A Primer on Latino Urbanism, Community Engagement & Creative Placemaking: A Lunch Talk With Place It! Founder James Rojas

April 01, 2019

James Rojas is an urban planner, community activist, and artist. He has developed an innovative public-engagement and community-visioning method that uses art-making as its medium. Through this method he has engaged thousands of people by facilitating hundreds of workshops, building more than 50 interactive models around the world—from the streets of NYC and San Francisco, to Mexico, Europe, and South America. He has collaborated with municipalities, nonprofits, community groups, and museums to engage, educate, and empower the public on transportation, housing, open space, and health issues.

Rojas is also one of the few nationally recognized urban planners to examine US-Latino cultural influences on urban design and sustainability. He has written and lectured extensively on how culture and immigration are transforming the American front yard and landscape. He was the founder of the Latino Urban Forum, an advocacy group dedicated to increasing awareness around planning and design issues facing low-income Latinos. Rojas has lectured and facilitated workshops at MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, Cornell, and many other universities. His installation work has been shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Venice Biennale, the Exploratorium, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Bronx Museum of Art, and the Getty. His research has appeared in the NY and LA Times, Dwell,Places, and in numerous books. You can visit his website at Place It!