Pushing Back the Gates

Neighborhood Perspectives on University-Driven Revitalization in West Philadelphia

Harley F. Etienne
Book Cover

PB: $26.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0069-7
Publication: Sep 13

HC: $61.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-0068-0
Publication: Mar 12

Ebook: $26.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0070-3

192 pages
5.5 x 8.25

A critical study of university-driven development from the neighborhood resident's perspective

Read an excerpt from Chapter 2 (pdf).


As college and university administrators expand and develop their urban campuses, they have also become developers of neighborhoods—and primary drivers of change. But how do institutions contend with urban real estate needs, revitalization opportunities, and community outreach? And how do the residents benefit? Pushing Back the Gates provides a lively discussion of neighborhood-level perspectives of the dynamic changes brought about by institutions' urban planning efforts. Harley Etienne outlines the rationale for university-driven development and neighborhood revitalization balanced by caution for the limitations of the model. He provides a summary of the University of Pennsylvania's West Philadelphia Initiatives and the challenges and successes of this unique plan. Etienne also examines the implementation of similar efforts at different universities around the country. Pushing Back the Gates speaks to communities, university leaders, and urban developers who navigate the boundary between neighborhood revitalization through physical development and investments in local communities and human capital.

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments 1 Cities and Their Universities: Logical Places to Search for Hope 2 West Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Rough Road to Revival and Cooperation 3 Early Returns on Dramatic Efforts to Change: The West Philadelphia Initiatives, 1990–2005 4 The Dual Nature of Revitalization in the Twenty-First Century 5 Comparative Views of Contemporary University-Driven Neighborhood Change 6 Conclusion: Lessons from West Philadelphia Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author(s)

Harley F. Etienne is Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.

Harley F. Etienne is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.


In the Series

  • Philadelphia Voices, Philadelphia Visions edited by David W. Bartelt

    Philadelphia has always been a city that has embraced a richness of voice and vision, defying attempts to define it in a one-dimensional frame. Books in this series, Philadelphia Voices, Philadelphia Visions, edited by David W. Bartelt, will give voice to the diverse communities and perspectives that help define the city, and to address public issues that the city's community, civic and academic leadership raise in the public arena. The series is interdisciplinary, encompassing discussions of social divisions, cultural heterogeneity, and the importance of popular culture as expressions of communities that critique, celebrate, and continually reconstitute the Philadelphia region.