Meet the Loebs Week Seminar: “Agitating Communities”: Andrew Howard, Shahira Fahmy and Kolu Zigbi


Andrew Howard, a Dallas-based urban planner with 14 years in transportation and land development planning, is co-founder of the Better Block project and a principal at Team Better Block consulting. Now being used in over 60 cities and 3 nations, the Better Block demonstrates how temporarily breaking zoning laws and street design standards on a single city block can build momentum for long-term financial, social and environmental change in cities. As a Loeb Fellow Howard will document the transformations inspired by the Better Block and motivate others to take leadership in their communities. 

Shahira Fahmy, an architect from Cairo, has been hailed as one of the “architects building the Arab Future,” and has won international honors for her architectural work. Her real goal is assisting the public to retake ownership of her city. Within the current volatile political and social situation in Egypt, she sees in the pop-up resistance activities around Cairo an opportunity to achieve greater transparency and control. Her Fellowship will be an opportunity to better understand the new social, physical and political urban conditions and examine other cities for innovative prototypes and methods for dealing with volatile public space. 

Kolu Zigbi, program director for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, has spent 13 years removing barriers to a more vibrant, equitable and sustainable food system. She has helped organizations and low-income communities throughout the US nurture ecological and urban farming, preserve land, develop innovative distribution systems, revitalize traditional food cultures and grow diverse leadership. Zigbi will use her Loeb Fellowship to explore food-oriented development that spans the rural-urban continuum and builds health and wealth within low-income communities internationally. 

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].