April 22, 2011

Earth Day Release of “The Penn Resolution: Educating Urban Designers for Post-Carbon Cities”

Penn IUR and PennDesign celebrate the 41st annivesary of Earth Day with the release The Penn Resolution, A Landmark Sustainabilty Manifesto to Guide the Training of 21st Century Urban Designers

Philadelphia, PA– The Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) and PennDesign celebrate Earth Day with the release of The Penn Resolution: Educating Urban Designers for Post-Carbon Cities, a richly illustrated roadmap to guide 21st century urban design education.

The Penn Resolution contributes to the field’s rich heritage of manifestos.  Each manifesto, in its own era, has transformed urban design practice by offering timely responses to changing social, economic, and environmental conditions.

The Penn Resolution‘s sharp focus on sustainability frames clear principles for educating designers, both in school and in practice, to shrink the carbon footprint of the urban world. Its inventive integration of text and imagery —  apt quotations, exemplary projects —  illustrates the translation of the principles into new ideas, approaches, and connections. 

The Penn Resolution highlights the challenges posed by changing climate patterns and diminishing supplies of inexpensive oil and outlines the skills that both new and practicing urban designers will need to meet these challenges. An essay places the book in historical context, discussing the use of manifestos throughout the history of urban design.

With the issuing of the Penn Resolution, Gary Hack, Dean Emeritus of PennDesign, observes that “over half the world’s population now lives in cities, a percentage that will increase to two-thirds in the next two decades.” The Penn Resolution answers an urgent need to rethink urban design education. He warns: “If we are going to meet the dual challenges of reducing our over-reliance on oil and reversing the growth of carbon emissions, we are going to have to design cities differently. That means acquiring new knowledge and skills.”

A PDF of the book can be viewed or downloaded for free below.  Readers will also have an opportunity to buy a softcover book online in early May.  Details will be posted on the Penn IUR website when available.

The Penn Resolution was developed by attendees of the Re-Imagining Cities: Urban Design After the Age of Oil conference hosted by Penn IUR and PennDesign. The conference and publication were made possible with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.


To download full .pdf, select the “View on Slideshare” option in the lower left of the window above.

A collection of working papers that were solicited after the conference are available here.


Media Contact:

Deborah Lang
Communications Director

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