Landsmark: The most recent addition to the star faculty
An appointee to Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Boston Planning and Development Agency Board of Directors, Landsmark joined Northeastern University this year as Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Ted Landsmark’s current research draws upon efforts by cities to address demographic changes and racial inequities, resilience, gentrification and affordability, global economic needs and local education, waterfront development, re-branding through design, and data-driven management to better inform emerging urban planning strategies. He recently facilitated symposia on the implications of expanding autonomous vehicle uses, urban ecosystems involving wildlife in cities, and the application of an elevator company’s vertical transportation knowledge to reducing horizontal congestion.
He was also appointed the new director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. Landsmark said a guiding principle strings together his diverse career. He exclaimed, “Every day there’s a solution to be developed out of a sense of passion for the people, cultures, and the societies that we’re asking to learn to live together. It’s hard not to be passionate about that.” He added, “Caring about other people is intrinsic to the work we’re doing. And planning for people we may never meet or know is intrinsic to moving forward with a socially-just agenda for developing cities.”
Even Landsmark’s hobbies, seemingly as far removed from his work as could be, are woven into this central idea. Landsmark collects banjos, several of which are hanging in his office. He plays them too, but “not well.” The collection has more to do with the instrument itself, which, having wound its way cross-continentally through global history, is what’s significant to him. He elucidated, “I keep them in my office as a reminder of how those things that a particular group feels that it owns have a way of being transferred and shared among cultures in ways that we don’t always think about.”