Community Planning Studio To Present at College Park’s City Hall

By Brianna Rhodes / Feb 21, 2024

AI generated images of Lakeland in College Park
Image Caption
Generated image for the Scenario Planning for Restorative Justice in Lakeland, College Park, MD. project.

Professor Clara Irazábal's Fall 2023 Community Planning Studio class, “Scenario Planning for Restorative Justice in Lakeland, College Park, MD,” will present their project at College Park's City Hall for the mayor, council members, Restorative Justice commissioners and public on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. 

During the Fall 2022 and Fall 2023 semesters, students in Irazábal's Community Planning Studio courses worked closely with members of the historic African American community to offer ideas that would support their ongoing discussion and decision-making process toward the community's future, as referenced in the Diamondback article. Lakeland was once a thriving community in the early to mid-20th century.

Students in the Fall 2023 course worked to update and complement the analysis of current conditions in Lakeland and expanded the scenario proposals from the previous studio. The studios included three different scenarios - status quo, reformist and revolutionary - focused on trends, challenges, tools and programs that can predict the community's status 10 years from now. The Fall 2022 studio received a 2023 Maryland Sustainable Growth honorable mention for their work in Lakeland.

"This has been very fulfilling because this is a historical African American community that suffered tremendously with an urban renewal project that occurred in the 1970s and 80s that decimated two-thirds of the community," Irazábal said. 

The urban planning professor believes this presentation will contribute to bringing attention to the project and put it on decision-makers and the public's radar. This, in turn, would make it possible to impact policy and the ongoing process of restorative justice for Lakeland.

"It is very important that, as a school, we take our roles as public intellectuals very seriously," Irazábal said. "So that our academic exercises are not just mere classroom exercises or school exercises, but that can really break the barrier that separates academia from real life and political decision making and policymaking to make a difference in the world."

To receive more information about attending the city hall meeting, please contact Irazábal at

Program / Center Affiliation