Welcome to Rebuilding Troy

By NICK BUSALACCHI, Managing Editor, USC MPL/Digital Media and Culture Certificate

Troy is burning. Within our gates sits a wooden horse, spouting divisiveness and distraction, wreaking havoc on our cities’ infrastructure and social fabric. Who will emerge as the heroes of this story? How will we rebuild our urban environments?

Morning in LA

The heroes of this story are not only planners, but every person who fights for more livable and equitable cities. In Rebuilding Troy’s inaugural year, we will be exploring the theme “Urban Intersections”—i.e., the links between planning and other disciplines. Planning is the people’s field. Every urbanite has an opinion on their city and their neighborhood, on what they love and what could be better. As planners, we do not have a monopoly on the best solutions. Rebuilding our cities will demand creative, innovative approaches that draw on the collective expertise of city dwellers worldwide.

Rebuilding Troy is first and foremost a forum for discussing solutions. We have a talented Editorial Panel developing original content (see Editorial Panel page), and we encourage all USC students to contribute stories. This year, look forward to features on:

  • Data visualization
  • LA’s bike share program
  • LA’s public art initiatives
  • Metro’s transit system expansion
  • Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, NYC
  • Pasadena’s Gamble House
  • Planning issues in Hollywood films
  • West Coast Infrastructure Exchange
  • Many, many more…

We will also be producing a bi-weekly series titled “Tommy’s Tools,” which will highlight new resources for planning professionals. Rebuilding Troy will maintain a strong social media presence on Twitter (@Rebuilding_Troy) and Facebook (Associated Students of Planning and Development (ASPD)). In addition, we invite students and the public to join the conversation through posts and comments.

We have an opportunity to re-envision our cities, to collectively rebuild. As we do so, may we heed Nicias’ words to the Athenian soldiers on the beach at Syracuse: “You are yourselves the town, wherever you choose to settle. It is men that make the city, not the walls and ships without them.”


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