City and Regional Planning

It was 21 years ago that the concept of the megaregion was “discovered,” said Bob Yaro, the former president of the Regional Plan Association, during the CM2 Summer Forum at PennDesign in June.

PennDesign’s Fall 2018 Lecture Series brings more than 30 of the world’s leading architects, landscape architects, planners, artists, and preservationists to Philadelphia. They’ll offer perspective on architecture as a catalyst, the politics of modern memorials, the impact of LGBTQ history on historic preservation, and more.

With the new Academic Year, PennDesign welcomes four new members of the standing faculty, subject to University approval; Dean Steiner has also named Megan Ryerson associate dean for research.

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.

Photo: Eric Sucar

A newly launched website based on Francesca Russello Ammon’s research, “Preserving Society Hill,” tells the stories of more than 1,500 of those properties through an interactive map that combines architectural details, photographs, and oral histories for each site. 

Professor of Fine Arts Sharon Hayes, seen here in a work from 2009, is teaching a new course that will “explore the wide and expansive territories of art making that exist between live performance and mediated image.”

PennDesign is expanding its course offerings for Fall 2018 with new courses—including seminars, studios, and workshops—that reflect the School’s interdisciplinary approach to the built environment and visual culture. The courses offer students opportunities to explore the architecture of the hospital amid evolving notions of how the built environment impacts public health, work with local communities on projects that could improve the civic sphere, and examine works of art that challenge traditional ways of perceiving reality.

“As PennDesign alumni, you assume new responsibility, and unsurpassed opportunity, to shape our future," Dean Fritz Steiner told the graduating class. The commencement speech was delivered by Oberlin College Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics David W. Orr. Billie Faircloth, a partner at KieranTimberlake, spoke at the awards ceremony. 

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.