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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Faculty Fellow

Stefan Al

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Associate Professor of Urban Design

About

Stefan Al is an architect, urban designer, urban planner, scholar, educator, and author, currently serving as Associate Professor of Urban Design at the University of Pennsylvania. In his research, Professor Al aims to understand pressing issues in architecture and urban design, such as urbanization in developing countries, new forms of consumerism, compact city form, and adapting cities to climate change.

His recent sole-authored book The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream (The MIT Press) investigates the city’s experiments with architecture and branding. He is acclaimed for his work on Asian urbanism with published books investigating China’s informal settlements and Hong Kong’s compact urban form, including Factory Towns of South ChinaVillages in the City, Mall City, and Macau and the Casino Complex. He co-authored the book Beyond Mobility, making the case to connect people with places through transit-oriented development. His latest research is focused on designing compact and more resilient cities, most notably in his forthcoming book Adapting Cities to Sea Level Rise. Besides his academic publications, his work has been featured in influential media outlets including The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Marketplace, and Dezeen

Al’s career as a practicing architect includes work on renowned projects such as the 2,000-feet high Canton Tower in Guangzhou, the preservation of world heritage in Latin America at the World Heritage Center of UNESCO, and an 11,000-acre new eco-friendly city in India. He has also served as an advisor to the Hong Kong government, consulting on the development of the city’s harbor and external lighting guidelines, the Chinese government, advising on new urban design guidelines, and the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. 

Selected Publications

Al, Stefan. 2017. The Strip: Las Vegas and the Architecture of the American Dream. The MIT Press.

Al, Stefan, ed. 2016. Mall City: Hong Kong’s Dreamworlds of Consumption. University of Hawaii Press.

Al, Stefan, ed. 2014. Villages in the City: A Guide to South China’s Informal Settlements. University of Hawaii Press; Hong Kong University Press.

Al, Stefan, ed. 2012. Factory Towns of South China: An Illustrated Guidebook. Hong Kong University Press.

Faculty Fellow

Francesca Ammon

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Assistant Professor

About

Francesca Russello Ammon is Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning and Historic Preservation in the School of Design. As a cultural historian of the built environment, her teaching, research, and writing focus on the changing shapes and spaces of the 20th- and 21st-century American city. She grounds her interdisciplinary approach to this subject in the premise that the landscape materializes social relations, cultural values, and economic processes. In particular, she is interested in the ways that visual culture informs planning and design, the dynamic relationships between cities and nature, and the politics of place and space. 

Before joining the School of Design faculty, Ammon was a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has also held the Sally Kress Tompkins Fellowship, jointly sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) and the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). While completing her Ph.D. in American Studies, she held long-term fellowships as a Whiting Fellow in the Humanities, Ambrose Monell Foundation Fellow in Technology and Democracy at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, and John E. Rovensky Fellow with the Business History Conference.

For the past year and a half, Ammon has been a Researcher on the Mellon Foundation-funded project on “Photography and/of Architecture” at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. She is also currently a colloquium member of the Penn/Mellon Foundation Humanities + Urbanism + Design Initiative, and she is a recent past fellow of Penn’s Price Lab for Digital Humanities. 

Ammon is on the board of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH).

Selected Publications

Ammon, Francesca Russello. 2016. Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Ammon, Francesca Russello. 2015. “Post-Industrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey.” Journal of Urban History 41(2): 158-174.

Ammon, Francesca Russello. 2012. “Unearthing Benny the Bulldozer: The Culture of Clearance in Postwar Children’s Books.” Technology and Culture 53(2): 306-336.

Ammon, Francesca Russello. 2009. “Commemoration Amid Criticism: The Mixed Legacy of Urban Renewal in Southwest Washington, D.C.” Journal of Planning History 8(3): 175-220.

Faculty Fellow

Jonathan Barnett

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Professor Emeritus of Practice in City and Regional Planning

About

Jonathan Barnett is Professor Emeritus of Practice in City and Regional Planning and former Director of the Urban Design Program in the School of Design. He is an architect and planner as well as an educator and is the author of numerous books and articles on the theory and practice of city design. He has been an advisor to the cities of Charleston, SC, Cleveland, Kansas City, Miami, Nashville, New York City, Norfolk, Omaha, and Pittsburgh in the United States, as well as Xiamen and Tianjin in China. He has been the William Henry Bishop visiting professor at Yale, the Eschweiler Professor at the University of Wisconsin, the Kea Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland, and the Sam Gibbons Eminent Scholar at the University of South Florida, and is a guest professor at Southeast University in Nanjing. With his co-author, Larry Beasley, he teaches an on-line course, Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs, which is available on edX. Barnett was awarded the Dale Prize for Excellence in Urban Design and Regional Planning, the Athena Medal from the Congress for the New Urbanism, and the William H. Whyte Award from the Partners for Livable Communities for being a pioneer in urban design education and practice.

Selected Publications

Barnett, Jonathan and Brian W. Blaesser. 2017. Reinventing Development Regulation. Cambridge MA: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Barnett, Jonathan. 2016. City Design: Modernist, Traditional, Green, and Systems Perspectives, 2nd Edition.  New York, NY: Routledge.

Barnett, Jonathan and Larry Beasley. 2015. Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs. Washington: Island Press. 

Barnett, Jonathan, editor. 2007. Smart Growth in a Changing World. Chicago, Ill. : Planners Press, American Planning Association.

Barnett, Jonathan. 2012. “Jane Jacobs and Designing Cities as Organized Complexity.” In The Urban Wisdom of Jane Jacobs, edited by Sonia Hirt and Diane Zamora. New York, NY: Routledge.

Faculty Fellow

Eugénie L. Birch

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Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education

Chair of the Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning

Co-Director, Penn Institute for Urban Research

About

Eugenie Birch is the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Chair of Urban Research and Education. She teaches courses in global urbanization and the doctoral seminar and serves as chair, Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning, co-director, Penn Institute for Urban Research, co-editor, City in the 21st Century Series, University of Penn Press and co-editor, SSRN Urban Research e-journal. With Penn IUR she recently completed a project “Entreprenuership & Innovation in Connecticut’s Higher Education System,” for the state of Connecticut.

Professor Birch’s current research focuses on global urbanization with recent publications including:  Slums, How Informal Real Estate Markets Work, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press (2016) (edited with Susan Wachter, Shahana Chattaraj); “Midterm Report: Will Habitat III Make a Difference to Global Urban Development?” Journal of the American Planning Association 84:4 (Fall 2016); “The Institutions of Metropolitan Governance,” in D.A. Gomez-Alvarez, E. Moreno and R. Rajack (eds), Steering the Metropolis: Metropolitan Governance for Sustainable Urban Development (Nairobi: UN Habitat, 2017); “Inclusion and Innovation: The Many Forms of Stakeholder Engagement in Habitat III,” Citiscape (July 2017); “Implementing the New Urban Agenda in the United States, Building on a Firm Foundation,” Informationen zur Raumentwicklung (Information on Spatial Development) (Summer 2017).

Professor Birch has been active in the field's professional and civic organizations in the United States and abroad. She is president, General Assembly of Partners (GAP), the engagement platform for the implementation of the UN’s New Urban Agenda and associated global agreements, co-chair, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Thematic Group on Cities, and an Associate Editor, Journal of the American Planning Association. In the past, she has been president, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; president, Society of American City and Regional Planning History; president, International Planning History Society; and co-editor, Journal of the American Planning Association. She has been a member of the Planning Accreditation Board, having served as its chair from 2004-2006. She has been a member of the editorial boards of Planning Theory and Practice, Journal of Planning History, Journal of Planning Education and Research and Planning Perspectives. In the early 1990s, she was a member of the New York City Planning Commission, and in 2002, she served on the jury to select the designers for the World Trade Center site. She has chaired the Board of Trustees of the Municipal Art Society of New York and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Regional Plan Association of New York.

Professor Birch lectures widely. She has been Visiting Scholar, Queens University, Ontario, Canada; Foreign Scholar, University of Hong Kong; and Visiting Professor, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. In May 2017, she delivered the keynote address, “Making Cities Safe, Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable,” at the Dresden Nexus Conference, Dresden, Germany and “Post Habitat III Stakeholder Engagement: An Update” at the Wilson Center, Washington, DC.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning has given her its three awards: the Distinguished Educator Award in recognition of her teaching and research (2009), the Jay Chatterjee Award for Distinguished Service that "recognizes an individual whose exceptional service, actions and leadership have had a lasting and positive impact on the ACSP"(2006), and the Margarita McCoy Award, "in recognition of her outstanding contribution to furthering the advancement of women in the planning academy" (1994). The Society of American City and Regional Planning History awarded her its Lawrence C. Gerckens Prize (2009) in recognition of her contributions to planning history. The American Planning Association honored her with their APA President's Award in 2013.  This award is given out every other year in recognition of leadership in the field of planning. In 2000, she was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners and made a member (honorary) of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

The statement made by Professor Birch at the closing ceremony of the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) can be found here:  http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/watch/professor-of-education-and-research-of-university-of-pennsylvania-habitat-iii-closure-ceremony/5179115593001 

Selected Publications

Birch, Eugenie. 2017. “The Institutions of Metropolitan Governance.” In Steering the Metropolis: Metropolitan Governance for Sustainable Urban Development, edited by D.A. Gomez-Alvarez, E. Moreno, and R. Rajack. Nairobi: UN Habitat.

Birch, Eugenie. 2017. “Inclusion and Innovation: The Many Forms of Stakeholder Engagement in Habitat III.” Citiscape (July).

Birch, Eugenie. 2017. “Implementing the New Urban Agenda in the United States, Building on a Firm Foundation.” Informationen zur Raumentwicklung (Information on Spatial Development) (Summer).

Birch, Eugenie, Susan Wachter, and Shahana Chattaraj , eds. 2016. Slums, How Informal Real Estate Markets Work. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Birch, Eugenie. 2016. “Midterm Report: Will Habitat III Make a Difference to Global Urban Development?” Journal of the American Planning Association 84:4. 

Emerging Scholar

Seung Ah Byun

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Senior Planner for Water Resources, Brandywine Conservancy’s Municipal Assistance Program

About

Seung Ah Byun is the Senior Planner for Water Resources with the Brandywine Conservancy’s Municipal Assistance Program. Her responsibilities involve developing and managing innovative stormwater management practices, green infrastructure tools, and source water protection projects at the watershed and local scales. She also provides technical expertise to municipalities on compliance with state and federal water quality regulations such as MS4 and TMDL requirements. Previously, Seung Ah was a water resources engineer at CDM Smith, primarily consulting for the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Watersheds and CSO Program.  Seung Ah received her doctorate and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Design’s Department of City and Regional Planning. She also obtained a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Drexel University and a bachelor’s of science in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Seung Ah is a licensed Professional Engineer and is a LEED Accredited Professional. 

Selected Publications

Byun, Seung Ah. James T. Smullen, Mark Maimone, Robert E. Dickinson, and Christopher S. Crockett. (2003) “Overcoming Obstacles for the Application of SWMM to Large-scale Watersheds.” Practical Modeling of Urban Water Systems, Monograph 11. Edited by James, William. CHI, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Emerging Scholar

Caroline Cheong

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Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Central Florida

About

Caroline Cheong is an assistant professor in the History Department at the University of Central Florida. Her research focuses on the relationship between urban heritage conservation and economic development, values-based conservation management, conservation economics and poverty reduction. She earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in City and Regional Planning, her MS in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania and her BS in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. She was a US/ICOMOS International Exchange Intern in Al Houson, Jordan and a Graduate Intern at the Getty Conservation Institute where she evaluated the challenges and opportunities facing historic cities.  Previously, Caroline was the Director of Research for Heritage Strategies International and PlaceEconomics through which she published numerous research reports and professional publications focusing on the economic impacts of historic preservation with Donovan Rypkema.

Selected Publications

Macdonald, Susan and Caroline Cheong. The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Conserving Heritage Buildings, Sites and Historic Urban Areas: A Literature Review. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Publications, 2014

Cheong, Caroline. Instruments for urban regeneration: Mixed-capital companies. (2014). Manuscript submitted for publication. Prepared for Eduardo Rojas.

Cheong, Caroline. Creative Cities and Place. (2013). Manuscript submitted for publication. Prepared for Donovan Rypkema, Erasmus University and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands.

Cheong, Caroline. Cruise Ship Tourism: Issues and Trends. Prepared for the World Monuments Fund for “Harboring Tourism: A Symposium on Cruise Ships in Historic Port Communities,” 2012.

Affiliated PhD Student

Laurent Corroyer

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Doctoral Candidate, City and Regional Planning, School of Design, University of Pennslyvania

About

David Stanek is a doctoral student in city and regional planning in the University of Pennslyvania's School of Design.
Faculty Fellow

Thomas Daniels

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Professor; Director of Land Use and Environmental Planning Concentration

About

Tom Daniels is Professor of City and Regional Planning and Director of the Land Use and Environmental Planning Concentration in the Department of City and Regional Planning in the School of Design. His main areas of interest are farmland preservation, growth management, and the connection between land use and water quality. Daniels often serves as a consultant to state and local governments and land trusts. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where for nine years he managed the county’s nationally recognized farmland preservation program. Daniels’ has taught at SUNY-Albany, Kansas State University, and Iowa State University and has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of the American Planning Association. In 2002 he was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Selected Publications

Daniels, Thomas. 2014. The Environmental Planning Handbook, 2nd edition. APA Planners Press, 2014.

Daniels, Thomas and Doug Walker. 2011. The Planners Guide to CommunityViz. APA Planners Press.

Daniels, Tom. 2010. “Integrating Forest Carbon Sequestration Into a Cap-and-Trade Program to Reduce Net CO2 Emissions.” Journal of the American Planning Association 76(4).

Daniels, Tom. 2009. “A Trail Across Time: American Environmental Planning from City Beautiful to Sustainability.” Journal of the American Planning Association 75(2).

Daniels, Tom. 1999. When City and Country Collide: Managing Growth in the Metropolitan Fringe. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Affiliated PhD Student

Eliza Davenport Whiteman

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Doctoral Candidate, City and Regional Planning, University of Pennsylvania

About

Eliza is a PhD Student in the City & Regional Planning program at PennDesign. Her research interests focus on issues of food access and food insecurity in urban environments. She uses a mixed-methods approach to explore spatiotemporal dynamics of food and health across the urban planning, public health and social welfare disciplines. She received an MS in Nutrition Policy and an MA in Urban & Environmental Planning from Tufts University and a BA in Sustainable Agriculture from The Evergreen State College. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked on city food policy issues at the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative, and in Portland, Oregon, where she served on the Portland-Multnomah Food Policy Council and worked at a non-profit food education organization. 

Selected Publications

Johnson, M. P., Hollander, J. B., & Whiteman, E. D. (2015). Data and Analytics for Neighborhood Development: Smart Shrinkage Decision Modeling in Baltimore, Maryland. In Planning Support Systems and Smart Cities (pp. 61–76). Springer International Publishing.

Auerbach, A., McCabe, K., & Whiteman, E. D. (2014). A Health Impact Assessment of the Massachusetts Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. Health Resources in Action. 

Affiliated PhD Student

Xiaoxia Dong

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PhD Candidate, City and Regional Planning, University of Pennslyvania

About

Xiaoxia Dong is a doctoral student in the Department of City and Regional Planning at PennDesign. His research interest lies in transportation and infrastructure planning. In particular, he is eager to explore how the potential of new transportation technologies and services such as driverless cars and ride-hailing can be maximized to create accessible and sustainable urban environment. Having witnessed the success and failure of many of these emerging technologies and services in China, he also hopes to incorporate an international perspective into his research. His goal is to enable policy makers to make informed decisions when facilitating urban development with respect to new transportation technologies and services. Xiaoxia has a BA degree in Urban Planning from the University of Utah and a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as a transportation planner at Fehr and Peers where he participated in multimodal planning, traffic impact studies, master planning, and statistical analyses. He also interned at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Beijing after college where he learned the current sustainability related policies and practices in China.

Selected Publications

Dong, Xiaoxia. 2014 “A High Speed Future.” Panorama. University of Pennsylvania, School of Design.

Dong, Xiaoxia. 2011 “Wisdom of the Businessmen of Chicago” (In Chinese). Peking University Business Review. Peking University.

Affiliated PhD Student

Chandan Deuskar

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PhD Candidate, City and Regional Planning, University of Pennslyvania

About

Chandan Deuskar is a doctoral student in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. His research interests relate to rapid urbanization in the developing world and its relationship with urban poverty and economic growth, the spatial form of cities, and urban land issues. Between 2011 and 2016, he worked at the World Bank on urban development in Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia, Malaysia, Haiti, and Palestine, as well as regional and global studies which used new data and methods to standardize the definition and measurement of urban areas to allow international comparison of urbanization and its impacts. In 2011, Chandan obtained a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his thesis was on land readjustment as a means of acquiring land for urban expansion in Ahmedabad, India. He also holds a BA in architecture from Columbia University. He grew up in Mumbai, India, and has also lived in Dubai, New York, Boston, and Washington, DC. 

Selected Publications

World Bank. "East Asia's Changing Urban Landscape: Measuring a Decade of Spatial Growth." (2015).

Sanyal, Bishwapriya, and Chandan Deuskar. "A better way to grow? Town planning schemes as a hybrid land readjustment process in Ahmedabad, India." Value capture and land policies 149 (2012): 182.

Penn IUR Scholar

Billy Fleming

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Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ian L. McHarg Center, University of Pennsylvania

About

Billy is a post-doctoral fellow at the Ian L. McHarg Center with a background in urban design and policy development. He graduated with a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arkansas where also served as the Student Government President during his final year – the first design student to do so in the University’s 140-year history. Upon graduation, he was presented with the Senior Citation Award, which honors the top undergraduate man and woman across the entire campus. Billy then practiced as a landscape architect in the Middle East, specializing in the development of afforestation strategies in water-scarce environments before returning to graduate school at the University of Texas. While there, he served as a research assistant to Dean Fritz Steiner and was presented with the award for the top master’s thesis within the UT School of Architecture. After graduation, Billy worked in the White House Domestic Policy Council during the first term of President Obama’s Administration and his portfolio included the Sustainable Communities Initiative and the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (National Parks Service). His dissertation work is focused on the nature of climate change adaptation in coastal cities and it is informed greatly by his work and academic experience.

Selected Publications

B. Fleming. 2015. Towards a Megaregional Future: Analysing Progress, Assessing Priorities in the US Megaregion Project. In J. Harrison and M. Hoyler (Eds.), Megaregions: Globalization's New Urban Form?, (pp. 200-229). London: Edward Elgar Publishing.

B. Fleming. 2015. "Can We Rebuild by Design?"LA+, 1(1): 104-111.

B. Fleming. 2015. "Book Review: Crisis Cities: Disaster and Redevelopment in New York and New Orleans." Journal of the American Planning Association, 84(2): 158-159.

B. Fleming. 2015 (in-press). "Double-Book Review: The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong & The Social Roots of Risk: Producing Disasters, Promoting Resilience." Journal of the American Planning Association, 84(4).

B. Fleming 2016 (in-press). "Lost in Translation: The Authorship Structure and Argumentation of Resilience." Landscape Journal, 35(1).

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