About The Team

To live in a city in a globalizing world is, inevitably, to live in a globalizing city.
Where brings together urbanists from all walks of life living in cities around the world to poke, prod, and otherwise examine everything urban in an effort to maintain a global conversation about this increasingly vital subject matter. This is a group that loves cities. We hope that, through this blog, we can come to know them better. [more]

This is who we are, (where we are), and what we do:

Drew Austin (Chicago) plans mass transit for a living and passes through his favorite Chicago building, the Merchandise Mart, five days a week. He grew up in Indianapolis but has since moved on to larger Midwestern cities. In addition to transportation, he's fascinated by public space, good architecture, bad architecture and urban morphology. He once wrote about those topics on a short-lived blog called The List of Dorms. His favorite grid-based city is, of course, Chicago, and his favorite grid-based game is Scrabble.

Mario Ballesteros (Barcelona) is an urban enthusiast and independent editor based in Barcelona. He's lived in Southern California, Paris, and Mexico City—where he was born and raised. He co-edited of the latest issue of Actar publisher's Verb series (Crisis) and has worked as a curator for the Design Hub Barcelona. A self-taught urban analyst, he's toyed and toiled with a broad range of city-related issues, including post-revolutionary planning, the failure of Latin American developmentalist utopias, the spurious urbanisms of the Mexico-U.S. border, and alternatives to urban renewal in Mexico City's historic core. He's always happy mixing spatial perspectives with pop and politics. A regular blogger since 2003, additional posts of his appear sporadically at Mañanarama.

Marc Couillais (Chicago/Detroit) is the founder of Detroit based design collaborative, Preserve Industries as well as a 5th year architecture student at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has lived and worked in a variety of economic climates though is drawn to the social and environmental context of America's Rustbelt cities. Though many see these conditions as a blight to society, Marc prefers to see the inherint beauty in natures reclamation of our industrial past. Through his writings on reuse and studies of adaptive housing, Marc hopes to one day reverse the stigma that has been placed on America's post-industrial urban centers.

Brendan Crain (Chicago) is the founder of Where, and an avid armchair urbanist. He spends his days researching construction projects in a big glass box in the Chicago Loop. He is heavily involved with the nonprofit organization Neighbors Project, currently serving on the National and Chicago Advisory Boards of the group. In his spare time, he drinks too much soda, argues with people who call it pop, and tries to get his cat to stop chewing on things plugged into the wall sockets. He really wants you to add Where to your RSS reader. Do it now!

Dan Lorentz (Athens, GA) has been fascinated by street grids, buildings and underground infrastructure since he was a boy. More recently, he's added zoning codes and economic development policies to list of things that he likes to think about. For about a decade, Dan has worked as an aide to state legislators in Wisconsin. He's worked in the non-profit sector on poverty and public health issues. He has a master's degree in public administration. Dan currently lives in Athens, Georgia, with his wife and two dogs, trying to do some freelance writing.

Katia Savchuk (Mumbai) was born under Soviet rule in Kiev and moved to San Francisco on the day of the 1989 earthquake. She investigated the urban mental maps of housing voucher recipients to earn herself a BA in Social Studies from Harvard in 2007. She currently works for the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC), a Mumbai-based NGO, and for its global affiliate, Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), on issues of housing, sanitation and tenure security for the urban poor. She was a co-organizer of Koliwada Urban Typhoon, an experimental participatory design workshop held in March 2007 in Dharavi, Mumbai's vast informal settlement. She will continue to advocate community-driven urban development as a Housing and Urban Policy Scholar at NYU's School of Law, where she will start in Fall 2009. Katia also possesses a black belt in martial arts, an obsession with bhangra, and an as-yet unfulfilled desire to design mosaics.

Peter Sigrist (Ithaca) is studying city and regional planning at Cornell University. He is particularly interested in adaptive reuse, botany, and clean technology. Peter has a background in international and environmental studies. He grew up in Rochester, NY, and has lived in San Francisco, St. Louis, New York, and Cambridge, England. Peter is the founder and author of the blog Civic Nature.

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