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Transforming Cities and Minds through the Scholarship of Engagement
Economy, Equity, and Environment

Editor(s): Lorlene Hoyt

Written by engaged scholars and practitioners, Transforming Cities and Minds is an "instrument-for-action" on the problems faced by U.S. cities that have suffered from decades of disinvestment. The book advocates the concept of reciprocal knowledge: real learning on both sides, campus and city, through a complex network of human relationships.

Across the country from Camden to Oakland, the contributors engaged with community partners--hospitals, churches, community development corporations, community foundations, and other rooted institutions--to help restore old cities to life. Their collaborative thesis project engaged them with one another and university staff; it may offer a new paradigm for graduate education.

Biography of Editor(s)

Lorlene Hoyt is Director of Programs and Research for the Talloires Network at Tufts University. She currently serves as strategic advisor for Urban Revitalizers, a women- and minority-owned consultancy she co-founded in 1998. Hoyt founded and led MIT@ Lawrence, a city-campus partnership.


  • "Scholars and practitioners from diverse academic disciplines and professional fields will appreciate this important work. By boldly redesigning the graduate experience with a small cadre of students in M.I.T.'s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Hoyt and her collaborators provide an innovative approach for urban revitalization in ways which contribute to our understanding of issues of economy, equity and environment, while also advancing our work in the academy."
    --Barry Checkoway, Professor of Social Work and Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan
  • "There are many powerful lessons for academic leaders in Transforming Cities and Minds, lessons about daunting challenges facing higher education and our urban communities ¬ and about the possibilities for new solutions. Perhaps the most important message is the need for colleges and universities to embrace bold and innovative change to create more socially responsive knowledge¬ and to educate more effective scholars, practitioners, and citizens."
    --John Saltmarsh, Co-Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • "Creative, refreshing and inspiring--Lorlene Hoyt has taken an often stodgy academic exercise, the master's thesis, and transformed it into a vibrant, practical, and soulful tool. Hoyt and her students give 'the scholarship of engagement' new meaning. Together they demonstrate the benefits of engaging not only with people in communities, but also with one another. The humanity of community members and the humanity of the writers are interwoven seamlessly into the narratives. An excellent volume to be used in courses in urban planning, economic development, sociology, environmental management, community development, and, of course, sustainability."
    --Connie Ozawa, Director of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University