The Center for Globalization Studies in an Urban World is a center founded within Penn IUR that supports research and teaching on globalization—at Penn and beyond.
In 2012-2013, Penn IUR launched the Research Digest to cover the findings, success stories, and case studies coming out of the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (formerly the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub), one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) three innovation clusters, based at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
The topic of disaster in urban landscapes—preparedness, response and recovery—has gained increasing visibility in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Penn IUR aims to promote and further understanding of this critical issue through its publications and conferences.
In partnership with the Taiwan Institute for Economic Research (TIER), Penn IUR is working to develop and maintain a knowledge-sharing platform (KSP) for the Energy Smart Communities Initiative (ESCI) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Working Group (EWG).
Penn IUR promotes dialogue and fosters multidisciplinary collaboration among scholars in addressing food security, a critical issue in today’s rapidly urbanizing world. In March 2013, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation and Penn’s Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives., and in partnership with the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine and a Faculty Steering Committee representing nine schools and six centers at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn IUR convened the “Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World” conference.
The Global Urban Commons (the Commons), is a publicly-accessible, global directory of university-based urban research centers.The Commons, which includes more than 200 urban-research focused organizations from around the world, is a platform to build awareness about the breadth and depth of global urban research. The site is unique in that it reaches across disciplines, supports common research agendas, and fosters opportunities for collaboration between urbanists based at research centers around the world.
Penn IUR seeks to promote scholarship and discussion related to the housing market, including affordability and financing systems, through its events and publications.
Penn IUR, with funding from the Ford Foundation, worked with a team of Penn’s city planning doctoral students to develop the Sustainable Communities Indicator Catalog (SCIC) a web-based tool that enables communities to benchmark and track their progress toward sustainability. Penn IUR consulted extensively with experts and stakeholders to inform the development of this tool.
The City of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, along with other city agencies, is planning for new strategies to address vacant land issues in Philadelphia. As part of this effort, RDA engaged the Econsult Corporation and the Penn Institute for Urban Research to estimate the costs of vacant land to the City, and to assess the feasibility of urban agriculture on vacant land owned by the RDA.
Penn IUR has joined other universities across the nation to create a “Metro Lab Network” of university and city government partnerships committed to collaboration focused on 21st century solutions to the challenges confronting infrastructure, city services, and civic engagement. The Metro Lab Network will bring together university researchers with city decision makers to research, develop, and deploy (“RD&D”) technology‐ and analytically‐based solutions to the problems facing the systems and infrastructure on which our citizens, cities, and regional economies depend.
Penn IUR’s Co-Directors Genie Birch and Susan Wachter, along with Penn IUR Faculty Fellow Ira Harkavy, Director of Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships, are among the co-founders of the National Anchor Institution Task Force.
Anchor institutions are economic engines for cities and regions, acting as real estate developers, employers, purchasers of goods, magnets for complementary businesses, community-builders, and developers of human capital.
Penn IUR Roundtable on Anchor Institutions (PRAI) is a leadership “think tank” that convenes leaders from anchor institutions, their respective civic collaborators (academic, government, and foundation partners), and technical experts for an intense full day of roundtable discussions. These Anchor Teams work with Penn IUR to develop a case study that outlines a compelling local challenge.
As part of the Energy Efficient Building Hub (EEB Hub) project (now the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation), and in partnership with PJM Interconnection LLC Penn IUR developed an electricity price ticker, a web-based and desktop app which allows people to track the wholesale price of electricity.
With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Penn IUR explores the topic of rapid urbanization— both understanding how cities create and transfer knowledge=, and identifying policy interventions to support rapidly urbanizing cities.
Through an ongoing partnership with the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, Penn IUR fosters research and collaboration related to the growth and revitalization of older cities.
Penn IUR is a partner with UN-HABITAT, the United Nations agency for human settlements. The goal of UN-HABITAT is to help the urban poor by bridging the urban divides and transforming cities to cleaner, greener, safer, smarter and more equitable places with better opportunities where everyone can live in dignity.
Penn IUR partners with the Wharton GIS Lab on a research collaborative, the Spatial Integration Laboratory for Urban Systems (SILUS), to study ecological, environmental, and socioeconomic issues involved in urban and regional development.
Through expert roundtables, lectures, conferences, and publications, Penn IUR seeks to promote discussion and highlight important research and discussion related to urban education and workforce opportunity.
Large numbers of people in urbanizing regions in the developing world live and work in unplanned settlements that grow through incremental processes of squatting and self-building. Slums: How Informal Real Estate Markets Work 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. In this volume, contributors examine how the form and function of informal real estate markets are shaped by legal systems governing property rights, by national and local policy, and by historical and geographic particularities of specific neighborhoods. Their essays provide detailed portraits of individuals and community organizations, revealing in granular detail the working of informal real estate markets, and they review programs that have been implemented in unconventional settlements to provide lessons about the effectiveness and implementation challenges of different approaches.
Mumbai is India’s financial and commercial capital. Paradoxically, the city is known for both its high real estate prices and huge slum population. It has recorded some of the most expensive real estate transactions in the world and, according to some estimates, has more slum dwellers than any other city. (Mukhija 2003). Within Mumbai’s slums, property transactions are common, and real estate prices are also staggeringly high. Nonetheless, planners and economists usually consider land encumbered by slums to be less efficient, as its property values are often discounted due to the lack of formal titles and legal recognition, the inadequacy of physical infrastructure services, and fragmented land ownership (World Bank 1993).
In this issue of Urban Link, we explore the relationship between urban anchor institutions—in particular higher education institutions— and innovation. First, Penn IUR Co-Director Eugenie Birch writes about the links between urban universities, research and development (R&D), and innovation. This topic is important for a number of reasons chief among them is the changing climate for research funding for universities and its impact on cities, especially those like Philadelphia where the annual infusion of research funding ($939 million in 2015) helps support Penn’s 37,000 person labor force. (For a broad picture of the University’s impact on economic development, see Penn’s just-released FY2015 Economic Impact Report.)
Shared Prosperity in America's Communities, in the City in the 21st Century Book Series, authored by Susan M. Wachter and Lei Ding, examines this place-based disparity of opportunity and suggests what can be done to ensure that the benefits of economic growth are widely shared.
Elizabeth Kneebone writes about the changing geography of disadvantage and the suburbanization of poverty.
Underfunded pension liabilities threaten the fiscal stability of many cities. While Detroit's bankruptcy has dominated the headlines, the problem is widespread. With ongoing battles in many localities, policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to the legacy issues surrounding the funding of pensions. Public Pensions and City Solvency addresses this complex fiscal challenge and presents strategies to achieve financial sustainability.
With all eyes focused on the presidential race, now is the time to discuss the great challenges that our nation faces. The candidates have a unique opportunity to address the issues that affect the lives of their fellow Americans, but what are those issues and how should they think about them? What major urban policy issues should the candidates address? We posed this question to our Penn IUR Faculty Fellows and Scholars. In the following eleven essays, they explore the urban policies that deserve the candidates' attention.
Abstracts were adapted from chapters of an upcoming book edited by Susan Wachter and Joseph Tracy, "Housing Finance Reform:
Principles of Stability."
Ethan Conner-Ross, Richard Voith, and Susan Wachter describe the evolution of Philadelphia over the past few decades, including its triumphs, challenges and current opportunities.
The second half of the 20th century was largely characterized by an exodus out of the great cities of the industrial age, and the consequent growth of the suburbs.
Penn IUR reports on natural disaster recovery and the role of community-based planning.
John D. Landis writes that in understanding neighborhood change urban planners should be worried about neighborhood decline, not gentrification.
Penn IUR Faculty Fellow John D. Landis writes that city living is back and planners should be more concerned about urban decline than about gentrification.
Penn IUR celebrates 10 years in this year's annual report.
Laura W. Perna writes about improving college access and success for low-income and first-generation students.
Penn IUR Emerging Scholar Eugenia South writes about the how urban blight is making residents sick through increased vacancy, sanitation, and safety.
Penn IUR looks at the growth of low-carbon and energy smart communities in the APEC region and attempts to assess their success.
Penn IUR Faculty Fellow Sara Heller writes about the role that targeted policy interventions can play in improving the lives of urban minority youth.
Penn IUR Co-Director Genie Birch writes about the growth of innovation across university campuses.
Penn IUR Scholar Peter Hendee Brown writes about real estate development business in Chicago, Miami, Portland (Oregon), and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Penn IUR Co-Directors Genie Birch and Susan Wachter reflect how Earth can survive, and even thrive, as the global population nears nine billion/
Penn IUR Faculty Fellow Richard Weller reflects on the first Earth Day in 1970.
Penn IUR Emerging Scholar Jesse Handbury writes about how large nutritional disparities exist across different socioeconomic groups in the United States.
Stefan Al writes about Dachong, in China, where in 2011 bulldozers destroyed over 10 million square feet of village housing and evicted more than 70,000 residents.
Penn IUR Newsletter, Spring 2015 offers a recap of the fall semester's activities and looks forward to upcoming events in Spring 2015.
While 54 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas today, that number is projected to jump to 66 percent by 2050. How can our cities keep pace?
Penn IUR Faculty Fellow Vivian L. Gadsden writes about the themes of race, poverty and change in America are as relevant as ever, as our nation grapples with the recent tragedies in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York.
Ken Lum reflects on how though art in the broader sense has always possessed a public dimension due to its requirement of an audience, public art was not formalized as a category of discourse until the mid-nineteenth century.
The same investors who once abandoned Philadelphia are now clamoring to get back in – and although new investment marks a reversal of fortunes for the City, it appears only a handful of neighborhoods have attracted this newfound attention.
Will the UN recognize the transformative power of cities as they construct the 2016 SDGs?
Penn IUR's Fall 2014 Newsletter summarizes our work over the past semester and gives a preview of upcoming events and programs.
Penn IUR's 2013-14 Annual Report is titled "Building Shared Prosperity." It reflects Penn IUR's programming, research and publications over the previous year.
Penn IUR Faculty Fellow Matthew Steinberg writes about teacher evaluation reform and the importance of building research to inform policy.
Cities are back. For the first time in decades and for three consecutive years, cities in the United States are growing faster than their surrounding suburbs.
Explore six universities investing in revitalization and innovation beyond their campus boundaries.
This report stems from the Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World conference held at the University of Pennsylvania March 13–15, 2013.
This report addresses the "Sustainable Urbanization: Place Matters" summit hosted by Penn IUR in March 2014.
This report summarizes the discussions and findings of a a one-day symposium titled Urban Ecosystem Services and Decision-Making: A Green Philadelphia, held on May 23, 2013.
The United States is often hailed as the “land of opportunity,” but opportunities for upward income mobility in the U.S. are actually lower than in other countries.
Manny Diaz, former Miami mayor, writes about the need to restore pragmatism in politics through a renewed investment in our cities.
This special edition of "The Economist" magazine was prepared for the "Transforming Cities" meeting at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center.
Cities are, fundamentally, the people within them. It is people who envision and implement change. Thus, the route to urban vitality lies in adopting policies that help people to thrive and to innovate;
What is the role of the city in sustainable growth in the twenty-first century?
Most of the abundant new literature on recent immigration concentrates on the traditional immigrant ports-of-entry and on new and emerging immigrant gateways.
In 1950, Philadelphia reached its maximum population of just over 2 million residents. In the decades before 1950, Philadelphia invested heavily in an infrastructure needed to support a city that would continue to grow.
Buildings—particularly large commercial buildings and multi-family residential buildings—are a significant source of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
Charles Branas writes that interest in health and safety programs that focus on improving the places people live, work, and play has grown over the past decade.
In 2013, the Rockefeller Foundation’s one-hundredth year, we have been deeply analyzing the issues and strengths that defined our first century.
As cities grow and urban populations expand, people are becoming increasingly disconnected from their sources of food.
All too often, young people in our country enter the job market without the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s workforce.
In 2013, as cities around the world expand, and as urban populations grow, we will face new challenges.
Small and mid-sized cities played a key role in the Industrial Revolution in the United States as hubs for the shipping, warehousing, and distribution of manufactured products.
The contributors of Policy, Planning, and People argue for the promotion of social equity and quality of life by designing and evaluating urban policies and plans.
In November 1993, the largest public housing project in the Puerto Rican city of Ponce—the second largest public housing authority in the U.S. federal system—became a gated community.
As Americans abandoned city centers to pursue visions of suburbia, architect and urban planner Edmund Bacon turned his sights on shaping urban America.
Almost fifty years ago, America's industrial cities—Detroit, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Baltimore, and others—began shedding people and jobs.
When the Barnes opened on May 19, 2012, art lovers rejoiced that one of the world’s foremost collections of modern works was back on display.
A mere six years ago, when a major metropolitan area was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the nation witnessed and was embarrassed by the pictures of dysfunction that ensued.
Education, long the key to opportunity in the United States, has become simply essential to earning a decent living.
A number of U.S. cities, former manufacturing centers of the Northeast and Midwest, have suffered such dramatic losses in population and employment.
Six-year-old Manuel Diaz and his mother first arrived at Miami's airport in 1961 with little more than a dime for a phone call to their relatives in the Little Havana neighborhood.
In the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, many are asking what, if anything, can be done to prevent large-scale disasters.
Large-scale emigration from the Dominican Republic began in the early 1960s, with most Dominicans settling in New York City. Since then the growth of the city's Dominican population has been staggering, now accounting for around 7 percent of the total populace.
Global Downtowns reconsiders one of the defining features of urban life—the energy and exuberance that characterize downtown areas—within a framework of contemporary globalization and change.
This volume examines the rebuilding of cities and their environs after a disaster and focuses on four major issues.
Over the years, the significance of green in civic life has grown.
For the first time in history, the majority of the world's population lives in urban areas.
Does the place where you lived as a child affect your health as an adult?
Successful home ownership requires the availability of appropriate mortgage products.
At 1:27 on the morning of August 4, 2005, Herbert Manes fatally stabbed Robert Monroe, known as Shorty, in a dispute over five dollars.
Edward J. Blakely has been called upon to help rebuild after some of the worst disasters in recent American history.
Tomography is a method of exploring a phenomenon through a large number of examples or perspectives.
Growing urbanization affects women and men in fundamentally different ways, but the relationship between gender and city environments has been ignored or misunderstood.
Born in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood of Dublin, John F. Timoney moved to New York with his family in 1961.
On summer nights on downtown Los Angeles's Bunker Hill, Grand Performances presents free public concerts for the people of the city.
In Jerusalem, Israeli and Jordanian militias patrolled a fortified, impassable Green Line from 1948 until 1967.
Since the early years of the twentieth century, public authorities have been providing an enormous share of the public infrastructure in the United States.
Typically residing in areas of concentrated urban poverty, too many young black men are trapped in a horrific cycle.
In the last quarter of the twentieth century, urban colleges and universities found themselves enveloped by poverty, crime, and physical decline.