On February 15, Wendell Pritchett, acting president of the University of Pennsylvania, and Beth Winkelstein, acting vice president, announced the appointment of Lance Freeman as the 29th Penn University Integrates Knowledge Professor at the University. of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Freeman, one of the world’s foremost experts on urban housing and gentrification, is a professor at James W. Effron University, with cross appointments in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design and in the sociology department of the School of Arts and Sciences.
“Lance Freeman exemplifies the vision of our Penn Integrates Knowledge program, which seeks to harness the tools of multiple disciplines and professions to understand and solve complex social and societal issues,” said Dr. Pritchett. “Dr. Freeman elegantly blends methods from economics, sociology, urban studies, and planning to enhance understanding of complex issues such as affordable housing, gentrification, and the stratification of housing markets. His award-winning work resonates far beyond academia and has shaped the decisions of policymakers and courts across the country and the world.As we continue to grapple with historic and persistent inequalities in society, Dr. Freeman’s scholarship takes growing importance in helping to provide knowledge and evidence-based solutions in often heated debates about community development and housing policy.
Dr. Freeman, who was most recently a professor in the urban planning program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, spent the 2020-2021 academic year at Penn as a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellow of the Provost. He is the author of A Refuge and a Hell: The Ghetto in Black America (Columbia University Press, 2019), which won the 2020 Columbia University Press Distinguished Book Award, and There goes the ‘Hood: Views of gentrification from below (Temple University Press, 2006), which won the 2007 Urban Affairs Association Best Book Award. He is also the author of dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters on critical issues such as housing policy, urban poverty, neighborhood change, and residential segregation.
He was from 2010 to 2015 director of the urban planning program at Columbia and from 2015 to 2018 editor of City and Community, the official journal of the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. He served on the editorial boards of Urban Affairs Review, Journal of the American Planning Associationand Journal of Planning Education and Researchamong many others, and has appeared and written for a wide range of popular media including NPR, MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and The Washington Post. He was an urban planner with the New York Housing Authority, a budget analyst with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, a community developer in North Carolina, and a postdoctoral fellow with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). . His research has been supported by HUD, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, and the Brookings Institution, among others. He received a Ph.D. and MCRP in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
“Lance Freeman’s groundbreaking research exemplifies our deepest campus-wide commitments: to bring together multiple disciplines in creative ways and then use these new insights to address our most pressing real-world challenges,” said Dr. Winkelstein. “He has already had a powerful impact on our campus as a Distinguished Provost Visiting Faculty Member, and we are delighted to welcome him back to continue his work as Penn University’s new Integrates Knowledge Professor. “
The Penn Integrates Knowledge Program was launched in 2005 as a university-wide initiative to recruit outstanding faculty whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines and who are appointed to at least two Penn schools.
The James W. Effron University Chair was established in 2005 with a gift from Craig W. Effron, a 1981 Penn graduate. Craig Effron is a founding partner of Scoggin Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund. The pulpit is named in honor of his late father.