School of Cities / Event

City Visions | University City: History, Race, and Community in the Era of the Innovation District

City Visions - Book talks exploring urban issues and visionary transformations

 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.

Book cover to University City

The book is by Laura Wolf-Powers, Associate Professor of Urban Policy & Planning, City University of New York Hunter College.

From February – June 2023, the School of Cities hosted the City Visions book series, featuring leading urban experts and authors exploring the urban issues and visionary transformations captured in their recent books.Topics ranged from de-industrialization to single-family housing and from innovation districts to housing market segregation, and every event featured the author in conversation with a moderator and fellow urban affairs expert.