UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DESIGN FALL 2011
STUDENT NEWSLETTER OF PENNPLANNING
Is Planning Relevant? The Greats Respond Last April, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Professor Thomas Campanella issued a scathing pronouncement of city and regional planning. In an article entitled, “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning.” Campanella used such terms as “minor,” “irrelevant,” “trivial” and “impotent,” to describe planning and planning professionals. Campanella argues that planning efforts have been unsuccessful over the last 50 years, culminating in his realization that “planners in America lack the agency or authority to turn idealism into reality,” and that “planning has neither the prestige nor the street cred to effect real change.” Campanella blames Jane Jacobs’ revolutionary response to urban renewal in the postwar period for this outcome. He claims her emphasis on grassroots, bottom-up planning resulted in the disintegration of planning profession in three ways: First, Jacobs deemphasized physical design as the core of the profession, voiding planners’ sense of purpose. Second, Jacobs’ emphasis on community participation in planning has usurped planners’ authority. Finally, Jacobs so vilified planners that today’s professionals lack boldness in their proposals. In an effort to explore these contentions, Penn Planning invited three noted planning educators to address each statement. First, MIT’s Lawrence Susskind spoke to the argument that planning has gone too far in elevating citizen participation over professional expertise. Susskind asserted that community engagement is needed to help planners and city officials generate public excitement for new planning and development initiatives. He also claimed that greater public participation better allows planners to develop worst-case scenarios addressing such issues as poverty and growing inequality. In October, Martin Wachs from the University of California-Berkeley addressed the transformational power of planning today.
“Construction Potentials: Postwar Prospects and Problems, a Basis for Action,” Architectural Record, 1943. Prepared by the F.W. Dodge Corporation Committee on Postwar Construction Markets. Retrieved from http://places.designobserver.com/feature/jane-jacobs-and-the-death-and-life-of-american-planning/25188/
Penn Planning Welcomes New Faculty This fall, Penn Planning welcomes two new faculty members to the department. Evan Rose is a new Professor of Practice in the department. He is the founder of Urban Design+, a full-service urban design, planning and sustainability firm focusing on developmentready design for public and private clients, and a partner in !Melk, a landscape and urban design practice based in New York. Previously, Mr. Rose was a Principal at SMWM. He led the urban design practice for 11 years and built the firm’s New York office. Mr. Rose also worked as the Senior Urban Designer for the San Francisco Planning Department where he authored the award-winning San Francisco Waterfront Urban Design and Access Plan and initiated and implemented the acclaimed San Francisco Downtown Streetscape Plan. Mr. Rose completed his Master of Architecture at the University of California-Berkeley and his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Reed College. He has worked in the U.S. and abroad leading a variety of major design commissions, including the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative in Washington, DC, the Boston Central Artery Master Plan, the Kamenskoe Plato project in Kazakhstan and, currently, the Pier 70 Redevelopment Plan in San Francisco. Mr. Rose has been a regular critic of architecture and urban design studios, and served as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University and at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Scott Page is the founder of Interface Studio, a nationally-recognized urban design firm based in Philadelphia which takes on the challenge of shrinking cities and communities. The firm has earned two awards from the American Planning Association, and one from the American Society of Landscape Architects. Recent work has included industrial strategies in former manufacturing powerhouses, including Philadelphia, Detroit and Louisville. Mr. Page is a new Lecturer in the department. He received his MCP and a Certificate in Urban Design from Penn Planning in 1996. He completed his Bachelor of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, which included a year of study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts la Villette in Paris. Mr. Page regular contributes to Planetizen’s Interchange blog, and his research on urban design, emerging technologies and sustainability has been presented and published in the United States and Europe. Mr. Rose teaches the Public Realm studio for second year urban design students; Mr. Page teaches CPLN 504, Site Planning & Urban Design Methods. 1
letter from the chair (Campanella continued from Page 1)
Wachs said that planners lend a critical perspective to infrastructure and development, especially in regard to pressing problems such as power grids and a transnational transportation system. Wachs also noted that planners are right to engage the public in the planning process. He cited as an example a Chinese city which failed to consult citizens before developing the Central Business District downwind from a port – resulting in an unpleasant smell. The last lecture in the series was presented by Susan Fainstein of Harvard. Fainstein agreed with Campanella that the participatory process has been elevated to greater importance than the expected outcomes. Further, Fainstein noted, “Participatory processes can often produce unjust results, because the participants do not usually take account of the interests of those not participating, they may favor short-term benefits over long-term good, or they are unable to envision alternatives to what they see around them.” Fainstein also agreed with Campanella that contemporary planning lacks vision, but she asserted this is a result from making inter-city competition, rather that social justice, the focus of contemporary planning. Fainstein questioned, however, why Campanella regards Jacobs as antagonistic to a physical-planning focus, since her main concern in Death and Life of Great American Cities is with the physical development of the city and its impact on social life. Are Campanella’s assertions correct? Is Jane Jacobs to blame? Penn Planning thanks Professors Susskind, Wachs, and Fainstein for helping us weigh the allegations.
Programme Manager, The Cities Alliance
Tues. Sept. 6th 5PM B1*
LESLIE HEWITT Visual Artist
Thur. Sept. 15th 6:30PM ICA Tuttleman Auditorium
LAWRENCE SUSSKIND Urban Studies & Planning, MIT
Mon. Sept. 19th 6PM B3*
STEPHAN KIERAN JAMES TIMBERLAKE JOSEPH RYKWERT DANIEL FRIEDMAN
Work and Words 1: Exhibiting Innovation
ALAN BERGER Mon. Dec. 5th 6PM Upper Gallery*
Professor, Department of Urban Planning & Design Harvard, GSD
Mon. Oct. 31st 6PM B3*
GUSTAVO ARAOZ President, International Council on Monuments & Sites
Mon. Sept. 26th 6PM B3*
Wed Nov. 2nd 6PM B3*
CITY HALL SYMPOSIUM
Wed. Sept. 28th 6:30PM B1*
WANG SHU Chief Architect, Amateur Architecture Studio Professor & Dean, School of Architecture China Academy of Art
Sat. Nov. 5th 5PM Lower Gallery / B1*
Thur. Oct. 6th 6:30PM ICA Tuttleman Auditorium
Wed. Dec. 7th 6PM B3*
STEFAN SAGMEISTER Graphic Designer
Thur. Dec. 8th 6:30PM ICA Tuttleman Auditorium
KRISTINA FORD Mon. Nov. 10th 6PM Kelly Writers House
Professor, Polytechnic University of Valencia
Horticulture & Planting Designer
Visiting Professor of Public Policy Leadership University of Mississippi
Associate Curator & Director of Education for the Renaissance Society, University of Chicago
FERNANDO VEGAS LÓPEZ-MANZANARES
Mon. Nov. 7th 6PM B1*
KENGO KUMA Principal, Kengo Kuma and Associates
Associate Professor of Urban Design & Landscape Architecture MIT
Mon. Oct. 3rd 6:30PM B1*
Wed. Oct. 5th 6PM Upper / Lower Gallery*
Thur. Nov. 17th 6:30PM ICA Tuttleman Auditorium
SUSAN S. FAINSTEIN
Principal, Goody Clancy
Director, O’Donnell & Tuomey, Professor of Architectural Design, University College Dublin
Mon. Oct. 24th 6:30PM B1*
Co-sponsor: Creative Ventures Project Kelly Writers House
GRACE LA & JAMES DALLMAN Principals, La Dallman
Mon. Nov. 14th 7PM Upper / Lower Gallery*
Mon. Oct. 10th 6PM Lower Gallery*
MARTIN WACHS Professor, UCLA & Rand Corporation
Mon. Oct. 17th 6PM B3*
BING THOM & WITOLD RYBCZYNSKI Principal, Bing Thom Architects; Meyerson Professor of Urbanism, PennDesign
Wed. Oct. 19th 6:30PM B3* Co-Sponsor: Bertman F. Brummer
FALL 2011 LECTURE SERIES
Designed by Abigail Smith Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, 2011.
The LINK: News from PennPlanning
Planning is in the midst of a major paradigm change, and as anyone who has read Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions knows, paradigm changes don’t come easy. Planning’s first paradigm, which ran in the U.S. from the turn of the 20th century until the early 1970s, was all about plan-making and regulation: Community plans were developed to lay out future land use and infrastructure patterns, and accompanying land use regulations-typically subdivision controls and zoning-were adopted as implementation tools. Planning’s second paradigm, which rose out of the environmental movement during the 1970s, was all about making the planning process more participatory; and then, beginning in the 1980s, more cognizant Professor John Landis. of uneven power relationships. Neither paradigm was particularly concerned about measuring outcomes or learning from success or failure-the things everyday people care most about-and as a result, the discipline of planning gradually lost influence and importance. The new planning paradigm, call it Planning 3.0, will be all about measuring outcomes and developing implementation models that generate successful outcomes. In the area of settlement forms, Planning 3.0 will revisit the issue of sprawl to determine which land use forms and infrastructure networks (including green infrastructure networks) work best in which contexts. In the area of transportation, Planning 3.0 will focus on how to better plan multi-modal transportation systems which give travelers more choices while limiting carbon emissions. In the areas of housing and community development, Planning 3.0 will focus on effective neighborhood upgrading. In the realm of urban design, Planning 3.0 will leave dogmatic labels behind, take on an international bent, and focus on how people actually use public and private spaces, and how they add to the urban livability.
Here at PennPlanning, we will devote the next five years to better defining and developing Planning 3.0. We will sharpen our theoretical frames and analytical skills to better recognize successful planning outcomes; and develop new institutional models to better transfer them from one context to another. We will focus on planning for the issues that matter most on the world stage: climate change, urban management, and rising income inequality. Most of all, recognizing that change must be guided, we will teach our students how to work with communities of every geography, composition, and orientation to become effective global change agents.
RICHARD WELLER Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Western Australia
*Most events are held at Meyerson Hall and are free & open to the public.
by JOHN LANDIS
These are but three examples of how Planning 3.0 will focus on adding value to people’s daily lives. Planning 3.0 will be instantaneous in speed, collaborative in nature, and global in scope: It will draw positive outcome city-building examples from Asia and explore their application in North America and Europe. It will take positive urban design and place-making outcomes in cities like Vancouver (British Columbia) or human-scale transportation planning outcomes in cities like Freiburg (Germany) and apply them in rapidly-growing cities such as Beijing and Lagos. It will replace obsolete national and monolithic housing policies-such as the U.S.’s exclusive focus on expanding mortgage availability to homeowners-with more nuanced, varied, and locally-oriented programs that place housing policy within neighborhood improvement and economic opportunity efforts, whether in Brazil’s favelas or America’s older urban neighborhoods. It will explore the quality of life and place characteristics that will make cities competitive in the global economy without forcing them to compete with each other in a race to the bottom.
ELEVATE. WILLIAM COBBETT
Meyerson Hall 210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 www.design.upenn.edu
Note: This document also appears on the PennPlanning website.
the penn community Q & A with Scott Q: What drew you to Penn? S: Penn is a big part of the discussion around planning in Philadelphia. As a student, I was drawn to the diverse program offered here.
Penn Planning Students Win ULI Fellowship, Corsica Award
Q: What was your most formative professional experience?
Lecturer Scott Page.
S: The most formative professional experience I’ve had is in starting Interface, because I’ve had to form my own view around what I think planning is. This started out because I was doing work in Lower North Philadelphia, and I discovered so much vacancy, like I’ve never seen before. Because I didn’t have an answer, I needed to spend some time thinking about it. Lower North challenged me in ways that other places had not.
Q: Can you talk about how your plans unite design and community engagement? S: For us, community engagement is not contrary to good design. In fact, it’s integral. Community design is formed by what we learn on the ground. Part of our role is to listen to the community and edit their ideas along with our own to make a plan going forward. Q: What should be the most important “take-away” for students from a graduate program, beyond a degree? S: Keep an open mind. As planners and designers, we tend to think we have the answer. But there is no black and white answer, just a lot of different perspectives. It’s important to keep an open mind about what we can accomplish.
Q & A with Evan Q: What drew you to Penn? E: The best MCP program in the US and a renewed focus on the potential of interdisciplinary approach to urban design that is evident everywhere from the Dean to each of the departments. It’s an honor to be a part of this ongoing effort. On a personal note, I went to HS in South Jersey and my dad has lived there for 40 years—I’m a hardcore Flyers, Phillies, and Sixers fan!
Penn Planning congratulates second-year Master of City and Regional Planning candidates Ryan Bash and Rachel Strauss, both of whom were recently recognized for their outstanding scholarship. Ryan has been chosen as an Urban Land Institute Chamberlin Fellow. Named after Stephen Chamberlin (MCP ’71), the program provides the highest level of exposure to the Institute for the best and brightest graduate students in real estate. The program is endowed through the ULI Foundation and offers twelve graduate student fellows across the nation opportunities to participate in ULI events and educational activities. Graduate Student Fellows are afforded two years of full ULI membership “at a time when these experiences will have the greatest benefit in the formative years of their professional careers,” according to ULI. In addition to full membership, Ryan’s Chamberlin Fellowship includes registration to attend ULI semi-annual meetings throughout the membership, registration to one additional ULI conference or workshop annually, travel and lodging allowances for all conferences and admission to a Product Council, as well as its meetings and functions. Ryan is currently studying Public and Private Development at Penn Planning, and serves as Treasurer and Director of Membership for the PennDesign Real Estate Club.
Professor of Practice Evan Rose.
Q: Which, if any, of your planning projects presented unique/interesting challenges? E: Short answer, they all do! My approach has always been to not apply formulas or preconceptions to my work, rather to let each project reveal its own character, whether through site, program, community, etc. In that way, every project is inherently interesting and challenging because it takes time to observe and learn the uniqueness in each site. Q: How did you enjoy working in Kazakhstan? E: It was exhilarating, disturbing, intriguing, weird. On the one hand, we were given pretty free reign to develop ideas for a big chunk of the new capital city, Astana. On the other hand, it was also completely autocratic—they picked our design (which we did in 3 months) [and] immediately rushed me to the Mayor to present it for his approval. One month later, the President approved it and they started construction. Q: What do you hope to share with students at Penn?
Rachel was awarded the John J. Corsica Scholarship, named for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Executive Director from 1980 to 2006. DVRPC established the Corsica Scholarship Fund in 2005 and recognizes one outstanding Penn Masters of City Planning student each year. Rachel is currently studying Sustainable Transportation and Infrastructure Planning. She says she hopes that “as a planner, I will be able to listen to communities’ concerns and foster a collaborative environment so that transportation projects are not solely discussed for the impacts they will have on the infrastructure system” but also on the surrounding environment and neighborhoods.
E: A lot I hope! My enthusiasm for cities and urban design, my focus on always observing and learning from urban environments, my 20 years of experience working as an urban designer at every scale and, especially, my belief that urban design can be a proactive engagement in solving intense urban problems. Fall 2011 University of Pennsylvania School of Design
Planners Network is an association of progressive planning. Our members are professionals, activists, academics, and students involved in physical, social, economic, and environmental planning in urban and rural areas. We serve as a voice for social, economic, and environmental justice through planning.
Penn’s chapter seeks to engage the Penn community through events and speakers on topics related to progressive planning. We strive to present a diverse set of viewpoints on current issues facing cities and planners.
Progressive Planners Network Resurrected at Penn by ANNE MISAK (MCP ‘12) & ELIZABETH FRANTZ (MCP ‘12) In the spring of 2011, a group of planning students re-established a chapter of the national, progressive organization the Planners Network at Penn. Penn’s chapter of the Planners Network seeks to engage the Penn community through events and speakers on topics related to progressive planning. Our mission is to serve as a voice for social, economic, and environmental justice through planning. We strive to present a diverse set of viewpoints on current issues facing cities and planners. The Planners Network is a national organization of planners, academics, community activists, and students Have you seen a space like this in “involved in physical, social, Philadelphia? Ever wonder what is economic, and environmental being done to deal with the 40,000 planning in urban and rural areas, vacant lots in the city? who promote fundamental change in our political and economic systems.” They produce a quarterly magazine called Progressive Planning, hold an annual conference, and generally serve as Come to the Vacant Land a network for those interested and Management Panel! Thursday March 31st involved in planning as a means 6-7:30 pm Meyerson Hall, B3 to achieve social and economic Reception will follow justice. John Kromer, Fels Professor and Candidate for Philadlephia Sheriff Speakers Include:
Bridget Greenwald, Philadelphia Managing Director’s Office Ira Goldstein, The Reinvestment Fund Jill Feldstein, Women’s Community Revitalization Project Skip Wiener, Urban Tree Connection
For the first event of the Penn Planners Network, we convened a panel called “Filling in the Gaps: Vacant Land Management in Philadelphia” in March 2011. Panel participants included: Fels Institute of Government professor and Philadelphia Sheriff candidate John Kromer; Bridget Greenwald from the City of Philadelphia’s Managing Director’s Office; Catherine Califano, Associate Director of Policy Solutions at The Reinvestment Fund; Jill Feldstein, Organizing Director at the Women’s Community Revitalization Project; and Skip Wiener, Founder and Executive Director at the Urban Tree Connection. There are currently about 40,000 vacant lots in Philadelphia, about 10,000 of which are city owned. A report done in Fall 2010 by Econsult estimated that maintaining vacant lots and dealing with abandoned properties costs the City about $20 million a year. The report also estimated that vacant and abandoned properties decrease real estate values by a total of $3.6 billion throughout the city. The panelists discussed the issue from their various perspectives. Professor Kromer and Ms. Califano discussed some of the national trends to deal with vacant land, such as the idea of a Land Bank, which helps to amass and hold vacant land until it can be developed. Ms. Greenwald talked about the City’s internal task force that recommended policies like increased use of the side lot program, whereby a property owner could gain control 4
The LINK: News from PennPlanning
of the lot next door if it is vacant. Ms. Feldstein and Mr. Wiener talked about the work their organizations are doing to insure community control at the neighborhood level over vacant land so it becomes a community resource instead of a blighting influence. The panel was attended by over sixty students, faculty and community members. During the 2011-2012 school year, we plan to build on the success of the Vacant Land Panel. We will hold two panels and one arts event showcasing community performance groups from the City. In January, we plan to hold a panel event to explore the concept of healthy food access and food justice, including how to develop local food hubs in Philadelphia. Later in the spring, we plan to hold a panel on alternative economic development techniques like cooperatively owned businesses and local currency models. Stay tuned for more information on these and other upcoming events.
UrbTrans Focuses on Philadelphia Projects by LIZA COHEN (MCP ‘12) & CHRIS DIPRIMA (MCP ‘12) The Urban Transportation Systems Group – UrbTrans for short – exists to give students a chance to connect with transportation planning professionals in order to better understand the field and its role in the functioning of urban environments. The group is comprised of first and second year transportation planning students, as well as others from a variety of disciplines. This year’s presentations have focused on projects all over Philadelphia. Brian Shaw, Director of Business Services at Penn, spoke about transit planning on college campuses, while Gregory Krykewycz of the DVRPC’s Office of Transit, Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning spoke about bus stop design standards and new ideas for creating more pedestrian-friendly waiting areas. The rest of the semester will include talks from SEPTA’s Erik Johanson on financing the new fare system, Center City District’s Paul Levy on bike lanes and the Dilworth Plaza upgrades, and DVRPC’s Ted Dahlburg on freight planning and the Philadelphia Airport expansion. Looking to next semester, Bob Wright of Urban Engineers will visit us in January.
Real Estate Club Offers Industry Exposure by PAUL CAINE (MCP ‘12) The Real Estate Club is off to a strong start. Since the start of the semester, notable events have included an internship panel for students interested in real estate, an organizational meeting for the ULI Hines Competition, and a construction walk-through of the former Strawbridge & Clothier department store. Students in the club have also participated in several functions through the Zell-Lurie Real Estate Center, including the fall meeting and the Ballard lunches, and boosted real estate skills with workshops on Excel financial modeling and Argus. These events provide valuable networking opportunities, skill development, and exposure to different facets of the real estate industry. As the year continues, the club encourages interested students to get involved—all concentrations and degrees are welcome.
the frontline Penn Alum Finds Love, Planning in Philly by MARTHA CROSS (MCP ‘03) At 17, I ran away screaming from Indiana’s amber waves of grain towards Pittsburgh. As an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon studying architecture, I found a passion for cities and design and discovered urban planning. I also discovered I did not want to be an architect. I was drawn to Penn for my Master’s because of its location in Philadelphia, the department’s location within a larger school of design, and the availability of a planning degree (as opposed to an “urban design” degree). My time at Penn was spent trying to balance learning more about design with understanding the mechanisms, methods, and players in the world of development and redevelopment. As much as I loved workshop, studio, and site planning, I also found myself interested in law, policy, and manipulating data in Excel. Since graduating, my role as an urban designer has been ever changing and evolving. In my first job, I worked in both the public and private sector, writing vision plans for the public and drawing compact, walkable communities for the private. However, the world has changed; less money, less speculation, and less development has seemed to equal less opportunity for urban design. This shift has meant that I’ve focused a lot of time and energy thinking about and hopefully changing the role of urban design in planning. Simply stated, urban design looks at the space between buildings, their relationship with each other, and the public realm. As an urban designer, my challenge is to use the opportunities created by development, redevelopment, and land use regulations to affect the public realm on a greater scale. Yet I’m starting to find out there is a lot of planning that happens without urban designers. What would a community look like if it was built entirely “by right” of its current zoning code? What would that vacant site look like if it were redeveloped? Redevelopment plans and zoning ordinances are often done entirely as technical documents with few maps or graphics. I find that my role is to introduce the principles of urban design and incorporate clear, easy-to-
Penn Planning Alumna Martha Cross
understand graphics which allow these technical documents to illustrate and codify the community’s vision. I design, through regulatory controls, with an eye for what towns are legally allowed to control and how the development community will participate in implementing the vision. One of the more interesting presentations that I’ve given highlights how the current allowable zoning setbacks and lot sizes could potentially transform a historic residential neighborhood into a suburban-style, large lot home development. As a result of my time at Penn, I both fell in love and fell in love with Philadelphia. I now live in Center City, I go to New Jersey every day to work in a small urban design and planning firm called Group Melvin Design, and I teach Urban Design at Drexel and Planning Workshop at Penn. I consider myself an urban designer AND an urban planner. If I had to pick one…I might just create a new word. Because, honestly, it wouldn’t mean I’d spend any more or less time than I do now explaining to my family what I do for a living.
About The Link
Call all Alumni!
The Link is published by students of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design.
Bryan Barnett-Woods, Andrea Buglione, Paul Caine, Liza Cohen, Martha Cross, Chris DiPrima, Elizabeth Frantz, Cristina Haworth, Lizzie Hessmiller, Katie Holmquist, Anne Misak, Scott Page, Rapheal Randall, Evan Rose, Dani Schwartz, Domenic Vitiello, Jesica Youngblood and John Landis
Please make sure we have your current address on file! We are missing the email addresses of many of our alumni. Since we are trying to reduce the amount of paper we send out, having a current email address is crucial to keeping you informed. Send updates to Kate Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org. edu or better yet, update your info at: http://www.alumniconnections.com/penn/
Department of City & Regional Planning University of Pennsylvania 210 South 34th Street 127 Meyerson Hall Philadelphia, PA 19104-6311 Phone: 215.898.8329 Fax: 215.898.5731
Senior Editor: Katie Olson, MCP ‘12 Special Thanks: Kate Daniel
Fall 2011 University of Pennsylvania School of Design
summer internships City of Binghamton, New York by ANDREA BUGLIONE (MCP ‘12)
I interned this summer in my hometown, Binghamton, NY, with the city’s planning department, as a “Climate Action Intern.” I benefited greatly from both an understaffed department and enthusiastic supervisors. By the end of 2 1/2 months, I had written an ordinance on urban agriculture, drafted a zoning update and design handbook for green infrastructure, and led an interdepartmental stormwater management working group. A basic knowledge of environmental planning acquired over the course of the previous year, was key to translating federal policy into a more coherent local strategy for stormwater management. The ability to articulate the benefits of proposed policies in quantitative terms also proved an invaluable skill. Anticipating opposition from developers regarding more stringent landscaping requirements, my stormwater team produced a handbook on the long-term financial benefits of green infrastructure. For another project we conducted a preliminary assessment on projected property tax revenue increases from proximity to the city’s enhanced community gardens and public spaces. Beyond professional development, this experience exposed me to the political realities facing suburban communities. As a participant in site visits and public meetings, I learned firsthand that planners need to be negotiators. Developers may be willing to create more appealing projects if the planners approving their proposals are approachable and realistic. For example, we were able to
convince a handful of developers to incorporate bioswales and tree planters into their designs, on the premise that better landscaped parking lots attract more customers to a business. Local politics can often discourage effective planning, a frustrating realization; However, I left the internship with a renewed faith that local planning departments are the best platform for idea sharing and collaborative, interdepartmental action. Binghampton’s efforts to implement creative stormwater management and water quality solutions, are steps in the right direction.
Kittelson & Associates, Inc. by JESICA YOUNGBLOOD (MCP ‘12)
This summer, I was fortunate enough to intern for Kittelson Associates, Inc., a leading transportation and planning firm. Though my concentration within Penn’s program is Land Use, I wanted the opportunity to explore this field. Working for KAI provided me with basic skill sets in engineering computer programs such as AutoCAD, Synchro, and SIDRA, and allowed me to familiarize myself with federal transportation literature. I worked extensively on a bicycle and pedestrian safety project in Washington, DC, conducting field data studies concerning traffic counts, signal timing, and pedestrian level of service measures. I also worked on a TOD master plan for Aberdeen, Maryland, which primarily focused on revitalizing the downtown core. This project required GIS analysis, stakeholder meetings and participation, as well as documentation creation. Other projects included analyzing the geography and frequency of crash data, designing a roundabout by hand for a project in northwest Pennsylvania, and
calculating the number of trips generated by specific land uses for a proposed campus plan extension for Under Armour. My greatest satisfaction was creating a pedestrian level of service model following guidelines established by the Federal Highway Administration. The model allows the user to calculate a desired level of comfort in the pedestrian experience, based on a variety of inputs such as the number of lanes crossed, pedestrian circulation space, and signal cycle length. At KAI, I worked with a variety of engineers, planners, and public officials, which provided me better insight into the mechanisms controlling planning design and execution. KAI afforded me the opportunity to attend functions in the DC area, and I even met Ray LaHood! The experiences I had and the relationships I made this summer built on my first-year planning classes and served as a springboard for second-year success.
University City District
by ELIZABETH FRANTZ (MCP ‘12) This summer, I began working at the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative. Designed by the University City District, WPSI unites local employers with West Philadelphia residents seeking employment. I undertook a project gathering and mapping the activities and services of faith-based organizations, community development corporations, social service providers, neighborhood improvement associations, and public workforce agencies in West Philadelphia. The goal was to help WPSI connect to local organizations and leaders to further explore opportunities for collaboration and outreach. For the project, I corresponded with over 40 organizations and agencies, including PA CareerLink, EARN Centers, Philadelphia Jobs Corps, and the City of Philadelphia. I gathered information about each organization’s core mission, the clients they serve, programs and services they offer, and other organizations that they partner with in West Philadelphia and citywide. I visited various libraries, community centers, and recreation centers in West Philadelphia to research employmentrelated services available at those institutions.
Buglione’s design handbook for green infrastructure.
The LINK: News from PennPlanning
As a result of my project, WPSI is better informed about the work of these organizations in West Philadelphia, and we have already been able to explore partnership opportunities with them. The relationships I created with the organizations also helps WPSI spread the word concerning their own employment programs. As a student of community and economic development, it was a truly unique and exciting experience.
Partners for Sacred Places
Urban Design studio of Nikken Sekkei, a firm headquartered in Tokyo with offices in China, Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai.
by LIZZIE HESSMILLER (MCP/MSHP ‘13) As a duel degree candidate in City Planning and Historic Preservation, it was important I find a summer internship working across both fields. Partners for Sacred Places, a national non-profit headquartered in Philadelphia, helps congregations around the country raise money to restore and maintain their historic buildings. The organization also cultivates partnerships between congregations and arts organizations in need of performance space, and is involved with developing the reuse of vacant religious properties. At Partners, I interview congregations for the Halo Study, an economic impact assessment of religious congregations. The study considers a congregation’s green space and recreation areas, the space rented to startup businesses and nonprofits, the programs they run to serve people in need, their multiplier and magnet effects, and other growth-generating activities. We have found the average Philadelphia congregation has a Halo Effect of $1,000,000 – meaning if it closed, the City would need to spend that much to provide the same services. By working at Partners, I have an active role in preservation in Philadelphia and am able to apply what I am learning at Penn. I am developing research and interviewing skills needed for both Historic Preservation and City Planning. Partners also puts me in touch with key actors like KSK Architects, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Culture Works, and the Philadelphia Historic Preservation Alliance. Finally, Partners’ Executive Director takes the interns to Capo Giro frequently, which just makes this organization a fantastic place to work.
Nikken Sekkei boasts a complete range of disciplines, from planners to structural engineers and project management experts. This allows for a high level of specialization within each field, while facilitating crossdisciplinary project collaboration leading to innovation. As I have my own ideas about blurring the line between the planning and landscape architecture professions to facilitate sustainable development, I found that aspect of the internship especially inspiring.
Hessmiller outside First Baptist Church, where Partners for Sacred Places enabled a shared-space agreement with a theatre troupe.
approval, to closing, and throughout I interacted with architects, building management agencies, and financial institutions. This was the first internship where I felt I was putting my academic skills to work in a concrete way. My coursework at Penn Planning equipped me with the tools to do anything from analyzing a complex development budget to creating an attractive neighborhood asset map. After I graduate, I would like to find a position where I can work on affordable housing and community development projects and continue applying these skills.
by KATIE HOLMQUIST (MCP ‘12) Thanks to Penn Planning’s international reputation, I had the opportunity to work in the
While Nikken Sekkei’s strong Urban Design portfolio of transit-oriented development projects initially attracted me to the firm, I was most influenced by the opportunity to work on a 14,000-hectare new aerotropolis development in the Middle. The greatest challenge was to work at such a monumental scale – often 1:5000. Yet this also provided the greatest opportunity for professional growth. I gained an invaluable understanding of project coordination of infrastructure and physical layout, but more importantly, about achieving design sensibility at such a vast urban scale. At Nikken Sekkei, I was exposed to new approaches to project management and different points of view, working on an incredibly diverse project team that included designers and planners from Australia, Germany, India, Bangladesh, Korea, and Japan. The unique exchange of knowledge and ideas led to a richer and more informed approach to planning, and I highly recommend the experience.
Diamond & Associates by DANI SCHWARTZ (MCP ‘12)
In May 2011, I began interning at Diamond and Associates, a Philadelphia-based real estate development and consulting firm that focuses on affordable housing and community revitalization projects. D&A provides support to nonprofit organizations, local governments, and for-profit developers, helping them structure deals, coordinate development teams, and complete projects. My first day in the office, I joined the team working on a Low Income Housing Tax Credit application for a 276-unit senior affordable housing project in North Philadelphia. Although I have had the opportunity to work on other deals, this deal came to occupy most of my time and allowed me to explore the ins and outs of the complicated affordable housing tax credit world. I was able to follow this project from the early stages of planning, through
Katie Holmquist with an inspirational group: Nikken Sekkei’s Urban Design team, led by Wataru Tanaka (Center right).
Fall 2011 University of Pennsylvania School of Design
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF DESIGN DEPARTMENT OF CITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING 210 S. 34TH STREET 127 MEYERSON HALL PHILADELPHIA, PA 19104-6311
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the back half Symposium Debates Present State of Northeast KEYNOTE
William Frey, Metropolitan Policy Center, Brookings Institution Metropolitan America Today: A National Perspective
PANELS Diversifying Diversity Richard Alba, Professor of Sociology, CUNY Meagan Ehlenz, Penn Planning PhD student Fatima Shama, NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Moderator: Domenic Vitiello, Professor of City Planning, Penn Housing Ben Chrisinger, Penn Planning PhD student Rolf Pendall, Urban Institute Barbara Poppe, US Interagency Council on Homelessness Moderator: Dennis Culhane, Professor of Social Policy, Penn Metropolitan Growth Barry Seymour, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Petra Todorovich, America 2050 Zoe Warner, Penn Planning PhD student Moderator: John Landis, Professor of City Planning, Penn Economic Development and Jobs Rob Atkinson, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation Caroline Cheong, Penn Planning PhD student Nancy Hoffman, Jobs for the Future Moderator: Laura Wolf-Powers, Professor of City Planning, Penn 8
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