John Cobb & Friends Gathering: Mark VanderSchaaf
September 27, 2022 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
Topic: Engaging with the Soul(s) of the City: Lessons from Dallas, Saint Paul, New York and Los Angeles
Presenter(s): Mark VanderSchaaf
In the early 1990s Mark VanderSchaaf was appointed as the first economic planner for the City of Saint Paul in Minnesota. Drawing upon his admiration for the Herman Daly/John Cobb book For the Common Good, and the teachings of Carl Jung and Rudolph Steiner, Mark devised a unique approach to economic development that yielded remarkable dividends for his city and its region. Mark’s presentation will share how his ideas crystallized with the help of mentors at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, and how these ideas were then applied to the task of riverfront revitalization in Saint Paul and the entire Upper Mississippi River Valley. Finally, he will talk about teaching opportunities that subsequently materialized in Los Angeles (2004) and New York City (2013), which drew upon this experience.
Later in his career Mark became the regional planning director for the seven-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul Area (2004-2016) and upon retirement was elected national chair of the American Planning Association’s Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division. In retirement, Mark has especially focused on the role that public art can play in the process of community-oriented economic revitalization. From that perspective, he delivered a keynote speech in Qingdao, China in January of this year at the International Award for Public Art ceremony and award program.
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