Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ava Bromberg

In the Field

We explore the complex social constellations around urban land use issues. We work toward a broader understanding of what it means to creatively generate public spaces and autonomous neighborhood planning. We share ideas and take action inhabiting, transforming and opening up spaces around the world to new possibilities.

Projects / Publications / Field Guides

Belltown Paradise / Making Their Own Plans by Ava Bromberg and Brett Bloom

Urban communities have long tried to defend their neighborhoods from environmental and social blight. This book examines the diverse ways in which artists, environmental activists, and citizens work to revitalize their urban environments.

"Belltown Paradise" investigates grassroots renovation efforts in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, exploring the work of activists there, including their creation of the Belltown P-Patch community garden and conversion of three historic cottages into writers' residences and a community center. The volume also features the first in-depth survey of artist Buster Simpson's work in Belltown.

"Making Their Own Plans" examines preservation projects in Portland, Chicago, Hamburg, and Barcelona. From the Resource Center's work in Chicago to develop 6,000 acres of vacant city land into farms to the transformation of an old hospital into a community center, the book offers fascinating accounts of independent urban activism around the world.

Belltown Paradise and Making Their Own Plans present inspiring chronicles of how concerned citizens affected community change, making these volumes invaluable for activists and policymakers.


Unhoused gathers visual evidence of populations in Atlanta, Chicago, Kyoto, Osaka, and Monterrey (MX), enduring very local variations of a global housing crisis. This evidence is part of our ongoing research for a book on the work of inspiring groups and organizations that bring visibility and innovative approaches to successfully address unhousing issues, pumping new energy into the struggles to articulate and confront complex housing problems.


"Hamburg Action: A Field Guide" by Ava Bromberg and Brett Bloom / The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest

"Alley Walking with Frannie and Chai" / In the Weather

"Driving / Chicago to LA" / Ausgang

Mess Hall / Chicago

The Critical Planning Journal was established in 1993 to serve as a forum for the urban planning community to present current research interests, debate important issues, and share ideas about the field of urban planning. Over the years, the Critical Planning staff has expanded to include doctoral and masters students in the UCLA Department of Urban Planning, as well as a few Urban Planning students at the University of Southern California.