PennPraxis

Philadelphia twin rowhouses that have had neighboring houses demolished

The Urban Heritage Project addresses issues at the intersection of built heritage, cultural landscape, societal change through multi-disciplinary research and practice.

Toolkit front cover

Designed by SAYGRID

In 2018, PennPraxis led the Historic Preservation Citizen Engagement Project, bringing the conversation started by the Mayor’s Task Force on Historic Preservation (Task Force) to neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. The project was funded by the William Penn Foundation, and was led by PennPraxis Managing Director Julie Donofrio and Research Associate Molly Lester. Its resulting Neighborhood Preservation Toolkit (Toolkit) is a new, free resource to build a larger, broader constituency for preservation in Philadelphia.

Cover of Civic Infrastructure
Artwork by Andee Mazzocco, Saygrid

PennPraxis, the engagement and consulting arm of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, has published a new white paper entitled Civic Infrastructure: Sustaining and Sharing the Value of Parks, Libraries, and Other Public Assets that calls on practitioners, advocates, funders, designers, and others involved in civic asset redevelopment to think about the unfolding of projects at multiple scales (site, system and policy), over a longer timeframe, through an “ecosystem” lens highlighting the importance of partnerships.

Innovation through the centuries. Pennovation Works

PennPraxis is engaged with the University of Pennsylvania Facilities and Real Estate Services to deliver a historical research and interpretation strategy for the Pennovatio

Two people looking at photographs.

PennPraxis worked with the Fairmount Park Conservancy (FPC) on two long-term projects in conjunction with their Reimagining the Civic Commons (RCC) initiative, funde

Map of Gray's Ferry area.

Grays Ferry Avenue Study Area

In 2017, PennPraxis worked in conjunction with ULI Philadelphia and local stakeholders to determine opportunities for making Grays Ferry Avenue, which connects South and Southwest Philadelphia, a healthy corridor.

People riding bicycles in front of a mural.

Philly Free Streets 2016. By Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman

Held on September 24, 2016, Philadelphia's first Philly Free Streets temporarily closed streets to create a continuous, vehicle-free path from South Street to West Fairmount Park, designed to encourage free movement across neighborhoods.

Row houses in Philadelphia

The shortage of affordable rental units is a national reality, but is particularly profound in the city of Philadelphia. According to the U.S.

Map of West Philadelphia

Map of Market Value of Owner-Occupied Homes, 2016

Managing Equitable Development in West Philadelphia was a project organized by representatives of three schools of the University of Pennsylvania.

House in Chestnut Hill.

Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill, late afternoon, flickr photo by George Berstein

Philadelphia is known as a city of neighborhoods. So how do we help these areas of the City preserve their unique qualities? PennPraxis’ recent work with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy is a demonstration of how this can happen.

Nyamata Church

Nyamata Church. Photo by Randall Mason.

Conservation of Rwanda’s national genocide memorials grows with urgency each passing year.  Deterioration of buildings, sites, and artifacts threaten the ability of Rwandans to mourn, commemorate and interpret the deeply meaningful and troubling events surrounding the 1994 genocide.  Th

Map with several locations pinned.

The chance for PennDesign students to engage with local community groups and projects for an extended amount of time in a meaningful capacity is often limited to design studios and a few special occasions throughout their time in the School of Design.