Karen Otzen

Emily Burrowes + J.P. Mansolf
creative directors

Michael Friese + Emily Smith
deputy editors

Jonathan Riley
symposium Director

Eric Krohngold
director of distribution + finance

Jessica Wunsch
director of fundraising and outreach

William Doran
managing editor of special projects

Karis Tzeng
manager of communications


Volume 12 of Agora speaks to the complexities inherent in planning for communities where everyone can thrive. In choosing the theme "Semblance," we acknowledge that things are not always as they appear, and actions do not always have their desired effect. Thus, planners have become increasingly aware that they must challenge the assumptions that underlie the initiatives, policies, and systems shaping our society. For example, Christopher Rodriguez asks us to consider whether the market truly illuminates the preferences of our community members, or whether it largely reveals the desires of a powerful few in “Social Cohesion and Economic Justice.” In “Practitioner Perspectives, Equity, and Tradeoffs: A Critical Look at Urban Resiliency,” Prathmesh Gupta examines whether our definition of resilience inadvertently allows inequities to persist. While our efforts as agents of community change grow out of the best of intentions, we may struggle to achieve even a semblance of equity or long-term resilience in our communities. This year’s 11 selections ask the tough questions that help planners hold themselves accountable for the outcomes of their work.

Agora staff is proud to have been awarded the 2018 Douglas Haskell Award for Student Journals by the Center for Architecture for its 12th edition of Agora, Semblance.