Hunts Point LIfelines, Bronx, New York

The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design/PennPraxis, in partnership with OLIN, led one of the 6 winning entries in the Rebuild by Design competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2013-2014).

Row houses in Philadelphia

Professor Vincent Reina of PennDesign and Catherine Droser, Research Associate at PennPraxis, consulted on a project for Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), to develop a report on subsidized housing in Philadelphia.

University of Pennsylvania Sustainability Plan

The University of Pennsylvania’s large urban campus produces environmental impacts in many different ways.

Flow charts for energy usage.

This dissertation suggests a new framework and indices of building performance evaluation based on an eco-systemic approach.

Black and white photos depicting water scarcity and water abundance.

The correlation between work and water exemplifies the classic parable of technological innovation, in which human labor is replaced by mechanical (or hydraulic) ingenuity and the amounts of work (or water) that can be delivered are dramatically increased.

Map of Chautauqua Game

This paper presents the results of a simplified method for reconfiguring a small city and rural county to support its current population on the environmental energies available within the boundaries of the county.

Flow chart of regional energy

Energy systems diagram of Delaware Valley Region.


Energy is the ultimate driver for urban growth, providing the engine for its physical and economic activities, however it is the concentration of energy into more valuable forms—such as fuels, buildings, institutions, and knowledge—that underlies the capacity for development. The goal of the project was to evaluate the interactions between resources flows (renewable and non-renewable) and the spatial distribution of assets, using household consumption as the primary lens through which to construct a regional e[m]ergy model.

People having meeting.
Credit: Gilad Meron

Social Impact Projects are intended to foster more cross-disciplinary collaboration at PennDesign, encourage students to work within the community, and leverage their design ability to benefit communities in need. The projects kicked off in the Spring of 2015, supported by PennDesign Dean Marilyn Jordan Taylor together with PennPraxis. Two years have been awarded: 2015 and 2016, with the hopes that the program will continue into the future. 

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.