Location: Virtual or attend in person at the USC Doheny Memorial Library 241 or via Zoom.
Click here to register and receive your Zoom link.
If attending in person, Trojan Check verification is required for all in-person events. Masks are required indoors.
This talk traverses circuits of expertise set up after World War II to codify interdisciplinary styles of “organized research” on urban life, urban form, and their conjoined futures as seen from a moment of putative crisis. It does so by way of one group, the Harvard–MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies, from 1959 the major institution keeping this intellectual infrastructure in working order and brokering new methodologies that might join city and regional planning with the social sciences; one place, Ciudad Guayana, an industrial New Town the Center built on contract in Venezuela and attempted to use as a laboratory from which to infer higher truths about the metropolis as a settlement type; and, at its narrowest, one piece of infrastructure, Avenida Guayana, the high-speed road that physically anchored this polycentric city and made it scrutable to a transnational network of observers. Out of this encounter emerged new understandings of the timing and staging of urban development, indeed of the very temporality of what it is to plan.
The event is co-sponsored by the USC Center on Science, Technology, and Public Life, the Berggruen Institute, the USC Spatial Sciences Institute, USC Department of History, and the USC Spatial History Research Group.