News & Events

Poster for 'Are Cities Just Places?' presentation

Presentation and Q&A

Poster for 'Are Cities Just Places?' presentation

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Are Cities Just Places? Rebuilding and Unbuilding Preservation

Part of the Changing the Face of the City collection, hosted by The Carpenters' Company of Philadelphia

Join for a presentation and Q&A session with Dr. Jenni Minner of Cornell University and the Just Places Lab. Dr. Minner will be exploring the ways in which the care of places and the built environment can work toward social justice and how preservation is being challenged and re-envisioned today. Her presentation will discuss ways in which the rebuilding and unbuilding of places can aid in working toward more equitable community preservation practices. One example revolves around lessons from a network of organizations engaged in arts, place-making, and ‘equity preservation’ in Buffalo, New York. Another example is from the establishment of the Circularity, Reuse, and Zero Waste Development (CR0WD) network, which was inspired by reuse networks in the U.S. and circularity initiatives around the world.

This program is part of the Changing the Face of the City speaker series. Throughout this year, The Carpenter' Company of Philadelphia will present a series of programs and events that explore the intersection of historic preservation and urban planning/renewal through the lens of equity and social justice. “Changing the Face of the City” was the phrase renowned urban planner Edmund Bacon used to describe Philadelphia’s renaissance in his classic 1967 book Design of Cities, unintentionally alluding to the literal consequences of many preservation, planning, and renewal efforts.



Poster produced for the 'Deconstructing Demolition' Exhibition

May 11 - October 3, 2022

Deconstructing Demolition: An Exhibition on Salvage, Reuse and Deconstruction

As a part of the partner network CR0WD (Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development), the Circular Construction Lab and the Just Places Lab are co-curating the exhibition Deconstructing DemolitionThe exhibition will be hosted from May 11 - September 3 2022 in the atrium of the Tompkins Center for History and Culture located at 110 N. Tioga St. in downtown Ithaca, New York.

The exhibition combining physical building materials with augmented reality and interactive visuals is intended to introduce a general audience to the negative externalities of extant demolition practices and provide information on alternatives in the form of salvage, reuse and deconstruction. Alternatives to demolition are presented through the lenses of environmental sustainability, preservation of community value, employment opportunity, and a reimagining our relationship to the built environment.

As part of the collective effort to put on the exhibition, members of the Circular Construction Lab captured materials and video, conducted research and calculated environmental impacts, as well as curated and built the exhibition. Credits for the exhibition go to Cornell Circular Construction Lab (Felix Heisel, Allexxus Farley-Thomas, Andrew Boghossian, Melody Chen, Joseph McGranahan), Cornell Just Places Lab (Jennifer Minner, Wyeth Augustine-Marceil, Melody Chen, Wen He, Mariam Fatima), Susan Christopherson Center for Community Planning (Gretchen Worth), Historic Ithaca, Significant Elements (Susan Holland, Christine O’Malley),  Finger Lakes ReUse (Diane Cohen), Contento Recycling (Anthony Contento). Thank you to generous support from the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement, the Clarence S. Stein Institute for Urban and Landscape and the Cornell Department of City and Regional Planning and Fred Cowett and Diana Reisman.

Poster produced for the 'Deconstructing Demolition' Exhibition

Past Events

Group of CR0WD partners presenting at Preservation Conference Nov 2021

Group of CR0WD partners presenting at Preservation Conference Nov 2021

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Joining the CR0WD: Creating a Coalition of Preservationists, Planners, and Architects to Promote Circularity and Reuse

at the New York Statewide Preservation Conference

Presenters: Christine O’Malley, Historic Ithaca (moderator); Luis Aguirre-Torres, Director of Sustainability, City of Ithaca; Felix Korbinian Heisel, Assistant Professor in Architecture Department; Cornell; Bryan McCracken, Preservation Planner, City of Ithaca; Jennifer Minner, Association Professor in City and Regional Planning; Gretchen Worth, Program Director of Susan Christopherson Center for Community Planning. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States generated 600 million tons of construction and demolition debris in 2018, making it the largest single component of landfill waste (40%). Sadly, the vast majority of construction debris (90%) results from demolition rather than new construction. As preservationists, our primary efforts are directed at saving buildings and promoting adaptive reuse. But what role can we play in advocating for a more sustainable future when it comes to demolition? How can we address the issue of demolition debris and waste through deconstruction and reuse? The panelists, all partners of the recently created working group known as CR0WD (Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development), will discuss their collaboration and goals along with their research and advocacy efforts.

Free webinar

Discipline Conservation Profession written on poster

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 5:00pm (EST) Zoom 

Conservation: Discipline & Profession 

Change Over Time in its latest COT Dialogue celebrates the launch of the issue “10.1 Conservation: Discipline & Profession.” Since its emergence, in the 20th century, modern conservation has matured into a discreet field of intellectual inquiry and an interdisciplinary professional practice. This issue of the journal examines the challenging questions of disciplinary and professional boundaries asking such questions as: What are the disciplinary implications for an interdisciplinary field? How can the profession fulfill its greatest civic promise? And, what are the responsibilities, ethics, and authority of the preservation professional?


Frank Matero, Chair, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania;

Caroline Cheong, Assistant Professor, History Department, University of Central Florida;

Jennifer Minner, Associate Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

will discuss what they perceive to be the prevailing challenges of the discipline and profession as well as the ways in which conservation is being effectively employed to achieve its mission of public good.

Register for talk

See also Recent Publications


Discipline Conservation Profession written on poster

Two images. On the top is an image of the director Debra Beattie in her film Expo Schmexpo. On the bottom is a slide from Martin Abbott and Jennifer Minner's presentation.

October 25, 2021

Two images. On the top is an image of the director Debra Beattie in her film Expo Schmexpo. On the bottom is a slide from Martin Abbott and Jennifer Minner's presentation.

Behind the Scenes of the City

Martin Abbott and Jennifer Minner presented at the Stockholm City Museum's conference Behind the Scenes of the City: The Hidden, the Forbidden, the ForgottenTheir paper is titled Hidden projections: cinematic resistance from the urban interiors of Australia. 

Social upheaval reverberated throughout Australia in the 1980s. On the East Coast, redevelopment projects in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney sought to upscale urban life. Settler urbanism erased neighbourhoods and communities and their histories; replacing them with whitewashed versions of urban culture and consumption, comfortable and affordable only to some. However, the colour of everyday life that bound these cities together was not erased entirely and was captured in the interstices of essay films from this tumultuous decade.

This presentation examines class, gender, and race relations in subversive scenes of urban life captured in feminist and Indigenous cinematic landscapes. Three short essay films are featured: a pickup scene in a Sydney pub from Tracey Moffatt’s Nice Coloured Girls (1987); Melbourne’s lost ballrooms and beachside community spaces in Maggie Fooke’s Pleasure Domes (1987); and Brisbane’s cafes and balconies in Debra Beattie's Expo Schmexpo (1984). The three films polemicize the changing interior of Australian cities during the 1980s. The films contribute to a broader movement within Australian cinema that emerged in resistance to neoliberal urban redevelopment practices and the assertion of Aboriginal cultures and rights. 


Image left, top: Debra Beattie is show drinking tea at the California Cafe in Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Still from the film Expo Schmexpo. Bottom slide from Martin Abbott and Jennifer Minner's presentation thanking directors and conference organizers. The photograph on this slide is of Maggie Fooke during a 2020 interview.

October 22, 2021

Image showing the outlines of six former international exhibition or expo sites.

Peering into mega-event impact craters: post-expo urban development and the pursuit of just places

Jennifer Minner and Grace Yixian Zhou (MRP '19) presented the paper "Peering into mega-event impact craters: post-expo urban development and the pursuit of just places," which was co-authored with Brian Toy (MRP '21).  In this paper, the researchers develop a post-expo development typology based on an examination of “mega-event meteor craters,” the former sites of mega-events in the years after they have been staged. The authors present a framework specific to post expo urban development types aimed comparing the impacts of these mega-events and guiding efforts at developing more equitable urban development even many years after an event has taken place.


Image showing the outlines of six former international exhibition or expo sites.

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