Locked Doors, Bolted Fences: Exclusion in Modern American Neighborhoods – Martha Isaacs

In her speech, Martha discusses the privacy and exclusion prevalent in North American neighborhoods—from gated communities to defensive architecture. Fear of fellow residents can perpetuate division, and automobile-centric streets can prevent meaningful personal interaction. She invites listeners to imagine a paradigm shift that encourages the social capital that builds resilience and placemaking.

Martha Isaacs will graduate in May 2017 with a B.A. in the Geography of Human Activity and minors in Philosophy and City and Regional Planning. Particularly interested in participatory planning to increase social capital in neighborhoods, especially through accessible transportation, she has worked for the New York City Anti-Violence Project, The Glass-House Community Design in London, and for Nelson\Nygaard, a transportation planning consulting firm in San Francisco. She is currently teaching a seminar course on how the built environment affects place-based identity and concepts of home, incorporating her interests in photography, filmmaking, and music into experiential learning methods in urban planning.”

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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