People

Penn IUR is affiliated with more than 200 experts in the field of urbanism. Its Faculty Fellows program identifies faculty at the University of Pennsylvania with a demonstrated interest in urban research; the Penn IUR Scholars program identifies urban scholars outside of Penn; and the Penn IUR Fellows program identifies expert urban practitioners. Together, these programs foster a community of scholars and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration.

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Penn IUR Scholar

Frank S. Alexander

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Sam Nunn Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

Areas of Interest

    About

    Frank Alexander is the Sam Nunn Professor of Law at the Emory University School of Law. His areas of expertise include property, real estate sales and finance, state and local government law, law and theology, federal housing policies, and homelessness. Alexander is the Director of the Project on Affordable Housing and Community Development, and Co-founder and Senior Advisor of the Center for Community Progress.  Alexander served as a Fellow of The Carter Center of Emory University (1993-1996), Commissioner of the State Housing Trust Fund for the Homeless (1994-1998), Interim Dean of Emory School of Law (2005-2006), and as Visiting Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University (2007). He also has testified before Congress concerning the mortgage foreclosure crisis (2008). He is the author or editor of eight books and more than forty articles in real estate finance, community development, and law and theology.

    Selected Publications

    Alexander, Frank. 2013-2014. Georgia Real Estate Finance and Foreclosure Law (8th ed). Thomson Reuters.

    Alexander, Frank. 2011. Land Banks and Land Banking. Center for Community Progress.

    Alexander, Frank and Leslie A. Powell. 2011. Neighborhood Stabilization Strategies for Vacant and Abandoned Properties. Zoning & Planning Law Report, 34 (September).

    Alexander, Frank. 2009. Neighborhood Stabilization & Land Banking. Communities & Banking, 20(3). Boston: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

    Alexander, Frank. 2008. Land Banking As Metropolitan Policy. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

    Penn IUR Scholar

    Elijah Anderson

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    William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology, Yale University

    About

    Elijah Anderson is the William K. Lanman, Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University. He is widely considered one of the best urban ethnographers in the United States. His publications include Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (1999), winner of the Komarovsky Award from the Eastern Sociological Society; Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in an Urban Community (1990), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Robert E. Park Award for the best published book in the area of Urban Sociology, and the classic sociological work, A Place on the Corner (1978, 2nd ed., 2003). Anderson’s most recent ethnographic work, The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life, was published by WW Norton in March 2012. Anderson is the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award of the American Sociological Association. His research interests include inequality, race relations, urban ethnography, sociology of culture, and crime, and social control.

    Selected Publications

    Anderson, Elijah, Dana Asbury, Duke W. Austin, Esther Chihye Kim, and Vani Kulkarni, eds. 2012. Bringing Fieldwork Back In: Contemporary Urban Ethnographic Research. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 642 (June). Sage Press.

    Anderson, Elijah. 2012. The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

    Anderson, Elijah, ed. 2009. Urban Ethnography: Its Traditions and Its Future. Ethnography 10(4), Special Double Issue. Sage Press. 

    Anderson, Elijah, ed. 2008. Against the Wall: Poor, Young, Black, and Male. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

    Anderson, Elijah, Scott N. Brooks, Raymond Gunn, and Nikki Jones, eds. 2004. Being Here and Being There: Fieldwork Encounters and Ethnographic Discoveries. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 595 (September). New York: Sage Press.

    Penn IUR Scholar

    Qin Bo

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    Associate Professor and Deputy Head, Department of Urban Planning and Management, Renmin University of China

    Areas of Interest

      About

      Dr. QIN Bo holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the Department of Architecture in Wuhan University, a Master of Science from the Department of Urban and Regional Planning in Peking University, and a Ph.D. degree in urban studies from the National University of Singapore. He joined the Department of Urban Planning and Management at Renmin University of China in 2008 and now serves as Associate Professor and Deputy Head. His research interests include urban spatial restructuring in Chinese cities, coordinated urban-rural planning and management, and urban sustainable development in China. He is the author/co-author of four books, e.g., The Location-choice of Firms and Urban Spatial Restructuring (2012), Low Carbon Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development (2014). He has also published numerous articles in both the international renowned journals such as JAPA, Urban Studies, and Chinese top journals in urban planning. He serves as reviewer for several leading academic journals and for the National Science Foundation of China. In his academic career Dr. QIN has taught courses in architecture and regional planning and has supervised several postgraduate students studying topics ranging from low carbon urban form to peri-urban development in Chinese cities.

      Selected Publications

      Han, S.S. & Qin, B. (2014) Low-carbon Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development: The Research on Households Carbon Emission in Beijing. Beijing: Renmin University Press.

      Qin, B. (2012) Location-choice of Firms and Urban Spatial Restructuring: A Case Study in Shanghai. Beijing: China Architecture and Building Press.

      Qin, B. and An, G.P. (2009) The application of Digital Management System in the Suburban. Beijing: Renmin University Press.

      Ye Y, LeGates R, and Qin B (2013) Coordinated Urban-rural Development Planning in China: The Chengdu Model. Journal of American Planning Association, 79(2): 125-137.

      Qin B and Han S S (2013) Emerging polycentricity in Beijing: evidence from housing price variations, 2001-05. Urban Studies 50(10): 2006-2023. 

      Faculty Fellow

      Ram Cnaan

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      Professor; Program Director, Program for Religion and Social Policy Research

      Faculty Director, Goldring Reentry Initiative

      About

      Ram Cnaan is Professor of Social Welfare, Director of the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research, and Faculty Director of the Goldring Reentry Initiative in the School of Social Policy & Practice. He is a world-renowned expert in studying faith-based social services and volunteerism. He carried out the first national study on the role of local religious congregations in the provision of social services as well as the first one-city census of congregations in one city (Philadelphia). Cnaan is now working on fiscally valuing the contribution of urban congregations as well as working on an edited volume on innovative nonprofit organizations and leading the Goldring Reentry Initiative to reduce ex-prisoners’ recidivism in Philadelphia. In addition, he serves on the editorial board of eleven academic journals. 

      Selected Publications

      Luria, G., R.A. Cnaan, and A. Boehm. In Press. “Religious attendance and volunteering: Testing national culture as a boundary condition.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

      Cnaan, Ram A. And Toorjo Ghose. 2017. “Doctoral Social Work Education.” Research on Social Work Practice. 

      Heist, D. H., and R.A. Cnaan. 2016. “Faith-based international development work: A review.” Religions 7(3): 1-17.

      Cnaan, R. A., and S. An. 2016. “Harnessing faith for improved quality of life: Government and faithbased nonprofit organizations in partnership.” Human Service Organizations Management, Leadership and Governance 40(3): 208-219.

      Cnaan, R. A., and D. Kaplan Vinokur. 2014. Cases in innovative nonprofits: Organizations that make a difference. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

      Faculty Fellow

      Heather Sharkey

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      Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC)

      About

      Heather J. Sharkey is Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in the School of Arts and Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in History from Princeton University after conducting research abroad on a Fulbright-Hays fellowship. Before joining the Penn faculty in 2002, she taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Trinity College in Connecticut. In 2011 she won the Charles Ludwig Distinguished Teaching Award from the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. During the 2012-13 year, she was a Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.

      Selected Publications

      Sharkey, Heather. 2017. A History of Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Middle East. Cambridge University Press.

      Sharkey, Heather. 2013. Cultural Conversions: Unexpected Consequences of Christian Missions in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Syracuse University Press.

      Sharkey, Heather and Mehmet Ali Doğan, eds. 2011. American Missionaries and the Middle East: Foundational Encounters. University of Utah Press.  

      Sharkey, Heather. 2008. American Evangelicals in Egypt: Missionary Encounters in an Age of Empire. Princeton University Press.

      Sharkey, Heather. 2003. Living with Colonialism: Nationalism and Culture in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. University of California Press. 

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