L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs


Gulak Lecture

The Wilder School brings leading experts in planning, architecture or urban design to VCU each year through the annual Morton B. Gulak Lecture in Urban and Regional Planning.

Launched in 2013, the lecture series honor the memory of Morton B. Gulak, Ph.D., who helped found the Master in Urban and Regional Planning program more than 40 years ago.

Gulak, who died in 2012, taught at VCU for 38 years. He inspired legions of students in the areas of urban design, urban revitalization, physical planning and the application of professional planning methods.

The 2017 speaker was Toni L. Griffin, founder of Urban Planning and Design for the American City. She spoke on October 25. Through her New York City-based practice, Griffin served as project director for the long-range planning initiative of the Detroit Work Project, and in 2013 completed and released Detroit Future City, a comprehensive citywide framework plan for urban transformation. She is currently advising Memphis, Tenn., as it updates the city’s comprehensive plan to address strategies for inclusive growth, equity and neighborhood improvement.

Griffin is also a professor of architecture and the founding director of the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. 

Watch the 2017 video here.

Previous Gulak Lecturers include Sara Zewde, a designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, and  renowned planners Dhiru A. Thadani, Ellen Dunham-Jones and Jeff Speck.