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Through the Faculty Fellows Program, the Institute fosters an environment that encourages cross-disciplinary connections and nurtures a collaborative spirit among faculty across the 12 schools. This program identifies faculty with a demonstrated interest in urban research and provides research and communication services.

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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.

x

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.

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