Samuels nominated for book award

Samuels (Portrait: Van Vo Photography)

“Infrastructural Optimism,” the latest book by Linda C. Samuels, a professor of urban design in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, has been long-listed for the inaugural Pattis Family Foundation Global Cities Book Award.

Organized by the Center on Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the award celebrates books that explore the role of cities in addressing critical global challenges. In “Infrastructural Optimism,” Samuels investigates the physical systems supporting contemporary life and argues that optimism is not simply a reflexive emotional state, but a critical driver of public investment, societal progress and even democracy itself.

Samuels is the founder and director of Infra_OPTS, an independent consulting firm in St. Louis and Los Angeles focused on the design, mapping and metrics of public infrastructure to create more equitable cities. This summer, she was also appointed interim director of the Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design for the 2023-24 academic year.

The Center on Global Cities will announce the winning book in September. For more details and a complete list of nominees, visit

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