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Patty Heyda

Patty Heyda is an urban and architectural designer, author, and educator. She studies American cities and design politics, with a focus on mapping, privatization, St. Louis, and spatial justice in weak market cities and transitioning American suburbs. She earned her master of architecture with distinction from Harvard University.

Heyda is the author of “Radical Atlas” (2024), an exploration of the structural contradictions and racial inequalities underlying market-based planning in the American first ring suburb, told through the lens of Ferguson, Missouri. Her other projects detail particularities of what she calls “erasure urbanism” and constructions of race and redevelopment processes that erode urban, democratic, and lived space. Recent work includes: “Food Desert: Feeding the Regional Economic Imaginary” (2023), “The Façade of Redevelopment” (2022), “#ArchSoWhite” (2021), “What About Typology? An Update for Late Capitalism” (2019), “Erasure Urbanism” (2017), “Unbuilding and Rebuilding St. Louis” (2016), “Dispatch from the Moral Border” (2011) and others. Heyda is also the coauthor of “Rebuilding the American City” (2016) with David Gamble, which profiles complexities and creative design strategies 15 U.S. cities navigate as they transform in the public-private context marked by compounding eco-social crises. A follow up, “Rebuilding the American Small Town” is forthcoming (2024). Portions of Heyda’s coauthored “Roman Operating System,” exploring ancient Rome as a capital growth machine, can be found in “Mutations” and “Content” (ed. Rem Koolhaas).

Heyda’s professional experiences span architecture and urban design, in Europe and the U.S. Her built work with Pritzker Prize–winning architect Jean Nouvel has been published in “El Croquis,” “Domus,” and other books and periodicals. Heyda’s independent design projects are also widely recognized with awards from the St. Louis AIA, Nashville Civic Design Center, the Zagreb-based ThinkSpace platform, among others.

In 2022, Heyda received the APA St. Louis Dwight F. Davis Award for Outstanding Planning Advocacy. She has been interviewed on National Public Radio’s “Here and Now,” and for the documentary film “The Kinloch Doc.” Her public facing work appears in The Conversation, Blavity, Fast Company, Salon, The Houston Chronicle, City Lab, and other outlets.

Other work, essays, and news

The Quarantine Atlas

“The things we do to prop up work…”
Author: Patty Heyda
In Quarantine Atlas (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2022)
Editors: Laura Bliss, Bloomberg CityLab
ISBN-13 9780762478132

Designing the Instruments of Urban Reform

Author: Patty Heyda
Book review of Ozay, Urban Renewal and School Reform in Baltimore (Routledge, 2020)
In Journal of Urban Design Vol 25: 6.