Equitable Design & Urban Futures: Kimberly Dowdell to Give 19th Annual Dunlop Lecture at Harvard


CAMBRIDGE, MA – How can real estate development and sustainable design be used to foster equitable and inclusive redevelopment in cities? That’s the challenge that has animated the career of Kimberly Dowdell, an architect, developer, and educator who will come to the Harvard Graduate School of Design on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 to deliver the 19th Annual John T. Dunlop Lecture. The lecture, which starts at 6:30 p.m., is entitled Diverse City: How Equitable Design Will Shape Urban Futures. It is free and open to the public.

Dowdell is focused on leading projects that help contribute to the revitalization of cities like Detroit, and helping prepare the next generation of urban change agents. She is a partner at Century Partners, an innovative real estate development firm in Detroit focused on equitable neighborhood revitalization, and a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She is also the new president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), where she has outlined an ambitious agenda focused on helping to ensure that African-American architects—who make up less than two percent of the profession in a country that is 13 percent African-American—play a larger role in efforts to revitalize America’s cities.

“Through the years, the Dunlop Lecture has provided a platform for leaders from the worlds of policy and practice to point a way forward in addressing the nation’s housing challenges," said Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. “We are delighted to have Ms. Dowdell deliver this year's lecture, to focus attention on how we can better design and build inclusive and vibrant urban communities.”

In her lecture, Dowdell, a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School, who was a Sheila C. Johnson Fellow at the school's Center for Public Leadership, will draw on her varied experiences as an architect, real estate project manager, government staffer, and developer to discuss steps needed to create neighborhoods in which all people feel safe and empowered to build a brighter urban future for generations to come.  


The John T. Dunlop Lecture, presented annually by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, honors a distinguished member of the Harvard community in recognizing the contributions of Professor John T. Dunlop. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Economics Department and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Professor Dunlop was United States Secretary of Labor during the Ford administration. Professor Dunlop had a lifetime career in mediation, arbitration, and dispute resolution. A commitment to the nation's construction industries and housing also distinguished his work. He served as chairman of the Construction Industry Stabilization Committee and played a role in the establishment of the National Institute for Building Sciences. Dunlop was inducted into the National Housing Hall of Fame by the National Association of Home Builders in 1986.


19th Annual John T. Dunlop Lecture
Diverse City: How Equitable Design and Development Will Shape Urban Futures

Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, SEED, LEED AP BD+C
Partner, Century Partners
President, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
Lecturer, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Harvard Graduate School of Design
48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Piper Auditorium
Free & open to the public

Kerry Donahue, (617) 495-7640, [email protected]