Faculty Bio: Laura Wolf-Powers

Associate Professor

Room #:



Neighborhood revitalization, urban and regional economic urban development policy and planning


PhD Urban Planning and Policy Development, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University
MPA, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University


Laura Wolf-Powers studies neighborhood revitalization and urban and regional economic development policy and planning.  Her work explores the challenges of planning for community development under conditions of structural social inequality. It offers insights into the ways in which city politics are mediated through policies governing the built environment and the urban economy, and considers how planners and civil society organizations influence those policies. Her scholarship has been published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Urban Studies, Economic Development Quarterly, Community Development Journal, Planning Theory and Practice, Regional Studies, Environment and Planning A, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

Dr. Wolf-Powers, together with UPP colleague Sigmund Shipp, was recently awarded a 3-year, $353,000 grant by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to conduct community-engaged research on entrepreneurship and local wealth-building in partnership with the Brooklyn Communities Collaborative. She is an academic advisor to the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, a member of the steering committee of the Western Queens Community Land Trust, and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Planning Association and Metropolitics, an on-line journal of public scholarship about cities and urban politics. Dr. Wolf-Powers’ book about redevelopment in West Philadelphia, entitled University City: History, Race & Community in the Era of the Innovation District, will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in August 2022. She is also a participant in “Negotiating Social Futures: the politics of land development and value capture during and after the Covid-19 pandemic,” a Rutgers University-based seminar series sponsored by the Urban Studies Foundation.

Dr. Wolf-Powers has taught city planning at the Pratt Institute, the University of Pennsylvania, the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, and Columbia University. At Hunter, she teaches Planning for Economic Development, Community Planning in New York City, Economics of Real Estate Development, and Planning Studio. She earned her PhD in Urban Planning and Policy at Rutgers University and won the Barclay Gibbs Jones award for the best dissertation in planning from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 2004. She holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Yale University.