Written and up-to-date as of March 2021

Pandemics have sometimes been dubbed the “great equalizers,” but the manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing inequities in the United States and beyond makes that title little more than a debunked myth. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, when compared to the general public, people who are experiencing homelessness and contract coronavirus are two times as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to be killed by the virus. These dire numbers have led…


The Find Shelter tool, introduced in a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) press release on Thursday, January 14, is a new HUD resource designed to connect community members in need with sources of local assistance. The tool provides online mapping and contact information for resources such as shelters, food pantries, and health clinics, as well as printable posters and palm cards with resource information for display in libraries and other public spaces.

The creation of this tool, an action which serves as something of a parting gift from Trump’s HUD in the final days of the administration, is…


American urban life is characterized by a diversity that makes anticipating its reaction to any number of influences — let alone chaotic, unpredictable influences such as the present global pandemic — close to impossible. Over the past century or so, American citizens have witnessed an exponential weakening of public life, ushered in by a suburban and car-dependent age. Strolls on shared city sidewalks have been replaced with private commutes from our driver’s seats; record store listening rooms were quietly made obsolete by online music platforms; movie theaters now find themselves in fierce competition with at-home streaming services. …


[Essay originally written for PAM 3250, “Neighborhoods, Housing, and Urban Policy” at Cornell University, taught by Professor Laura Tach, December 2019.]

Many issues are embedded in America’s neighborhoods and housing system, threatening not only the wellbeing of individual residents but of whole communities. Although these problems are diverse in nature and attributable to a number of root causes, many of them can be traced back to basic issues of inequity. In today’s communities, inequity within both neighborhoods and within whole metropolitan regions and housing markets is fostered by exclusionary zoning practices. …


[Creative project originally completed for CRP 2000, “The Promise and Pitfalls of Contemporary Planning” at Cornell University, taught by Professor Jennifer Minner, December 2019. Zine available in PDF format at https://indd.adobe.com/view/1f339441-d5de-4e97-9bf5-8e208169e322 ]


[Essay originally written for ANTHR 2420, “Nature-Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human Environment Relations” at Cornell University, taught by Professor Paul Nadasdy, December 2019.]

New Mexico’s San Juan County is known within and beyond the United States’ Four Corners region for a number of features: its scenic landscapes, cultural diversity, numerous national and state parks and monuments, and, more recently, its rampant natural resource extraction. These marking features are, evidently, not always compatible with each other, and those working in the interest of one feature often find themselves in direct opposition with another. Recently, conflict has arisen regarding the leasing of…


[Essay originally written for CRP 2000, “The Promise and Pitfalls of Contemporary Planning” at Cornell University, taught by Professor Jennifer Minner, November 2019.]

In the modern-day profession, planners are in general agreement that the city should strive to meet the needs of all of its users, despite their backgrounds, experiences, or identities. Several bases of understanding are helpful in beginning work towards this goal of an inclusive, equitable city. First, as argued by Hou (2010), public space, and the use of public space, is a political issue — especially for those minority or marginalized populations who have had to fight…


[Essay originally written for ANTHR 2420, “Nature-Culture: Ethnographic Approaches to Human Environment Relations” at Cornell University, taught by Professor Paul Nadasdy, September 2019.]

Throughout history, the concept of “wilderness” has always been evolving. It has been something to fear: a looming presence that acts as a symbol for “the unknown,” for isolation, and perhaps even for danger and panic. It has been something to worship: a space that is all at once humanity’s purest symbol for the natural world and an emblematic reminder of things other-worldly. It has been something to respect: a destination to escape the pressures of the…


[Essay originally written for CRP 2000, “The Promise and Pitfalls of Contemporary Planning” at Cornell University, taught by Professor Jennifer Minner, September 2019.]

Frank Lloyd Wright’s utopian vision, “Broadacre City,” has been held on a pedestal as an urban ideal as well as disapproved of for its extreme and controversial plans. Broadacre City uses decentralization and privatization as tactical methods to advance individualism and self-autonomy in Wright’s ideal society. Both these methods and these goals can be praised or criticized, depending on the opinions of those studying the revolutionary plan and design.

As explained by Fishman in Urban Utopias in…


[Essay originally written for MUSIC 2224, “Mozart in History, History in Mozart” at Cornell University, taught by Professor Neal Zaslaw, May 2019.]

It is not a secret that many “classic” works (including literature, art, music, theatre, and more) would be drastically different had they been written in the present day. One of the most obvious changes in many of these works is that our artistic environment has learned from a history that has been unkind to certain groups, including women and racial/ethnic minorities, perhaps due to art and media which normalizes such treatment and allows it to continue. Therefore, a…

Hannah Faulwell

Student at Cornell University — Urban and Regional Studies, Music, Policy Analysis and Management. Writer and violinist. Albuquerque, NM.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store