“One block. Four experts. Infinite perspectives.”
That’s how Adam Tanaka, a Radcliffe Institute Graduate Student Fellow and doctoral candidate in urban planning at Harvard, described “Decode a City Block,” his collaboration with the Institute’s Academic Ventures program. Part of Radcliffe’s urbanism initiative, the event brought together an ecologist, an urban designer, a sound artist, and a community activist to reflect on an area in the neighborhood of Cambridgeport—but the specific location was a surprise to most participants.
Fellows from across disciplines—a novelist, a bioengineer, and an astronomer among them—joined in the walk on this unseasonably warm autumn day, and the filmmaker Lav Diaz filmed the experience. They found a bustling and diverse residential neighborhood, one in which Harvard family apartments share space with public housing and elegant townhouses, and in which two playgrounds and a school ensure that children’s voices fill the air.