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Release: Oct. 17, 2001

Harvard law professor to speak at UI about urban challenges

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A leading national expert in urban affairs will visit the University of Iowa Oct. 25-26 as an Ida Beam Cordelia Distinguished Visiting Professor. Gerald Frug, the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Harvard University, will give two free, public lectures during his visit.

Frug will speak about "The Geography of Community" on Friday, Oct. 26, in W151 Pappajohn Business Building from 4 to 5:30 p.m. This presentation focuses on "community building" as a way of increasing the capacity of residents in a metropolitan region to live with people who are different from them. Frug will also speak about competition between cities in the same region in, "Decentering Decentralization," on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Jefferson Building. Jim Throgmorton, associate professor of urban and regional planning and an organizer of Frug's visit, said the Friday afternoon lecture would be of particular interest to a broad range of citizens and public officials.

Frug's lectures will focus on how legal rules shape modern cities, and he will outline a set of alternatives to bring down the walls that now keep metropolitan areas divided into neighborhoods of privilege and poverty, often along lines of ethnicity and race.

Frug has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book "City Making: Building Communities without Building Walls," which explores the division of American cities into neighborhoods of privilege and poverty. His articles and essays have appeared in such prestigious publications as the Harvard Law Review, Stanford Law Review, Environmental Law Review and Fortune magazine.

Frug's visit is cosponsored by the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning, the College of Law, the Department of Political Science and the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry. His activities at the UI are supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, which brings outstanding scholars to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. A native of Vinton, Iowa, Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships program in her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists have visited the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty.

For more information contact Jim Throgmorton, associate professor of Urban and Regional Planning, at 335-0037 or