Weitzman School of Design
The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design prepares students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, we are committed to advancing the public good–both locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation.
PublicationThe Unsheltered Woman: Definition and Needs(1985) Birch, Eugenie L.One-third of the nation has a housing problem. Twenty-three millions households are ill-housed. They are a diverse group - the elderly, families with children and single people of all races. Most significantly, they tend to be women. More than 40 percent of the group - or 10 million - are female householders. Females head about 27 percent of all American households today; yet, they are disproportionately represented among those experiencing housing problems. In fact, numerically, they are the largest subgroup of the poorly sheltered population. PublicationThe Planner and the Preservationist(1984-04-01) Birch, Eugenie L.; Roby, DouglasIn many ways the planning and historic preservation movements have had similar but separate patterns of institutional development. Although the planning profession is older and more refined than the preservation effort, their shared concern for the quality of the built environment has made them natural allies in promoting conservation practices in American metropolitan areas. At times, differing objectives have marred their mutual cooperative endeavors; but on the whole, they have developed an important symbiotic relationship that has served to strengthen both professions. PublicationDesigning Woman: A Conversation with New York Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden(2002-09-01) Birch, Eugenie L.In an interview, Amanda Burden, New York City Planning Commissioner, discusses her organization's role in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. The biggest issues involved, why she feels so strongly about physical planning and urban design, and what her organization's concerns are in terms of physical planning for the boroughs. PublicationPlanning in a World City: New York and its Communities(1996-10-01) Birch, Eugenie L.Planning in New York, a world city, is complicated, fragmented, layered, and project-oriented. The imperatives of a metropolis often dash with the goals of neighborhoods. The planning commission, working within a highly structured and legalistic environment, promotes compromise, balances the needs of different groups, and mediates conflicts, while ensuring that major projects get built. Case studies of Donald Trump's Riverside South, the United States Tennis Association's National Tennis Center and others illustrate the nature of large city planning. They also give rise to a set of governing principles. PublicationThe Observation Man, A Study of William H. Whyte(1986-03-01) Birch, Eugenie L. PublicationRadburn and the American Planning Movement(1980-10-01) Birch, Eugenie L.Many intellectual streams have contributed to the ideology of the American planning movement. Radburn, a partially built, planned, New Jersey settlement, represents the influence of English garden city theories. Radburn's plan was so well designed and rationally organized that it has become a permanent resource for planners who in every generation examine and sometimes adapt it to solve contemporary problems. As a result, it has survived as testimony to the planners' vision of suburban growth. It also represents, however, a neglected promise unfulfilled because of larger currents in American culture. PublicationHaving a Longer View on Downtown Living(2002-01-01) Birch, Eugenie L.Many American cities are experiencing a rise in the number of residents in their downtowns. This phenomenon has deep roots but is extremely fragile. Six approaches to developing downtown housing dominate the arrangements. The public and private sectors have cooperated in many ways to attract this type of investment. Downtown housing, however, is only part of the larger puzzle of urban revitalization and metropolitan growth. Many questions regarding the nature of downtown land uses, including the relationship between housing and employment, remain. This article presents statistical evidence regarding downtown housing for 45 cities and outlines the approaches many have employed to capture these housing units. It also demonstrates the difficulty of defining a city's downtown. PublicationHousing and Urban Communities(2001-01-01) Birch, Eugenie L.The housing industry plays an important social and economic role in the United States. Not only do dwellings and their locations denote status in U.S. society, but approximately 4 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product is created by residential development. Its effects ripple through the economy. It provides direct employment in construction and related jobs and indirect support for other consumer spending, including home furnishings, appliances, and even garden equipment. The federal government, through surveys conducted by several agencies, among them the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce, keeps close watch on this important industry, monitoring housing starts (usually ranging from 1.2 to 1.8 million units annually), single-family sales, mortgage interest rates, and quality indicators. These statistics provide a picture of the industry, illuminate potential problems, and reveal specific areas for government intervention. PublicationDesign, Process and Institutions(1987-08-19) Birch, Eugenie L.Although many Anglo-American social historians would like to believe that they have invented planning history, their assumption is incorrect. The field has deeper roots. Its earliest practitioners - architects, archaeologists and classicists - engaged in questions of urban design, the origin of cities and urbanization. PublicationChester Rapkin: Planner, Teacher, Scholar(1988-09-01) Birch, Eugenie L."The seminal thinkers of the profession are now largely historical figures, few 'heroes' have emerged to replace them," Michael P. Brooks recently wrote (Brooks, 1988). Brooks is unduly alarmist. Significant figures like Daniel Burnham and Rexford Tugwell have their counterparts today. But these contemporary planners are different. They do not espouse exaggerated visions nor call brashly for revolutionary changes. American life also is different. Big cities are no longer novel nor is the economy emerging from a major depression. The country now is dealing with seemingly intransigent issues like the underclass and runaway metropolitan growth and adjusting to major industrial restructuring.