Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast


Print This Issue
Front Page
All About Teaching
Subscribe to E-Alamanc!


The Penn Urban Research Institute:
Specializing in All Aspects of Urban Environment

President Judith Rodin will announce the creation of the Penn Urban Research Institute during a 4 p.m. address, The University and The City, on Thursday, March 4, at the School of Design, Room B-1, Meyerson Hall.

The Penn Urban Research Institute will be an umbrella structure that will integrate and coordinate the research, education and practice of experts in urbanism from Penn's 12 schools.

The institute will develop and disseminate knowledge to those charged with managing the growth, problems and design of urban environments at the local, national and international levels in the decades ahead. By serving as a fulcrum for research findings, academic pursuits and service learning projects related to urban issues, the Penn Urban Research Institute is poised to become the authoritative source, locally, nationally and internationally.

In creating the Penn Urban Research Institute, the University is building on its award-winning success in transforming the safety and cleanliness of its West Philadelphia neighborhood as well as providing new retail amenities and home ownership, education and business opportunities to the residents.

E. Birch

In her March 4 speech, Dr. Rodin will discuss the Penn-assisted urban revitalization efforts to a university-wide audience that will include the School of Design board of overseers and guests, as well as students, faculty, alumni and the general public. She also will introduce the Penn Urban Research Institute co-directors, Dr. Eugenie Birch, chair and professor of city and regional planning at the School of Design, and Dr. Susan Wachter, Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management and professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School.

Dr. Birch has a long history of commitment to urbanism having served as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, co-editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, and president of the Society of American City and Regional Planning History. From 1990 through 1995, Dr. Birch was a member of the New York City Planning Commission. She joined Penn's faculty in 1998.

S. Wachter

Dr. Wachter has taught at Wharton since 1972 and served as chair of its real estate department from 1997 to 1999. She served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1999-2001. Dr. Wachter--a national expert in housing analysis and the first woman to head the American Real Estate Urban Economics Association--is the author of more than 200 publications.

As co-directors, Dr. Birch and Dr. Wachter will be supported by an executive committee comprised of Dr. Elijah Anderson, SAS; Dr. Dennis Culhane, SSW; Dr. John DiIulio, SAS; Dr. Michael Fitts, Law; Dr. Susan Furhman, GSE; Dr. Richard Gelles, SSW; Dr. Joe Gyourko, Wharton; Dr. Gary Hack, Design; Dr. Michael Katz, SAS; Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika, Medicine; Dr. Janice Madden, SAS; Dr. Afaf Meleis, Nursing; Dr. Samuel Preston, SAS; and Dr. Lawrence Sherman, SAS. Provost Robert Barchi will chair the executive committee.

An external advisory board is expected to be in place by autumn.

For more on information the Penn Urban Research Institute, visit, call (215) 573-8380 or e-mail Kendra Goldbas, associate director, at



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 24, March 2, 2004