Penn IUR, PennDesign Launch 'The Penn Resolution, A Landmark Sustainabilty Manifesto'

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Media Contact:Cara Griffin | | 307-760-2016April 25, 2011

 PHILADELPHIA– The Penn Institute for Urban Research and the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania celebrated Earth Day with the release of The Penn Resolution: Educating Urban Designers for Post-Carbon Cities, an illustrated roadmap to guide 21st century urban design education.

 The Penn Resolution contributes to the field's heritage of manifestos.  Each manifesto, in its own era, has transformed urban design practice by offering timely responses to changing social, economic and environmental conditions.

 The Penn Resolution's sharp focus on sustainability frames clear principles for educating designers, both in school and in practice, to shrink the carbon footprint of the urban world. Its inventive integration of text and imagery -- apt quotations, exemplary projects -- illustrates the translation of the principles into new ideas, approaches and connections. 

 The Penn Resolution highlights the challenges posed by changing climate patterns and diminishing supplies of inexpensive oil and outlines the skills that both new and practicing urban designers will need to meet these challenges. An essay places the book in historical context, discussing the use of manifestos throughout the history of urban design.

 The Penn Resolution answers an urgent need to rethink urban design education. With the issuing of the Penn Resolution, Gary Hack, dean emeritus of PennDesign, said:   “Over half the world’s population now lives in cities, a percentage that will increase to two-thirds in the next two decades.  If we are going to meet the dual challenges of reducing our over-reliance on oil and reversing the growth of carbon emissions, we are going to have to design cities differently. That means acquiring new knowledge and skills.”

 A free PDF of the book can be downloaded from the Penn IUR website (  Readers will also have an opportunity to buy a softcover book online when available in early May.  Details will be posted on the Penn IUR website.

The Penn Resolution was developed by attendees of the Re-Imagining Cities: Urban Design After the Age of Oil conference hosted by Penn IUR and PennDesign. The conference and publication were made possible with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.