Penn Planning Equity Initiative

This PennPlanning Equity Initiative working paper explores the most extreme form of income segregation: the case in which most of a community’s poor residents are concentrated in just one or a few neighborhoods. It uses recent data from the American Community Survey to catalog the extent of spatially-concentrated poverty among U.S. metropolitan areas. 
The Puerto Rico Resilience Plan is the result of a semester-long interdisciplinary studio at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. A team composed of nine planning students and eight landscape architects worked collaboratively to engage with three sites in Puerto Rico: the area surrounding the San Jose Lagoon and Caño Martín Peña in San Juan; the mountainous region of Utuado, in the western central part of the island; and a region spanning from El Yunque National Forest to the coastline in the southeastern portion of the island. 
“In Fall 2018, a group of ten graduate city planning students developed a suite of design and policy recommendations for the City of Philadelphia’s Vision Zero program. Vision Zero, a movement which began in Sweden in the late 1990s, advocates for eliminating traffic deaths on our roads. The City of Philadelphia adopted Vision Zero through an executive order from Mayor Kenney in 2016, and subsequently released its Three-Year Action Plan in September 2017.
This PPEI Working Paper uses recent data from the American Community Survey to update previous into the extent of residential segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas.
Street view of people waiting for bus

Photo: haikus via Flickr

Assistant Professor Erick Guerra recently released a report that analyzes, maps, and develops a series of indicators to identify which parts of the Buenos Aires metropolitan area are affordable to lower-income residents, when accounting for the costs of housing and transportation.
Graduate City Planning students at the University of Pennsylvania have conducted a comparative study of gentrification in five growing U.S. cities, and developed an interactive online toolkit to help guide the process of equitable neighborhood development.   Can we fix gentrification by building more housing? Does gentrification cause homelessness? Why should we care about gentrification if neighborhood change is a natural process?
Slums: How Informal Real Estate Markets Work (University of Pennsylvania, 2016) shows that unauthorized settlements in rapidly growing cities are not divorced from market forces; rather, they must be understood as complex environments where state policies and market actors still do play a role.
Cities across the globe have been designed with a primary goal of moving people around quickly—and the costs are becoming ever more apparent. The consequences are measured in smoggy air basins, sprawling suburbs, a failure to stem traffic congestion, and 1.25 million traffic fatalities each year. It is clear that change is needed. Instead of planning primarily for mobility, our cities should recalibrate planning and design to focus on the safety, health, and access of people in them.
Housing planners around the world are looking for new policy, design, and delivery models for social housing–loosely defined as subsidized housing for low-income households.  This multi-continent super-studio will look at the potential for rethinking and re-linking social housing policy, programs, and designs in Brazil (Sao Paulo: Professor Rose), China (Beijing: Professor Al), and Canada (Toronto: Mr.
This PennPlanning Equity Initiative (PPEI) working paper uses recent data from the American Community Survey to investigate whether residents of minority and poor neighborhoods in America’s largest metropolitan areas suffer from systematic accessibility and mobility disparities.
"This studio sought to create a process that imagines the resilient redevelopment of the Luis LLorens Torres housing project in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Located between Old San Juan and the airport, LLorens Torres is the largest public housing project in the United States.
This working paper picks up on the U.S Supreme Court’s 2015 landmark decision in Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., which found that, whatever their intent, federal housing programs which generate disparate racial impacts violate the U.S.
Long Beach, California

Photo George Miquilena

This PPEI working paper by Professor of City and Regional Planning John D. Landis uses recent data from the American Community Survey to look at how African-Americans, Latinos, and women fare when compared to Whites and men in each of the nation’s 374 metropolitan areas on ten equity and opportunity categories.
Building off of a research project for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Assistant Professor Erick Guerra is examinining land use, transportation infrastructure, and commute patterns across Mexico’s 100 largest cities.
Elevated transportation structures are a common sight throughout Philadelphia.  Cutting through industrial areas, commercial districts, and neighborhoods, they effectively serve the purpose of moving people and goods from one location to another.  This single-minded focus results in an elevated system that largely ignores the surrounding communities.  Whether this neglect helps or hinders the community is less important than the fact that the opportunities presented by these elevated structures is being wasted.  With green stormwater infrastructure, these elevated transp
Visualization of potential project

Alexandra San Roman, Claudia Elzey, Eric Vincent Riley, Gabriella Nelson, Michael Schaier, Sean Scott; proposed intervention in Bergen Square

Course/Studio: CPLN-600 Instructors: John D. Landis, City and Regional Planning, PennDesign; Danae Mobley, City of Philadelphia Water Department; Adam Tecza, Group Melvin Design
Around the country oil and gas boomtowns are facing extraordinary development pressures and social change that are transforming formerly rural or agricultural-based settlement patterns.  The studio used the  Bakken Region of the Western North Dakota as a case study for how communities can plan for the economic cycles of boomtowns and create strong diverse economies once the boom is over.  The 19 counties in Western North Dakota were the subject of a HUD-funded Sustainable Communities Planning Grant, which served as the basis for the studio understanding and further research i
In the northeastern United States, many cities feel that they are on the losing end of a stratified society, having suffered decades of job losses and out-migration with ever-declining industry.  But at the same time, citizens and leaders in these cities are doing the hard work of revitalization.  Their visions, planning, and building are starting to attract new people, activity, and investment.  What this studio set out to understand is whether revitalization- with all the public and private resources that it captures- can be a vehicle for reducing inequities for the broader