Skip to main content

About Laura Wolf-Powers

University City: History, Race, & Community in the Era of the Innovation District University of Pennsylvania Press, September 2022.

Recently Published: (as part of the Law & Political Economy Blog's symposium on the decommodification of urban property)

My research focuses on community and neighborhood revitalization (urban redevelopment policy, community benefits agreements, the history and politics of community development) and on jobs and employment (local labor markets, human capital policy, and the jobs impact of local economic development strategies). My work explores the challenges of planning for neighborhood revitalization under conditions of structural social inequality, and offers insights into how urban politics are mediated through policies governing the built environment. It also considers how planners and civil society organizations influence urban policy. My articles have been published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Planning Education and Research, Environment and Planning A, Community Development Journal, Urban Studies, Planning Theory and Practice, and Economic Development Quarterly as well as in numerous edited volumes. I am a member of the editorial board of the online open access journal Metropolitics and was its Editorial Director from 2016-2018. I am an academic consultant to the Urban Manufacturing Alliance and the Pratt Center for Community Development.


January 2016 - May 2016 Visiting Lecturer in Urban Planning, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
October 2015 Visiting Research Scholar, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

urban and community development practice and policy, political economy of urban development', urban manufacturing policy, labor markets and workforce development, and planning theory

Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • Susan S. Fainstein award for outstanding doctoral scholarship, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University 2003
  • Barclay Gibbs Jones Award for Best Dissertation in Planning. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning 2004
  • First place winner, economic development category, National Urban Policy Initiatives Competition (with Dr. Marla K. Nelson). 2008
  • G. Holmes Perkins Award for Distinguished Teaching. School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, 2011


  • Metropolitan Labor Markets and Workforce Development
  • Introduction to Community and Economic Development
  • Techniques of Urban Economic Development Policy
  • Public and Private Development


September 1997 - June 2003 PhD, Urban Planning and Policy, Rutgers University - New Brunswick/Piscataway ‐ Bloustein School of Urban Planning and Policy
September 1995 - May 1997 MPA with certificate in Urban Planning, Princeton University ‐ Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
September 1986 - May 1990 BA summa cum laude in American Studies, Yale College ‐ Department of American Studies

Contact Information

365 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Recent Works (6)

Labor Markets and Workforce Development (11)

Community and Economic Development Policy and Politics (22)