Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani : Participation

More than forty years ago, New York City took ownership of 14 square blocks on the Lower East Side for urban renewal and “slum clearance.” Its legacy is a row of parking lots on the south side of Delancey Street. Few renewal projects have been so contested, and very few of the originally-planned buildings were built. This is SPURA, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, one of the largest underdeveloped city-owned parcels of land.

The Layered SPURA / City Studio project, headed by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, explores this complex site using a hybrid approach of pedagogy, art and research, and involves long-term collaborations between Lower East Side community organizations and students in Bendiner-Viani’s City Studio, a part of the New School’s Urban Programs.

Here Gabrielle talks about how she gets people to take on a voice while walking around a space and therefore see the world in a different way and start a dialogue with others from a different place.

SPURA : Layered City walking tour
Images from a SPURA guided walk where people on the walk use the guided tour cards to embody voices from SPURA’s past, present and future.


Contributor Bio
Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani is a photographer, curator, and visiting assistant professor of Urban Studies at the New School. She holds a doctorate in Environmental Psychology from the Graduate Center, CUNY and is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths College. Gabrielle’s work explores the experience of everyday life in public and home spaces through photographic and narrative work. She has worked on projects in London, Buenos Aires, San Francisco and New York, and has exhibited at institutions including the Center for Architecture New York, MIT and UC Berkeley. Her scholarly work has been published in journals including Space & Culture and Places, and she is co-founder of the Urban Encounters conference on visual urbanism, held annually at the Tate Britain.

Related Resources
Layered SPURA Project

GOLES (Layered SPURA community partner)

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