City and Regional Planning

The event convened scholars and housing experts for discussions on the Fair Housing Act, its past successes and failures, and ongoing opportunities for implementation.

Photo Jared Brey

Last month, development consultant Bob Kaufman (C’76, MCP’77) led a group of PennDesign students around the site of his latest project, the 40th Street Trolley Portal. Seven years after its inception, the facility is almost ready to open as the Trolley Portal Gardens, complete with restaurant, bar, and an expansive outdoor space designed by Andropogon and Associates. 

In December of 2016, the UN General Assembly voted to endorse a set of aspirational goals meant to guide the sustainable and equitable development of the world’s cities for the next 15 years. The vision of “cities for all,” enshrined in the New Urban Agenda, had been finalized at Habitat III, an international conference convened by the UN in Quito, that October. The agenda is founded on the principles of ending poverty, inclusive urban planning, and environmentally sustainable land use. Next month, the focus shifts to implementation, when a cohort of Penn faculty will present their research at the ninth biennial World Urban Forum, in Kuala Lumpur.

This post showcases some of the impressive first semester data science work by the MUSA and Planning students in Ken Steif's course, MUSA 507. The students chose from four possible spatial machine learning projects.

The Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown has a long and colorful history of Revolutionary War battles, abolitionist protests, the Underground Railroad, suburbanization, the Great Migration, and more.

Even as a decades-long population decline in Philadelphia has appeared to level off and rebound in the last decade, the city has continued to lose more native-born residents than it takes in. To put it another way, immigrants are central to the city’s rebirth.

Photo: Billy Fleming

In a recent Houston Chronicle opinion editorial, Billy Fleming (PhD'17) and Katie Randall (MSHP'19, MCP'19) argue that climate change is an immediat

In his State of the Union address last month, President Trump called on Congress to invest at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure. While it remains to be seen if Capitol Hill can make it a reality, a group of students in the departments of Architecture and City and Regional Planning is outlining the elements of a national transportation investment strategy. The studio recently traveled to Denver and Los Angeles to meet with officials and designers who have planned and are now building two of America’s most ambitious metropolitan transportation investment programs.

Sam Sklar is a program associate at Smart Growth America/Transportation for America in Washington D.C. Before coming to PennDesign, Sklar worked at Walk Boston, a pedestrian advocacy group in Boston.

Shayda Haghgoo supervising the implementation of her first crosswalk.

Shayda Haghgoo (MCP’16) works for the City and County of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) as a Transportation Planner II. Haghgoo’s work focuses on traffic calming, bicycle and pedestrian planning, and school area safety programs. She talks about a typical day at work, being introduced to Blade Runner by John Landis, and changes in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. 

Penn and MIT researchers looked to the housing sector as one way localities could impact greenhouse gas emissions. These graphs showcase a sequential comparison of 2030 residential energy-conservation scenarios for 11 metro areas. Red represents the baseline. The other three colors signify different scenarios, with and without the Clean Power Plan. In the best-case option, CPP stays in place and cities adopt energy-conservation standards for new homes and retrofitting standards for existing home. Then emissions could potentially drop by 46 percent, on average. 

Worldwide, the United States is one of the biggest greenhouse gas emitters. The Obama administration began efforts to drop those numbers by increasing vehicle fuel economy standards in 2011 and with its Clean Power Plan proposals in 2015. But even if implemented as planned, that two-pronged approach would still fall short of the country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. Local efforts in residential housing and transportation, however, could help make up the difference, according to new findings from PennDesign’s John Landis and Erick Guerra, and David Hsu of MIT.

(Left to right) Kirk McClure, Sandra Newman, Ingrid Ellen, and Alex Schwartz

 

The past 15 years have been the most turbulent for U.S. housing markets since the Great Depression. Governments at every level—national, state, and especially local—are facing a host of housing affordability, quality, and fair housing challenges.

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