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Design Weekly
News from the Weitzman School of Design
A Megaregional Future
A flooded field of solar panels
In a new book, Megaregions and America’s Future, Emeritus Professor of Practice Robert Yaro and Dean and Paley Professor Fritz Steiner examine how megaregions in the US can address complex challenges. In an interview, the two lay out Penn’s connections to US megaregional research, what they learned in writing this book, and what they hope readers and policymakers take away from this work. “Overall, if we can create the kinds of synergies that the book calls for, we can effectively address problems around climate, racial and economic divisions, mobility, and energy,” Yaro says.
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Next-Generation Urban Planning
Four people stand arm-in-arm in front of Meyerson Hall
Founded in 2019 with support from Ron Moelis (C’78, W’78), the Moelis Scholars Program at Weitzman supports students from diverse backgrounds in the Master of City Planning program. The four current Scholars (from left: Christopher Carlos Brzovic, Jazmin Diaz, Céline Apollon, and Julian Turley) share their professional interests, personal experiences, and thoughts on their future careers in urban planning and community engagement. “It’s been really helpful to have this program, to go to one another when we’re struggling, and to have all these scholars by our side,” Apollon says.
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New Aedas Fellowship Offers Global Perspective
A student presents his work at an architecture review
Weitzman has received a new gift from Aedas, a global architecture and design firm, to establish a fellowship and internship for students who are interested in working in Asia. The gift was spearheaded by Andy Wen, a 1990 Master of Architecture graduate and current Global Design Principal for Aedas in China. “The experiential benefits of this partnership with Aedas brilliantly complement the world-class education students receive at the Weitzman School,” says Winka Dubbeldam, Miller Professor and chair of architecture.
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The Delaware River with the skyline of Philadelphia behind
The Clean Water Act at 50
Approaching the half-century mark of this landmark piece of environmental legislation, Chaeri Kim, a PhD student in the Department of City and Regional Planning, joins other Penn students, staff, and faculty as they share their reflections on its legacy.
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Detail of the cover of Designing with Nature in Town and City
Celebrating McHarg’s 100th Birthday
A new publication, Designing with Nature in Town and City, documents a 2020 symposium organized for what would have been Ian McHarg's 100th birthday that looked at the Scotsman’s enduring influence with eyes to the future. The event included Weitzman’s Fritz Steiner, Billy Fleming, and William Whitaker, who described the legacy of McHarg in the United States, including the ways that his thinking informs the Green New Deal.
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A man at a table drawing
Rahim on ESPN
It’s not every day that architects and pro athletes get equal airtime on national TV, but they do in a recent spot from ESPN. The primetime broadcast of the National Hockey League game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks on ABC and ESPN+ opened with a documentary short that features Weitzman’s Professor of Architecture Ali Rahim along with two of the teams’ star players.
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Creative Footprint Stockholm
A new report from VibeLab co-authored by Michael Fichman, researcher at PennPraxis and interim director of the Master of Urban Spatial Analytics (MUSA) program at Weitzman, lays out the barriers that are hindering a vibrant nightlife in Stockholm. It’s part of an international effort to support creative communities and nighttime economies still recovering from the impact of COVID-19.
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Two seated people speaking at a public event
Energy and the War in Ukraine (Audio)
On the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy's podcast, Anna Mikulska, an expert in energy geopolitics, discusses the war in Ukraine and its implications for European energy security and decarbonization. “Two months from now can you actually collect whatever energy you need and use renewables and just forget about fossil fuels or whatever else? The next invention can completely change how our energy transition is going to proceed.”
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A detail of a graphic resembling a dark blue flower
Botany and Landscape Design
LA+, the interdisciplinary journal of landscape architecture published at Weitzman, has released a call for abstracts for LA+ BOTANIC, its nineteenth issue. Guest edited by Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Karen M’Closkey, the issue will reflect on our changing relationship to nature vis-à-vis plants and plant collections, as well as their representations.
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“Turn out your lights to help save birds migrating through Philly”
Weitzman faculty and students, including Associate Professor of Architecture Karen M'Closkey and MLA candidate Audrey Genest, are among those leading the effort at Penn.
WHYY PlanPhilly (April 14, 2022)

“Black women have the highest eviction rates in the U.S.”
Akira Drake Rodriguez, assistant professor of city and regional planning, explains that Black women are evicted more than any other group in the U.S., and housing insecurity is becoming a growing crisis.
CBS News (April 14, 2022)

“Movers and Makers: Passionate Pursuits”
Assistant Professor of Fine Arts Michelle Lopez talks about her expansive approach to sculpture and a body of work inspired by 9/11 which was seen in Philadelphia at the ICA (22:06).
WHYY (April 19, 2022)

“Earth Day Interview with Richard Weller: A Hopeful Vision for Global Conservation”
The professor and chair of landscape architecture talks about the role for designers in achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the future of conservation.
ASLA’s The Dirt (April 20, 2022)
Ken Lum, the Marilyn Jordan Taylor Presidential Professor and chair of fine arts, has been appointed to the advisory board of On Possibility: Social Change and the Arts + Humanities, a new book series from Ohio State University’s Global Arts + Humanities program.

Lisa Servon, the Kevin and Erica Penn Presidential Professor and chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning, has been appointed a Provost’s Faculty Fellow at Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships for the coming year.
Debt, Justice, and Field Notes Toward an Internationalist Green New Deal
A panel discussion with Billy Fleming, Johanna Bozuwa, Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò, Bhumika Muchhala, Patrick Bigger,  A.L. McCullough, Palak Agarwal, and Ian Dillon
Presented by The Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology
Wednesday, April 27, 4:00pm | Online
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Engineering the Metropolis: The Sellers Family and the Rise and Fall of Industrial Philadelphia
An online lecture by Domenic Vitiello, associate professor of city and regional planning, organized by the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia
Tuesday, April 26, 6:00pm | Online
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Society of Architectural Historians 2022 Annual International Conference
With Weitzman PhD student Liyang Ding
Wednesday, April 27–Sunday, May 1 | In person; The Westin Pittsburgh, 1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Designing a Life: Stuart Weitzman on Community, History, and Why He Gives
A conversation with Weitzman Board Member Stuart Weitzman (W’63), organized by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at Penn
Thursday, April 28, 2:00pm | In person; Kleinman Energy Forum, Fisher Fine Arts Library, 220 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Speed Control for Safe Mobility: Vision Zero PHL Conference
A one-day conference that includes Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning Erick Guerra, organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
Saturday, April 30 | Temple University Student Center South, 1755 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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David Hartt: A Colored Garden
An exhibition of work by Associate Professor of Fine Arts David Hartt, which includes a garden designed by the artist, at The Glass House designed by Philip Johnson
Through Monday, November 14 | In person; The Glass House, Ponus Ridge Road, New Canaan, Connecticut
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Weitzman School of Design · 210 South 34th Street · 102 Meyerson Hall · Philadelphia, PA 19104 · USA