Event – Detail

Noon Talk
January 24 at 12:00 PM
University City: History, Race, and Community in the Era of the Innovation District
Laura Wolf-Powers

In twenty-first-century American cities, policy makers increasingly celebrate university-sponsored innovation districts as engines of inclusive growth. But the story is not so simple. In University City, Laura Wolf-Powers chronicles five decades of planning in and around the communities of West Philadelphia’s University City to illuminate how the dynamics of innovation district development in the present both depart from and connect to the politics of mid-twentieth-century urban renewal. Drawing on archival and ethnographic research, Wolf-Powers concludes that even as university and government leaders vow to develop without displacement, what existing residents value is imperiled when innovation-driven redevelopment remains accountable to the property market.

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Laura Wolf-Powers is an Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College (part of the City University of New York), where she teaches economic development, community planning, and real estate development. Her book University City: History, Race, & Community in the Era of the Innovation District (Penn Press 2022) traces five decades of university-community politics in West Philadelphia, shedding light on the conflicting claims on value that accompany academic institutions’ sponsorship of innovation-oriented development in adjacent neighborhoods. Current research projects include a critical examination of real property taxation and land value capture practices in the United States and community-engaged research on Black-owned businesses in East and Central Brooklyn, funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. She serves on the editorial boards of Metropolitics and of the Journal of the American Planning Association and as an academic advisor to the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, the Pratt Center for Community Development, and the Western Queens Community Land Trust.
Twitter: @wolf_powers

This is a virtual event.


This is a free event.
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