Jennifer Minner

Jennifer Minner investigates urban change, building reuse, and community memory in all manner of places – within mega-event impact craters, in demolition sites, along commercial strips, in the analysis of future scenarios, and in reflections of the city in art. Her research and teaching focus is on land-use/spatial planning, historic preservation, and community development. She directs the Just Places Lab, a platform for multi-disciplinary research and creative action related to place, the built environment, and social equity. In recent years her work has focused on equitable preservation and heritage conservation logics; urban memory through art-making and film; and creative and critical approaches to the technologies used to analyze, visualize, and shape places.

Minner is Conference Chair for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (term: 2021–2023). She is on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Planning Association. She is one of the founding members of the Circularity, Reuse, and Zero Waste Development (CR0WD) Working Group. She serves on the advisory council for Historic Ithaca.

Minner's education background includes a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Washington, an M.U.R.P. from Portland State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Community-based planning and development
  • Historic preservation planning
  • Land use/spatial planning
  • Participatory and collaborative planning
  • Planning history
  • Sustainability
  • Technology and art

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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 6690 Special Topics in History and Preservation: Cultural Landscapes and Public Space - Former Mega Event SitesThis course addresses pertinent issues relative to history and preservation. Topics vary each semester.  
  • 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. 

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Faculty Co-Lead for the Cornell Fellowship in Engaged Scholarship Program. (AY 2021-2022)
  • Clarence S. Stein Grant. Salvaging and Rebuilding Cities. (2021-2022)
  • Cornell Council for the Arts and Engaged Opportunity Grant from the Office of Engagement Initiatives for Artist-in-Residence and 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. (2019-2020)
  • 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. (2020)
  • American Planning Association Technology Division, Smart Cities Award for Scenario Tools for Equitable Corridor Reinvestment and Affordable Housing Preservation research project, with Elizabeth Mueller, Thomas Hilde, Marla Torrado, Amanda Micklow, and Alex Steinberger. (2017)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Ghirmatzion, Rahwa, Andrea Ó Súilleabháin, Russell Weaver, Jennifer Minner, and Sam Magavern. "Equitable Economic Recovery After Covid-19: The Power of Community Collaboration." Webinar. (2020)
  • Idziorek, Katherine, Lan Nguyen, Heather Campbell, Marccus Hendricks, Jennifer Minner, Karen Umemoto, and Anaid Yerena. "Carrying two buckets: Reconciling the fragmented lives of community-engaged planning scholars." Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. (2020)
  • Minner, Jennifer. "Sunrise over Landscapes of a Thrift: Toward Circular Economies and Equity Preservation." Presentation for Toward Sustainability and Equity: Envisioning Preservation Policy Reform symposium, New York City, NY. (2020)
  • Abbott, Martin, and Jennifer Minner. "How Urban Spaces Remember: The Essay Film as Archive for Protest and Resistance." City Essay Film Symposium, London, U.K. (2019)
  • Minner, Jennifer. "Just Places? Community Preservation, Art, and Equity." Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Greenville, South Carolina. (2019)

Publications (Selected)

  • Goodman, Wylie, and Jennifer Minner. "Will the urban agricultural revolution be vertical and soilless? A case study of controlled environment agriculture in New York City." Land Use Policy 83 (2019), 160-173.
  • Minner, Jennifer. "Assembly and Care of Memory: Placing Objects and Hybrid Media to Revisit International Expositions." Curator: The Museum Journal 62, no. 2 (2019), 151-176.
  • Minner, Jennifer, and Martin Abbott. "Conservation logics that reshape mega-event spaces: San Antonio and Brisbane post expo." Planning Perspectives (2019), 1-25.
  • Minner, Jennifer. "Open Data Flows, Spatial Histories, and Visualizing the Future." Journal of Preservation Education and Research 10 (2018), 33-49.
  • Minner, Jennifer, and Michael Holleran (editors). Special Issue on Historic Preservation and Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 82:2 (2106), 69-71.
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