Urban Innovation in the United States
This is a transcript of a 1986 seminar led by Derek Shearer and held at Cornell University's Department of City and Regional Planning. Derek Shearer was an activist, journalist, state official and university professor who later was Ambassador to Finland (1994-1997) before returning to Los Angeles as the Stuart Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs at Occidental College. He lived in Santa Monica in the 1970s and 1980s, wrote and edited several books –- two of them after he travelled the nation collecting materials for the Conference on Alternative State and Local Policies; and he was deeply involved in Santa Monicans for Renters Rights and that city’s government once SMRR gained control in 1981. He taught planning at UCLA (1979-81), then Occidental College (1981-93), and won a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1984-85 when he revisited many of the activists and places he had contacted in the 1970s while helping organize the Conference. The goal was to assess urban policies as they were emerging a decade later at the local level. These visits resulted in an extensive manuscript -– a much cited chapter appeared in Gregory D. Squires, ed., Unequal partnerships: the political economy of urban political development in postwar America (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1989).
Transcript of seminar, Cornell University, March 18, 1986.