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March 16, 2021

LRK's Danielle Lake and Nando Micale Lead UPenn Urban Design Studio Focused on Reimagining the Public Realm at the Delaware River

Philadelphia’s Danielle Lake and Nando Micale are leading an Urban Design Studio at the University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design. The ten students are in the Urban Design concentration of the Master of City and Regional Planning program. They are looking at changing mixed-use trends for urban districts, the concept of Third Place, equity and accessibility, and plans for resiliency along Philadelphia’s next new riverfront neighborhood. As sea level rise and storm surge reshape the City’s riverfront and stormwater management approaches evolve, the value of this old industrial waterfront is also seeing development pressure from multiple development housing proposals with one already breaking ground.  At the same time, shifting retail formats and the pandemic’s accelerated pace of e-commerce are creating opportunities to imagine different models of “experiencing” commerce, entertainment, and recreational programming within the public realm. Students are addressing these challenges while building upon the work of DRWC, DVRPC, and many other groups invested in connecting all Philadelphians to the waterfront. Danielle is a recent graduate of the program, and Nando is a 25-year adjunct faculty member, with past studios in places as diverse as Austin, Bogota (Colombia), Puerto Rico, and Toronto.