the Huffington Post called “Confessions of a Gentrifier,” because I am, in fact, a gentrifier who moved into Harlem in the last ten years. But I am also an African-American woman, so the complexities of how people talk about gentrification and race as well as income reveal that the trend is more than just one thing.

公平城市:建筑师能够做些什么?第4张图片

© Center for Architecture/Just City Lab

AB:种族在针对美国中产阶级化与公平问题时显得尤为突出,但是却不好表达,那么这是否合乎你的工作范围?

TG:我们可以看一看美国城市之间的差距,其实这种差距能够从种族与阶级的角度而看到,一些城市与社会状况其历史中就带有着种族问题。

我们努力构成一种合理的交流方式,让种族问题成为核心,让人们愿意去沟通这个问题,也让我们了解到这是社会因素,我们要从如今的政策当中剥离出来看待这个问题。如果我们不讨论某样东西,那么它便会永远存在,最终的结构是我们忽视了这个东西。我们设定公平城市指数的原因在于让社会接纳这个问题。

我通过公平城市实验室的各个项目,要求学生们审视自己的经历与偏见,了解自身的背景与身份,然后在与种族阶级问题相关的城市建设中应用到这些概念。我认为,设计师们应该培养促进跨越这些问题的对话的能力。

AB: Race is such a salient, but often unspoken, feature in discussions of gentrification and equity in America. How does race fit into your work?
TG: When we take a look at disparities in U.S. cities, it’s hard not to see them through the lenses of race and class. It’s hard not to see that some urban and social conditions are steeped in this country’s legacy of racial segregation.
We are trying to create a language and conversation that will allow for race to be centered, for people to not be afraid to enter into the conversation, and for us to recognize that it’s a factor that we still have to decouple from policies and practices today. If we don’t talk about the elephant, the elephant never goes away. And we end up creating strategies and outcomes that ignore the elephant. The reason we created the Just City Index is so that as a society, we can get more comfortable talking about this.
Through my curriculum and through the Just City Lab, I ask each student to examine their own experiences and biases, and to understand their multiple identities and to use those in conversations about aspects of city building that are still intertwined with issues of race and class. I think it’s fundamental that the design community develop competencies that facilitate conversations across these issues.

公平城市:建筑师能够做些什么?第5张图片

Image © Naima Green

AB:那么,诸如系统种族、社会与经济保护的连续反馈等问题,是否对设计社区产生限制与局限性呢?

TG:设计专业的唯一局限应该是在于它是否真正能够只在单一的领域内完成工作。在项目中,我们又许多契机去重新定义问题,同时推进解决策略,那么这也是我把自己的事业逐步从建筑设计推向城市设计与规划的一大原因。在我的建筑作品之中,我在我的角度看到了一系列的问题,但是我希望进行更进一步的思考,这样能够确保我的设计方案能够结合整体的背景,去真正解决问题。

但是设计自身并不能完成这些内容 ,限制就在于此。但是,跨学科的合作便是成功的契机,在其中设计自身只是一部分的策略,但是这不仅仅是针对于结果。对我而言,这样的设计能够产生更多影响。

AB: But what are some of the limitations and constraints of the design community in addressing something like systemic racism, or the continual peeling back of social and economic protections?
TG: The only constraint that the design profession has is if it works solely within its discipline. In projects, we have the opportunity to redefine the problem and push solutions that can address more than one set of issues. It’s a reason why I moved my own career from architecture to urban design and planning. In my architectural practice, I saw a set of issues around my site, but I wanted to engage in a broader conversation and be sure my design solution was addressing issues embedded in the context.
Design by itself will not be able to do this. That’s the limitation. The opportunity, though, is for much more trans-disciplinary collaboration, where design is a part of problem setting and policy making—not just designing for the outcome. That to me equates to design having an effect.

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