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Eugenie Birch Named MAS Chair

eugenie birch

Dr. Eugenie L. Birch was elected chair of the MAS board of directors at last night’s 119th Annual Meeting. Professor Birch, an internationally known expert in urban planning, chairs the city and regional planning department of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. In her new position as chair of MAS, she succeeds David M. Childs who completed a three-year term.

“We are indebted to David for his extraordinary leadership, which has further strengthened MAS’s role in New York City, and we’re so excited that Genie will follow him. She brings an exceptional thoughtfulness and an unusual breadth of knowledge and experience to thinking about urban life,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla.

“The Municipal Art Society is one of New York’s great urban planning organizations,” said Dr. Birch. “Its measured, nonpartisan approach to improving New York City’s livability is critical for the future of the city and a model for the best practices in urban planning. It has been an honor to sit on the MAS board since 2005 and it will be a great privilege to serve as board chair.”

Said David Childs, “Genie’s extraordinary breath of knowledge and deep commitment to the field of urban planning will be invaluable to her as she spearheads MAS’s effort to make New York a more livable and resilient city.”

Professor Birch is the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Chair of Urban Research and Education at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, where she teaches courses in planning history and global urbanization. Professor Birch chairs the city and regional planning department, co-directs the Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) and co-edits the City in the 21st Century series for the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Long active in the field’s professional organizations and in academia in the United States and abroad, Professor Birch is president of the International Planning History Society and has served as chairperson of the Planning Accreditation Board and the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College/CUNY; president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Society for American City and Regional Planning History; and co-editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association.  She is a member of the board of directors of Scenic Hudson and the International Downtown Association, has been a member of the New York City Planning Commission and was a member of the jury that selected the designers of the World Trade Center site.

Professor Birch has received many honors and awards, and is the author of numerous books, most recently of the forthcoming Hopeful Signs: Urban Revitalization, 1970-2000 (Island Press). She and her husband, Robert, are longtime residents of New York City.