Reshaping America’s Cities; Special Lecture Focuses on the Immigrant Influence in Communities

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It is time to change how we think and design our communities, according to designer and urban theorist, Teddy Cruz.

It is time to change how we think and design our communities, according to designer and urban theorist, Teddy Cruz.

Cruz, principal of Estudio Teddy Cruz and professor of public culture at the Visual Arts Department of the University of California, San Diego, is inspired by the informal communities appearing along the San Diego-Tijuana border. He will discuss these nonconforming neighborhoods at the 2007 L’Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design, presented by the American Planning Association (APA) and the National Building Museum.

The lecture is 7 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 1, 2007, at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall (78 E. Washington St.)

His lecture, “From the Global Border to the Border Neighborhood,” will explore the creation of informal and fluid neighborhoods that illustrate how suburbanites can start envisioning a life without gates. Cruz believes it is critical to rethink policy and economic frameworks to encourage new options for affordability and social density.

“These informal communities engage in bottom-up spatial tactics,” said Cruz. “The barriers between public and private spaces are broken down to create truly communal and flexible neighborhoods that can easily be adapted to satisfy community needs.”

Estudio Teddy Cruz is located near the San Diego-Tijuana border where two radically different cultures meet. Cruz has earned a national reputation for his low-income housing designs, working with community-based nonprofits such as Casa Familiar in the border neighborhood of San Ysidro. His work has been recognized with numerous architectural prizes, including the Rome Prize and the Sterling Memorial Prize.

About the L’Enfant Lecture

The 2007 L’Enfant Lecture is presented by the American Planning Association and the National Building Museum. Tickets are $15. Discounted tickets ($10) are available for APA and National Building Museum members. University students are free with a valid ID.

Tickets may be purchased online before October 23 at Limited tickets will be available at the door (check or credit card only).

The L’Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design was established by the American Planning Association and the National Building Museum to increase discussion about urban and regional growth, and to stimulate the creation of communities of lasting value. The lecture series is named after Pierre Charles L’Enfant, creator of the acclaimed plan for Washington, D.C. The 2008 L’Enfant lecture will be held in Washington, D.C.

American Planning Association

The American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning—physical, economic and social—so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Members of APA help create communities of lasting value and encourage civic leaders, business interests and citizens to play a meaningful role in creating communities that enrich people's lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit its website at

National Building Museum

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution dedicated to exploring and celebrating architecture, design, engineering, construction, and planning. Chartered by Congress in 1980 and open to the public since 1985, the Museum has become a vital forum for exchanging ideas and information about the built environment through its exhibitions, education programs, and publications. The Museum is located at 401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. Museum hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Museum Shop. Café. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit


Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395

Sara Kabakoff, NBM, 202-272-2448 ext. 3201

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Roberta Rewers

Sara Kabakoff
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