Laura Wolf-Powers: Balancing Analytics with Politics

Department of City and Regional Planning Professional Planning Colloquium

Laura Wolf-Powers is assistant professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania, where she specializes in local economic development theories and techniques, labor market policy, and community development. Her talk will review her and others' research on efforts to improve competitiveness and foster equity by focusing on labor as a crucial input into the metropolitan growth process. What have planners done and what could they do with data on the spatial distribution of occupations, insight into the occupational composition of rising and declining industries, and evidence on the effectiveness of interventions designed to grow employment and wages? The most difficult questions, she argues, are not ones of data interpretation but ones of institutional adaptation and transformation in response to changes in the macro-economy.