Cassim Shepard joins Matt Bubala live in-studio to discuss his new book, Citymakers: the Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism. Shepard is an urbanist, filmmaker and writer. As the editor-in chief of Urban Omnibus, an online publication, he compiled this book from seven years of reporting. His goal is to make cities more sustainable, resilient and beautiful.
The book discusses New York City and the transformations since the financial crash in 2008. Shepard hopes his book sheds light for long term residents of cities, newcomers, designers, artists and policy makers. In the crest of the financial crash, high rise apartments went up on cost and it created a crisis for employment. Shepard says that during this time, people “unleashed upon the city a tremendous amount of creative energy for people to pay attention to what’s going on in their own backyard.”
The first chapter approaches public space. It’s the idea that places can be created where people can do activities with strangers, but also rally for a particular purpose. He describes a city maker as someone who “dedicates part of life to make neighborhoods better. One of the ways we make cities are the stories we tell about them,” Shepard says.
His book can be purchased online or at local bookstores. Shepard is in town to meet with local city makers during the Chicago Architecture Biennial at the Stony Island Arts Bank at 2pm today.