City and Regional Planning

Posted July 13, 2017

Lisa Servon Named New Department Chair

Please welcome Professor Lisa Servon as chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning. Lisa joined the PennDesign faculty a year ago after serving as Professor of Management and Urban Policy at The New School, where she also served as Dean at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Her five-year term began on July 1, 2017.

Lisa succeeds Professor John Landis, a passionate and dedicated teacher who helped maintain the Department’s standing as one of the leading programs in the country. We are grateful to John for his leadership in securing new research funding, developing innovative new programs and concentrations, like SMART Cities, and a recruiting an outstanding faculty. Lucky for us, John will continue to be a presence in the classroom, inspiring and challenging his students.

Lisa conducts research in the areas of urban poverty, community development, economic development, and issues of gender and race; her new book is The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives. Along with John, Lisa represents City and Regional Planning on the School’s Diversity Work Group, which was established to advise me on strategies to increase the diversity of the School’s faculty, staff, and students, and promote a more inclusive community. With Dan Reyes, a student in department, she launched the PennDesign Social Justice group. You can read more about Lisa on her website,