Lance Freeman

Lance Freeman is the twenty-ninth Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor - the James W. Effron University Professor - with joint appointments in the Department of City and Regional Planning in the Weitzman School of Design and the Department of Sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Economics + Sociology + Urban Studies + City Planning + Affordable Housing + Gentrification + Housing Markets

Lance Freeman

Lance Freeman is the University of Pennsylvania’s twenty-ninth Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor.

Freeman, one of the world’s leading scholars of urban housing and gentrification, is the James W. Effron University Professor, with joint appointments in the Department of City and Regional Planning in the Weitzman School of Design and the Department of Sociology in 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 address complicated social and societal questions,” said Interim President Pritchett. “Dr. Freeman elegantly blends methods from economics, sociology, urban studies, and city planning to improve understanding of challenging issues like affordable housing, gentrification, and stratification in housing markets. His award-winning work resonates far beyond academe and has shaped decisions by policymakers and courts around the nation and the world. As we continue to confront historical and continuing inequity in society, Dr. Freeman’s scholarship takes on ever-increasing importance in helping provide knowledge- and evidence-based solutions in oftentimes fractious debates over community development and housing policy.”

Freeman – most recently Professor in the Urban Planning Program at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University – spent the 2020-21 academic year at Penn as the Provost’s Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellow. He is the author of A Haven and a Hell: The Ghetto in Black America (Columbia University Press, 2019), which won the 2020 Distinguished Book Award from Columbia University Press, and There Goes the ‘Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (Temple University Press, 2006), which won the 2007 Best Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association, in addition to dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters about such critical issues as housing policy, urban poverty, neighborhood change, and residential segregation.

He served from 2010-2015 as Director of the Urban Planning Program at Columbia and from 2015-2018 as Editor-in-Chief of City and Community, the official journal of the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. He is on the editorial boards of the Urban Affairs Review, Journal of the American Planning Association, and Journal of Planning Education and Research, among numerous others, and has appeared in and written for a wide range of popular media, including NPR, MSNBC, CNN, the BBC, and the Washington Post. He has been a city planner in the New York Housing Authority, a budget analyst in the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, a community developer in North Carolina, and a postdoctoral fellow in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; and his research has been supported by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Science Foundation, and the Brookings Institution, among others. He received a PhD and MCRP in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BS from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“Lance Freeman’s pathbreaking research,” said Interim Provost Winkelstein, “exemplifies our deepest campus-wide commitments: to bring together multiple disciplines in creative new ways, and then to use those new ideas to address our most urgent real-world challenges. He has already had a powerful impact on our campus as the Provost’s Distinguished Visiting Faculty Fellow, and we are delighted to welcome him back to continue his work as our newest Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor.”

The Penn Integrates Knowledge program was launched by Penn President Amy Gutmann in 2005 as a University-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines and who are appointed in at least two Schools at Penn.

The James W. Effron University Professorship was established in 2005 through a gift of Craig W. Effron, a 1981 Penn graduate. Craig Effron is a founding partner of Scoggin Capital Management, a hedge fund in New York City. The professorship is named in honor of his late father, James W. Effron.