Gloria Lau
I am a landscape architect, urban designer, visual artist, and writer. This site is an evolving documentation of my growth. More about me

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Hindsight is an annual conference on urban planning through an equity lens.

Hindsight is organized and ran by the American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter’s Diversity Committee (DivComm) from 2017 to 2021. Each year, Hindsight selects a theme, often around a significant urban planning and equity-related milestone, to not only shed light on the discriminatory history of planning and its role in shaping today’s inequitable places, but also to highlight planning as a means of achieving more inclusive, just, and equitable communities.

As design coordinator and part of the core planning committee, I developed and guided the design and graphic content for each year’s theme. I organized exhibit, mobile library, and common spaces to provide a joyful and restful space for gathering and learning. As core leader and design coordinator for DivComm, I also created branding and graphic materials for the committee and events. 

2021 (virtual)

As we slowly emerged from a global pandemic, 2021 continues to challenge us to balance the duality of gratitude and grief in the world. Despite greater hope inspired by community mutual aid and resourcefulness, new leadership, as well as reopening, it has become undeniable that the experiences of oppressed peoples around the world are interconnected and rooted in white supremacy and racial capitalism. In this fifth and final year of Hindsight,™ merging with the APA New York Metro Chapter Annual Conference, let us create space to re-imagine what an equitable future truly for us and by us looks like, to guide our re-emergence. We call on planners and policy makers to shatter the failed systems that perpetuate racism and ableism, and, together with communities, build the foundation necessary for us to collectively thrive. Like a seedling emerging, let us root into the resistance and solidarity of our ancestors and manifest a future of our wildest dreams–where the impossible is possible.

2020 (virtual)

COVID-19 has amplified our nation’s structural inequities as evident in racial disparities in deaths, access to care, income distribution, and police brutality against Black lives. This year's Hindsight Conference calls on planners and policy makers to center racial justice in our understanding of health and the environment. The two day, virtual event took place from November 12-13, 2020. The 2020 conference drew 1,060+ registrants, 27 sessions, 9 digital exhibits, a walking tour, 3 post-conference programs, digital networking, and interactive opening and closing remarks on both days. The sessions created space for brave insights, inspirational stories, new vocabulary, and radical healing in community. 

For the virtual conference, I partnered closely with Crux, our virtual producer, to create a joyful and inclusive digital space on the platform Hopin. A recap and screenshots from the event can be seen here. At closing of Day 1, I guided all participants through a reflection and invited everyone to mourn and honor the losses of the year in a digital memorial.

2019 (in-person)

Hindsight Conference 2019 is themed Erasure, Remembrance, and Healing. 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the 100th Anniversary of the 1919 "Red Summer,” and 400 years since enslaved Africans first landed on occupied Powhatan territory, historically renamed Jamestown in Virginia. There are many other anniversaries in 2019, but we acknowledge that the history of time and place remembered are imperfect. This year’s conference theme reflects on the intersection of urban planning, policy, and community development, with the erasure of history, collective amnesia, the movement of remembrance, and community healing.

Through a day of workshops, performances, panels, and walking tours, we challenge attendees to reflect upon how our narratives shape our built environment, our communities, and our relationship with one another. We consider which stories are told, which are silenced or capitalized, and who tells the stories. Through remembering, we embark on a process of healing ourselves, our communities, and our cities.

2018 (in-person)

The 2018 Hindsight conference honors the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act (1968), which outlawed housing discrimination for certain protected classes, and requires jurisdictions to address segregation and disparate access to opportunity - affirmatively further fair housing. The two day-long event will focus on diversity and social equity not solely as a topic at a conference, but as a lens through which all planning and community development should be implement.

2017 (in-person)

The American Planning Association’s New York Metro Chapter Diversity Committee organized Hindsight, a planning conference held in honor of the 100th Anniversary of Buchanan v. Warley (1917), the US Supreme Court decision that invalidated racial zoning on 14th Amendment grounds. This conference aims to not only reflect on the discriminatory history of planning and its implicit (and explicit) role in shaping today’s inequitable neighborhoods, but also to proactively share planning, policy, and community development strategies that work towards more inclusive, just, and equitable communities. The day-long conference focuses on social equity not as an independent topic within planning, but rather, as a critical lens through which all planning and community development be conducted.

More Branding

Graphic design for DivComm branding and event.