Student Groups

GMS has sponsored a number of student working groups during the last few years and is currently in the process of reconfirming them: City Food, Informal Settlements and Health, Latin America, and the Berkeley-Stanford City Group. For 2013, GMS solicits proposals for new student working groups. DE students who are interested in organizing a working group should submit a one-page proposal that includes a limited funding request. The group may include students who are not part of the DE. The groups must also host GMS speaker lunches.

CityFood Working Group

Student Co-Facilitators: Nora Gilbert & Lauren Heumann, MCP/MPH 2015

CityFood is a working group that brings together UC-Berkeley students, faculty and staff from across disciplines who are commonly interested in planning for urban food systems. CityFood provides a collaborative forum to: 1) share ideas, experiences, and opportunities, 2) workshop research and 3) convene guest speakers from community organizations, non-profits, and public agencies to discuss food system revitalization in the Bay Area, nationally, and overseas.

1) Food Systems Zoning: Roundtable discussion about the role of planning tools to facilitate equitable food access, highlighting the tensions that exist between zoning and food access, and the ways these can be mitigated, through integrated food systems planning. With recent attention to urban agriculture zoning and the use of public and abandoned space to grow food, this is an especially timely topic. This event will include dinner and a discussion among panelist and attendees
a. Potential speakers include:
Diana Sokolove – Food Systems Policy Manager, SF Planning Department
Matt Raimi – Raimi + Associates
Novella Carpenter – Local food writer, and Berkeley Alum, hit hard by Oakland zoning regulations
Paula Jones – Director of Food System, SF Department of Public Health
2) Co-sponsorship of GradFood Dinner Series – a cross campus group of grad students involved with food systems work.
3) Manage the CityFood Listserv to engage planning students who are interested in metropolitan food systems.
4) Enhance content for CityFood page on the Global Healthy Cities website.


Latin American Cities Working Group

Latin America is currently the most urbanized continent in the world after North America, with 79% of the population living in urban areas (UN 2011). The high urbanization rates that the continent experienced since the 1940s have come along substantive political changes. For instance, not only have decentralization processes in the last three decades in the region drastically changed the role of local governments in economic development and policy decision-making (Falleti 2010, Grindle 2007, Montero and Samuels 2004), but also the impact of urban planning in the everyday life of populations (Brand 2009, Irazábal 2008, Baiocchi 2005). All these changes have deeply modified not only the way urban planning is done in Latin America but also the way the state, the private and non-profit sectors, and civil society are operating to influence planning outcomes and the distribution of public resources. In this context, the project of governing and planning in Latin America is becoming less grandiose—less about national plans, comprehensive planning, and macro-economic data—and more about local and regional concerns, participatory techniques, and strategic planning (McCarney and Stren 2003, Campbell 2003).With the explosion of new strategies like participatory planning in Latin America, the Latin American Cities working group believes there is a new state-society relationship in the region that has deeply modified the way the state, the private and non-profit sectors, civil society and social movements are operating to influence public policy/planning and the distribution of public resources. Under the rubric, this working group seeks to investigate the trends and prospects of recent urban planning practices that have emerged in Latin America in recent decades, uncover their convergences and divergences, and discuss whether the former gather sufficient grounds to constitute—now or potentially in the near future—a new paradigm. For this, we focus on the following key empirical areas of investigation: (1) participatory planning and urban governance; (2) urban mobility and accessibility; (3) translocal activism and the search for spatial justice; (4) transnational mobilization of urban policy and planning ideas.