Urban Development

The  Rue Sainte-Catherine in Bordeaux is crowded with pedestrians in a lively European scene.

European Cities Act on Density

The sprawling mass of suburbia has been a disaster for the environment. But now smaller, denser cities herald a renaissance in city living.

November 20, 2022 - Wired Magazine

Intercity Buses

The Road Forward: Cost-Effective Policy Measures To Decrease Emissions From Passenger Land Transport

This new 165-page book, available free, is a resource for identifying practical, cost-effective policies for reducing passenger transport emissions on land, and especially in urban areas.

February 24, 2022 - The Road Forward: Cost-effective Policy Measures To Decrease Emissions From Passenger Land Transport

Los Angeles Traffic - The Newhall Pass

Cities and Automobile Dependence: What Have We Learned?

Thirty years ago Peter Newman and Jeff Kenworthy introduced the concept of automobile dependency. In this article they reexamine the evidence, consider criticisms, and discuss how their insights changed—sometimes painfully—planning practices.

December 28, 2021 - Gasoline Consumption and Cities Revisited: What Have We Learnt?


Urban Development in African Cities

Rising populations and political challenges complicate the future development of Africa's major metropolitan centers.

November 30, 2021 - The Washington Post

Pacific Electric streetcar

What Are Streetcar Suburbs?

Named after the mode of transportation that made their existence possible by dramatically reducing travel times, streetcar suburbs are communities located along streetcar lines farther out from city centers, on the periphery of the urban areas in the late 19th century.

June 17, 2021 - Diana Ionescu

New York City Rooftop

Creating Suburban Exclusivity in the City

City life is being sold as a convenient version of the suburbs, with similar amenities minus the time-consuming commute.

May 28, 2019 - The New York Times

New York

Expert Voices 2019: Why Cities?

As cities define our world in new ways every day, Penn Institute for Urban Research asked nearly dozen urban experts, “Why cities?”

January 18, 2019 - Penn IUR Urban Link


Can Rapidly Urbanizing Cities in Low and Moderate Income Countries Become 'Smarter'?

Penn IUR's Eugenie Birch, Richard Voith and Susan Wachter ask: Can rapidly urbanizing cities in low and moderate income countries become "smarter"?

December 22, 2018 - Penn IUR Urban Link

Dar es Salaam

Compact Cities Are Environmentally and Economically More Sustainable

Sprawl leads to more emissions, but the economic costs are also high. Policies and strategies that ensure compact growth are essential.

December 3, 2018 - World Resources Institute

Youngstown, Ohio

The Fragility of Growth in a Post-Industrial City

A chapter by Jeremy Nowak, who passed away this summer, adapted from the book "Shared Prosperity in America’s Communities."

October 25, 2018 - Penn IUR Urban Link

Japan Shared Space

Resource-Efficient Urban Planning Helps Achieve Economic, Social, and Environmental Goals

A new report shows that low-carbon development policies can help to achieve numerous planning goals including job creation, improved safety and public health, social inclusion, and improved accessibility.

July 3, 2018 - The Economic and Social Benefits of Low-Carbon Cities: A Systematic Review of the Evidence


Current Research on Sustainable Urban Development

"Penn: Current Research on Sustainable Urban Development" is a collection of 11 research papers on key urban topics, authored by faculty, associated researchers and fellows from three centers at the University of Pennsylvania.

February 22, 2018 - Penn IUR Urban Link

Reimagining LA

P3 101: Comparing Infrastructure Procurement Models

Already a common means of delivering infrastructure in many countries, public-private partnerships are growing in importance in the United States, but how do they compare to other procurement models?

November 7, 2017 - Doggerel

New York Development

Using Drones to Inspect Urban Building Façades

Many cities require the owners of multistory buildings to regularly inspect their façades, looking for problems that may lead to injury or property damage. Drones can potentially help ease the process and cost of doing so.

August 24, 2017 - Doggerel

A $350 Million Bond to Repair San Francisco's Seawall

As seas rise, San Francisco is looking to shore up its costal protection against earthquakes and extreme weather events.

January 17, 2017 - San Francisco Chronicle

Delhi Skyline

Shining a Light on Smarter Development Policies in India

A new study uses night sky satellite images to measure urban development patterns in India. The results can help guide smarter growth.

January 6, 2017 - Todd Litman


Pruitt-Igoe May Finally Get New Development

A new owner and the proximity of the renovated National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Headquarters may signal a change in fortunes for North St. Louis

November 23, 2016 - Governing

A New Guide to Revitalizing Cities Around the World

A major study by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, "Revitalizing Places: Improving Housing and Neighborhoods from Block to Metropolis," identifies planning strategies to improve housing and urban development practices.

November 22, 2016 - Rethinking Social Housing in Mexico Project

Changing Miami

Sixty years of highway construction has significantly changed Miami's development patterns.

November 4, 2016 - Modern Cities

Fringe Development

California's $400 Million for By-Right Affordable Housing Dies in the Legislature

An affordable housing proposal proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown failed to marshal the necessary support in the State Legislature, facing opposition from a coalition of labor and environmental groups, as well as the League of California Cities.

August 24, 2016 - San Francisco Housing Action Coalition

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.