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Monday, October 9 • 10:45am - 11:15am
What is the role of “Place” in Community-Embedded Engagement Centers? (30 mins)

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Urban institutions seeking to engage their local communities and to invigorate their research and education opportunities are employing a range of geographically-focused engagement frameworks. These place-based frameworks are categorized as Stewardship of Place, Anchor Institution, and Metropolitan University approaches. Each framework requires careful structural, paradigmatic, and physical planning to ensure that an institution’s investments succeed. Ironically, the influence and agency of place can be overlooked in these strategies, yet can profoundly shape way that place-based frameworks unfold.
Our paper describes emplacing place-based frameworks by showcasing the University of Pittsburgh’s new Community Engagement Center framework. Pitt is a premier research university, located in Pittsburgh—an American “comeback city” that transitioned to a post-industrial, knowledge-based economy. The city’s newfound successes are not evenly shared, and broad place-based inequalities marginalize historically-disadvantaged populations. The University of Pittsburgh has emphasized community engagement as part of a new strategic plan, and is opening several Community Engagement Centers to build local opportunity in neighborhoods that are not sharing in the city’s new renaissance.
Our discussion highlights the paradigmatic shifts arising from emplaced engagement. These include the need to account for the agency of place when developing community emplaced centers; to attend to community development theories and frameworks in addition to those associated with community-campus engagement; to adopt democratic civic engagement as an orientation to neighborhood emplaced work; and to build the boundary-spanning capacity of those university stakeholders working in such spaces.

avatar for Lina D. Dostilio

Lina D. Dostilio

Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Lina Dostilio is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh. She is responsible for supporting community-facing work that includes community relations, cultivating strategic opportunities to advance Pitt’s community engagement agenda... Read More →
avatar for Michael Glass

Michael Glass

Professor Urban Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Monday October 9, 2017 10:45am - 11:15am MDT
Colorado A