Podcast, Urban Issues

Episode 97: Post-Disaster Urbanism — with Mary Rowe

December 15, 2020
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“Cities are fundamentally about people.”

Mary Rowe joins Below the Radar to discuss the pandemic moment as an opportunity to reimagine how we live together in an urban environment. She and Am Johal are in conversation about the urgent need to build social solidarity around collective disaster, honing in on how people are in relationship with their community at the hyperlocal level.

As the president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, Mary’s recent work is concentrated on urban planning in disaster times, building social infrastructure, and helping cities recover and re-emerge from COVID-19 more connected, more resilient, and more empowered to effect change locally.

About Our Guest

Mary Rowe

Mary is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States. Mary comes to the Canadian Urban Institute with several years of experience as an urban advocate and community leader, including serving as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society of New York (MASNYC), one of America’s oldest civic advocacy organizations focused on the built environment. A mid-career fellowship with the US-based blue moon fund led her to New Orleans where she worked with national philanthropy, governments and local communities to support rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Prior, Mary was President of the Canadian platform Ideas That Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs.

Mary has been a frequent contributor to national and international city-building programs, including UN Habitat and the World Urban Forum. She brings an extensive international network of practitioners from government, industry, community activism, and the city-building professions to strengthen CUI under her leadership.



Johal, Am. “Post-Disaster Urbanism — with Mary Rowe.” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, December 15, 2020.


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