Urban Planning

The Clean Water Act at 50

Approaching the half-century mark of this landmark piece of environmental legislation, Penn students, staff, and faculty share their reflections on its legacy, both strengths and shortcomings.

Katherine Unger Baillie

In the News

The Atlantic

The simplest fix to America’s rent problem

Vincent Reina of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design will be assessing the results of a rental assistance pilot program in Philadelphia that will distribute cash aid rather than vouchers. “There’s been some explorations, but a true, proper evaluation is something that we’ve never really done,” he said. “Cash transfers are often more contentious.”


The New York Times

De Blasio vowed to make city streets safer. They’ve turned more deadly

Erick Guerra of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design said New York City’s traffic fatality rate, though on the rise, is still three to four times lower than the national average. “In some ways, Vision Zero is aspirational,” he said. “Even in cities that have success, you still see traffic fatalities.”


The New York Times

Why $46 billion couldn’t prevent an eviction crisis

Vincent Reina of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design spoke about the challenges faced by officials, landlords, and tenants in distributing and accessing federal housing aid amid the pandemic. “We asked state and local governments to do something they’d never done before,” said Reina. “They had to design large programs with complex systems in real time, then modify them in real time—and at the same time, we’re expecting these programs to resolve longstanding problems in the housing market.”



One way the US could have prevented the fight over the eviction moratorium

Vincent Reina of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design said the U.S. lacks a standardized system for contacting landlords, which complicates rent-relief programs. “There have been calls over time for some national effort around trying to create better national and local owner registry systems, and if there was ever a time this was clearly needed, it is now,” he said.


Fast Company

This urban planner created a new metric to find a city’s most frightening intersections

Megan Ryerson of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design is using biometric data to identify dangerous zones for urban cyclists. The data “can be used to measure safety rather than waiting for someone to die,” she said.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia home repair grants linked to decreased neighborhood crime, Penn study finds

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine, School of Arts & Sciences, and Stuart Weitzman School of Design found that the crime rate on a given block was reduced by nearly 22% when the city of Philadelphia funded repairs for even a single house. “The social fabric of a neighborhood is very connected to the physical environment,” said the medical school’s Eugenia South.