Lily Song is a Lecturer in Urban Planning and Design and Senior Research Associate with the Transforming Urban Transport-Role of Political Leadership (TUT-POL) project at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Her research focuses on the relations between urban sustainability and livability initiatives, sociospatial inequality, and race and class politics in American cities and other postcolonial contexts. Her projects— which topically span building energy retrofits, sustainable urban transport, and informal street vending among others— are motivated by the common question of how historically marginalized and disenfranchised urban inhabitants and communities can drive transformative urban policy and governance in collaboration with differently situated and abled partners.
From 2013-2015, Lily was a Provost Fellow with University College London’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Public Policy, where her research investigated efforts by local Indonesian governments to engage forms of urban informality to advance sustainable urban transport and more inclusive economic development.
She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from MIT, where her dissertation, entitled “Race and Place: Green Collar Jobs and the Movement for Economic Democracy in Los Angeles and Cleveland,” focused on the analysis of two community-based green economic and workforce development projects aiming to build shared wealth and stabilize poor, inner city neighborhoods. The research partly explored how progressive urban coalitions might use race as a diagnostic and dialogic tool in undertaking transformative economic programs towards realization of the “just city.”