City and Regional Planning

John Keene

Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning


B.A., Yale University
J.D., Harvard University
M.C.P., University of Pennsylvania

Professor Keene's teaching and research interests focus on the legal aspects of city and regional planning, land development regulation, environmental planning and law, sustainable development, legal and policy issues relating to brownfield remediation, and management of urban growth.

Professor Keene has advised local governments on the legal aspects of environmental and farmland protection. 

Professor Keene chaired the Department of City & Regional Planning from 1988 to 1992 and served two terms as Chair of the Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning, which administers the Ph.D. Degree program in City and Regional Planning. During 1999, 2000, and 2001, he served consecutively as Chair-Elect, Chair, and past Chair of the Faculty Senate of the University of Pennsylvania.  He is serving as coodinator of Penn student's participation in an advanced master's degree in environmental management established by the Mines Paris (formerly the Paris School of Mines), and TsingHua University in Beijiing.

In 2004, Professor Keene was awarded the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. He was awarded the G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2005.

Mr. Keene served as University Ombudsman from 2006 to 2009.


He is the co-author of Saving American Farmland: What Works?; Guiding Growth: A Primer on Growth Management for PennsylvaniaMunicipalities; The Protection of Farmland: A Reference Guidebook for State and Local Governments; and Untaxing Open Space: AnEvaluation of the Effectiveness of Differential Assessment of Farms and Open Space, along with numerous articles and reports. His article on "Environmental Planning and Sustainable Development" will be published in the Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition) in 2014.


Professor Keene teaches courses on Environmental Law, Brownfield Remediation and Strategies for Sustainable Development.