Research

Planning Praxis, HSPV 760-920, Shanghai, China, 2014

The historic built environment is brimming with intelligence about how to create and adapt sustainable places.  Some of the deepest issues in design and planning these days relate to how we re-use inherited buildings and landscapes — and combine and interpret them with our own creativity.

Our faculty emphasize design in action. Case studies, project-based work, and other experiential learning components form the foundation of our curriculum. Why just talk about our work when we can let it speak for itself?

In Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway evolved slowly from a gateway to Fairmount Park into an automobile conduit to the city.

In 2012 and 2013, PennPraxis worked with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and more than 100 key stakeholders to zero in on potential sites in in Philadelphia most worthy of becoming the next generation of “civic landscapes.” PHS has made an indelible mark in the public space of Philadelphia, including well known projects such as the Azalea Garden and Logan Square, as well as lesser-known, but equally beneficial greening projects elsewhere in the city.

The Lower Schuylkill Master Plan was a collaborative effort to create a blueprint for high-quality sustainable redevelopment of the historically industrial corridor along the east and west banks of the Lower Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA.

PennPraxis is working with the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation to create an action plan to help the department meet the mandate for 500 acres of new parkland set forth in Greenworks Philadelphia.

PennPraxis was engaged with the West Philadelphia organization Friends of 40th Street from 2004 through 2011 to develop strategies to improve the 40th Street corridor between Baltimore to Lancaster Avenue. Four forums were held in the summer of 2011 to develop strategies and recommendations for 40th Street.

In fall 2008, the William Penn Foundation commissioned PennPraxis to study public art in Philadelphia with an aim of better understanding how the city currently supports public art and where gaps in programs exist.
Erase the Boundaries: Design Ideas for Greater Philadelphia is the final product of the 2009 Philadelphia Regional Infrastructure Charrette, held from July 27 through July 29, 2009, at PennDesign. The workshop was convened by PennDesign, orchestrated by PennPraxis and supported by the Planning Collective.

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts hired PennPraxis and the Penn Project on Civic Engagement in 2008 to lead a citizen-driven design process on ways to energize and activate public spaces in and around the Kimmel.

PennPraxis facilitated a civic engagement process and design and infrastructure plan for 1,100 acres (445 hectares) of the Central Delaware riverfront.

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