Greening the Elevated.

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

Slums. How Informal Real Estate Markets Work

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.

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.  ULI Philadelphia received a national grant to study the Grays Ferry corridor from Washington Avenue to Woodland Avenue.

Environmental Readings 2016

From the Foreword:

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

Beyond Mobility. Planning Cities of People and Places.

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.


The Oldfields estate and allée approaching the Lilly House

Not all of the Indianapolis Museum of Art's prized collections are located inside its building; in fact, some of the most famous works in the museum's collections are buildings themselves. As part of its 126-acre campus in Indianapolis and its satellite property in Columbus, Indiana, the IMA owns and manages several significant historic properties, including the Oldfields estate (designed in part by the Olmsted Brothers) and the world-renowned Miller House (designed by Eero Saarinen).

Student adding measurements to a field drawing.

"This experience opened my eyes to the growing need of documentation education and how HABS documentation should be known by more students and professionals. It exposed me to new software’s and skills for laser scanning and panoramic images." -Mónica P. Ortiz-Cortés (MSHP'20)

Summer internships with a preservation-related organization are completed by our graduate students between their first and second years of study. Although internship opportunities vary, students typically perform site and condition surveys, documentation, inventories, mapping, historical research, feasibility studies, material analysis and treatment, etc.

Click below to see compilations of summer internships:

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. The event was influenced by Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in September 2015, which required heavy security, and thus road closures throughout Center City for multiple days.

By Weitzman School Associate Professor Karen M'Closkey and Senior Lecturer Keith VanDerSys

Rebooting New England sets forth a strategy to rebuild the economy of New England’s cities, which have been bypassed economically and physically for decades. This strategy is underpinned by a modern high-performance rail network between New York and Boston that would link all of Southern New England’s major cities with these two global cities and with each other. This would serve to integrate the labor and housing markets of the entire New York - New England megaregion into what could become the world’s largest innovation economy.

Architecture and Systems Ecology: Thermodynamic Principles of Environmental Building Design in Three Parts.

Thermodynamic Principles of Environmental Building Design, in three parts.