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 honors 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.

Gary Hack, an eminent scholar-practitioner who writes and advises on large-scale physical planning and urban design, will deliver the 2019 Morton B. Gulak Lecture in Urban and Regional Planning on Sept. 18.

Hack’s lecture, “The New Mobility and the Sustainable City: Challenges and Opportunities,” will take place at 7 p.m. in University Student Commons, Commonwealth Ballrooms, 907 Floyd Ave. The event is free and open to the public. 

Hack’s work examines autonomous vehicles (AV) and other emerging transportation modes and their impact on cities. He is a professor emeritus and the former dean of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Penn, he was a professor of urban design and head of the department of urban studies and planning at MIT. Hack has studied, taught and practiced urban design for more than four decades, developing plans for cities, neighborhoods and developments in over 35 cities in the US, Canada and Asia, including New Orleans, New York, Detroit, Bangkok and Taipei. Other works include the redevelopment of Prudential Center in Boston, the transformation of the West Side Waterfront in New York and a collaboration with Studio Daniel Libeskind on the winning entry for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center. He is the co-author of several influential books including “Site Planning,” “Global Regional Cities” and “Urban Design in a Global Context.” Learn more. 

The 2018 speaker was Majora Carter, a leading urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and  implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training and placement systems. She spoke Oct. 17.

The 2017 speaker was Toni L. Griffin, founder of Urban Planning and Design for the American City. 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.

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.