Eugénie L. Birch,FAICP, FAcSS, RTPI (hon), is the Nussdorf professor of urban research, department of city and regional planning, Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania. She is the founding co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, co-editor, University of Pennsylvania Press’s City in the 21st Century series, and co-director of PennIUR/Weitzman School Lab on Sustainable Urban Development and Informality. She serves as the co-principal investigator, Penn’s Mellon Foundation sponsored Humanities, Urbanization and Design (H+U+D) USD 1.5 million initiative.
Author or editor of ten books, more than 90 articles, chapters and reports Dr. Birch’s most recent publications include Slums: How the Informal Real Estate Markets Work (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); Implementing the New Urban Agenda in the United States: Building on a Firm Foundation; Informationen zur Raumentwicklung (Information on Spatial Development) (2017); and Metrics and the Impact of the Urban SDG, in Elqvist et al The Urban Planet (2018). Her current research encompasses sustainable urban development focusing on climate resilent infrastructure finance and on informality in rapidly urbanizing places
Dr. Birch is active in several organizations promoting sustainable urban development. She is president of the General Assembly of Partners (GAP) for the implementation of the UN’s SDGs and the New Urban Agenda, member of the Word Economic Forum (WEF) Futures Council on Cities and Urbanization, and a member of the Leadership Council, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). She also sits on the executive board of the International Society of Urban Health (ISUH) and is a member of the board of trustees, Regional Plan Association (New York).
Dr. Birch has held many leadership positions in her field, including editor, Journal of the American Planning Association, chair if the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), president, Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH), and president of International Planning History Society (IPHS). She chairs UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, has served as a member of the New York City Planning Commission, and was on the jury to select the designers for the World Trade Centre site.
Dr. Birch has received several awards including SACRH’s Lawrence C. Gerkens Award in Planning History (2009), ASCP’s Martin Meyerson Distinguished Educator Award (2009), Jay Chatterjee Award for Distinguished Service (2006) and Margarita McCoy Award (1994) and the American Planning Association’s President’s Award (2013).
She holds an AB in history from Bryn Mawr College (cum laude) and a PhD and Masters degree in urban planning from Columbia University, New York City. She resides in New York City.