Jennifer Minner

Jennifer Minner, Ph.D., is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She directs the Just Places Lab, an interdisciplinary platform for research and creative action centered on community memory, public imagination, and the socially just care of places. Her research and teaching focus on equitable land use and historic preservation planning. She is National Conference Chair for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (2021, 2022, and 2023 conferences). She is one of the founding partners of the Circularity, Reuse, and Zero Waste Development (CR0WD) network. She has chaired the City of Olympia Heritage Commission and has served on the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission. Minner investigates urban change, building and building material reuse, landscape adaptation, and community memory in all manner of places — within mega-event impact craters, in demolition and deconstruction sites, along commercial strips, in future scenarios, and in reflections of the city in art.  

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Adaptive reuse
  • Circular economies
  • Cities
  • Community-based planning and development
  • Historic preservation planning
  • Land use/spatial planning
  • Participatory and collaborative planning
  • Planning history
  • Public art
  • Sustainability
  • Urbanism

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 2000 The Promise and Pitfalls of Contemporary PlanningIntroduction to the historical origins and evolution of city and regional planning. Students acquire a deeper understanding of professional practice, theoretical foundation, core values, primary methods, and key challenges facing contemporary planners through lectures, readings, films, in-class exercises, individual and team-based research, and observation of public meetings. The course provides an overview of successes and failures in the history of planning, as well as opportunities and tensions that will shape the future of cities and city and regional planning.
  • CRP 3850/5850 Art, Preservation, and the Just CityThis course addresses pertinent issues relative to the subject of planning. Topics vary each semester.
  • CRP 5530 Land Use and Spatial Planning MethodsThis course provides an introduction to land use planning methods, especially those that are employed by local and regional governments. The course surveys analytical and participatory methods to shape urban form and the built environment in order to achieve more equitable and sustainable communities. Methods include the application scenario planning tools and methods, drafting and applying zoning regulations; creation of comprehensive plans, neighborhood, district and corridor plans; conducting inventories of natural and cultural resources, vacant and buildable lands, and community greenhouse gas; and conducting suitable and susceptibility to change analysis, among other methods. The course incorporates methods of community engagement, as well as methods of analysis. Methods are presented in the context of learning about topics to contemporary spatial planning.
  • CRP 8100 Seminar in Advanced Planning TheoryThis doctorial level seminar creates an academic space for in-depth inquiry into what work planning theories do and how they give shape and depth to advanced social sciences-based scholarship in planning and urban studies. The seminar focuses on critical exploration of intellectual traditions and debates in planning theory including the epistemological and ontological implications of an array of theories of knowledge, society, urban space, and rationality that serve as frameworks and undercurrents in urban studies and planning literature. The aim of this seminar is to help students gain an awareness of their own positionality relative to a wide spectrum of theories and to scaffold intellectual growth and increase the theoretical depth of their own scholarship.
  • Other classes include a wide range of special topics classes, including adaptation of former mega-event sites, memory, art, media, public space, and technology.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • 2022 Best Poster Award. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Shiny Objects, Galaxies, and Bodies of Planning Theory: Diagrams of Positionality and the Field by Emerging Scholars. Yu Wang, Jennifer Minner, Courtney Bower, Natassia Bravo, Soojung Han, Laura Leddy, Yousuf Mahid, Antonio Moya-Latorre, Carlos Lopez Ortiz, Gina Yeonkyeong Park, Yating Ru, Andrea Urbina, Zoe Zhuojun Wang.
  • Clarence S. Stein Institute for Urban and Landscape Studies Grant. (2022-2023). Wasted Imagination: How City Landscapes Can be Remade. (Jennifer Minner as Principal Investigator; Jade Doskow, collaborating artist). Additional grant from the Cornell Council of the Arts.
  • 2020 Student Project Award. American Planning Association. Staying Afloat in 2100: Evaluating Fiscal and Land Use Options for Coastal Adaptation in Massachusetts. Faculty advisors: Linda Shi and Jennifer Minner.
  • Engaged Opportunity Grant, Engaged Cornell. Socially Engaged Art and Indigenous, Urban, and Environmental Histories - Cultural Exchanges on Haudenosaunee Homelands. Artist: Jonathan Jones. Project Team: Jennifer Minner, Jolene Rickard, Martin Abbott, Skye Hart, Dylan Stevenson, Jeffrey Chusid, Urszula Piasta-Mansfield, Maria Park, Rod Howe. March 2019 – March 2020. Additional grant from the Cornell Council of the Arts.
  • 2017 Exemplary Implementation Award from the Scenario Planning Applications Network. Corridor Housing Preservation Tool. (PI: Elisabeth Mueller; Co-PI: Jennifer Minner; additional collaborators: Thomas Hilde, Marla Torrado, Andy Micklow, Alex Steinberger).

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Deconstructing Demolition. (2022: May 11–September 3). Exhibition at the Tompkins Center for History and Culture. Co-curated by Circular Construction Lab (directed by Felix Heisel), Just Places Lab (directed by Jennifer Minner), Historic Ithaca, and Susan Christopherson Center for Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development network.
  • Freshkills: Photographs by Jade Doskow. (2022: October 10–November 4). Organized by Minner and the Just Places Lab. Hartell Gallery, Cornell University.
  • Minner, Jennifer. (2022). Toward Cities that Waste Nothing: the Community Unbuilding Efforts of the Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development (CR0WD) network in New York State. Association for Preservation Technology International. Detroit, Michigan.
  • Minner, Jennifer, Rangarajan, Shriya, Wang, Yu, and Heisel, Felix. (2022). Patterns of Demolition and the Potential of Deconstruction: Understanding the determinants of demolition to inform salvage and deconstruction supportive policies in Ithaca, New York. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Toronto, Canada.
  • Are Cities Just Places? Rebuilding and Unbuilding Preservation. (2022, May 19) Carpenters' Company Speaker Series.

Publications (Selected)

  • International exhibitions, also known as world's fairs or international expos, are important examples of large-scale mega-events. Regulated and promoted by the Bureau of International Expositions, world and specialized expos are purported to aid in the achievement of urban development goals for host cities and nations. Scholars have focused analyses on the social and economic impacts of staging mega-events and in the immediate years after events. In this article, the authors consider the spatial and land use aspects of expo sites, developing a post-expo typology to aid in in-depth and comparative analysis of spatial patterns across sites and years after the mega-event. The authors then present a framework for equitable urban development, to consider the equity dimension of sustainability at former mega-event sites. The urban development typology is then considered with the equitable urban development framework, to propose interventions that are specific to particular expo types. The article links consideration of spatial land use patterns and expo legacies long after the first wave of urban development associated with staging an expo has passed.  Minner, Jennifer S., Grace Y. Zhou, and Brian Toy. "Global city patterns in the wake of World Expos: A typology and framework for equitable urban development post mega-event." Land Use Policy 119 (2022), 106163.
  • Worth, Gretchen, Fernandes, Anthea, Heisel, Felix, Minner, Jennifer, and O'Malley, Christine. (2022). "How Cities Can Stop Wasting Buildings: The Case for Deconstruction" and Roblee, Andrew and Minner, Jennifer. "Deconstruction of Place, Acceleration of Waste: A Preservationist’s Warming on the Challenges and Pitfalls of the Urban Mine." In Heisel, F., and Hebel, D. E. (2022). Building better - Less - Different: Circular construction and circular economy. 
  • The Northland Pattern Wall: City of Past and Future Craft is an assemblage artwork created by artist and architecture professor Dennis Maher with coinstructors and students of the Society for the Advancement of Construction Related Arts (SACRA) program. SACRA is an arts-based vocational training program providing construction skills training to individuals in need. It is based at Assembly House 150, an artist-led experiential learning center in Buffalo, New York. This article employs qualitative methods inspired by the hermeneutic spiral to examine the Northland Pattern Wall, SACRA, and Assembly House 150. This article highlights takeaways for heritage conservation, as well as allied professions, about the relevance of building trades and creative practices that help to shape and conserve the built environment. The story behind the Northland Pattern Wall is used as an opportunity to reflect on the potential to build stronger alliances between professionals, tradespersons, and artists in designing creatively out of the patterns of the past to build a more sustainable and equitable future city. Minner, Jennifer. "A Pattern Assemblage: Art, Craft, and Conservation." Change Over Time 10, no. 1 (2021), 26-45. 
  • Minner, Jennifer. (2021). "More than repairing cracks in the façade: Building systemic change in times of crisis." In Preservation, sustainability, and equity. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
  • Minner, Jennifer. "Preservation that Builds Equity, Art that Constructs Just Places." Future Anterior: Journal of Historic Preservation, History, Theory, and Criticism 17, no. 2 (2020), 133. 
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