Opening Keynote - New Haven: Reconsidering the Model City’s Past and Imagining Its Future

Yale Art Gallery

1111 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT


Karen DuBois-Walton

Timothy M. Rohan

Mandi Isaacs Jackson

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New Haven: Reconsidering the Model City's Past and Imagining its Future


Known as the “Model City” for urban redevelopment in the 1960s, New Haven received more federal funding on a per capita basis for renewal than any other municipality. Today, we are reviewing this complex history, thinking about what went wrong and what went right, especially in regards to the people who have lived in this place and those who have created it. Rich in architecture and diverse in population, New Haven has the potential to be a Model City for the future, a testing ground for a new inclusive, social, and ethical approach to preservation and development.

Immediately following the opening keynote, Symposium guests are welcome to participate in a reception at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

  • Timothy M. Rohan, PhD is associate professor in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Karen DuBois-Walton, Ph.D., President, Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven.  Karen DuBois-Walton currently serves as the President of the Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of the City of New Haven offering affordable housing and supportive services to thousands of low-income families.
  • Mandi Isaacs Jackson is the author of Model City Blues: Urban Space and Organized Resistance in New Haven, (Temple University Press , 2008), which was recognized nationally with the 2008 Jane Jacobs Publication Award from the Urban Communication Foundation. For two decades, she has worked in and around New Haven as a non-profit leader, a strategist, researcher, and organizer in the labor movement, and as a teacher, trainer, and community educator and activist. 

Yale Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT, 06511