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PURL director named editor of 'Places'

November 07, 2008

Nancy Levinson, director of the Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory (PURL), has been named editor of Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm. Levinson will continue in her current role with PURL, a center in the College of Design, in conjunction with her new position with the peer reviewed journal.

Places is published by the Design History Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to establish forums for designers, scholars, public officials, and citizens to discuss public spaces. The journal is published three times annually with writings focused on design, the arts, and social sciences.

Levinson will be replacing the journal’s founding editor, Donlyn Lyndon, FAIA, Eva Li Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Design in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Lyndon launched Places in 1983.

“Cities are growing rapidly and facing great challenges to do so sustainably,” said Levinson. “I’m excited to be taking on the editorship of Places, one of the few journals devoted to the civic realm.”

Since arriving at PURL in 2007, Levinson has published two issues of Lab Report, the center’s annual publication, organized the University as Civic Partner conference focusing on institutional/municipal partnerships, and curated Sites of Transition, a photographic exhibition and symposium.

“Nancy brings outstanding credentials to Places,” said Harrison Fraker, president of the Design History Foundation and former Dean of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. “Her leadership will include exploring new formats and media while enhancing Places’ commitment to peer reviewed scholarly publication, reflective observation and graphic excellence.”

Prior to joining PURL, Levinson cofounded the Harvard Design Magazine, edited books for the Princeton Architectural Press, and has written articles for publications including the Journal of Planning Literature, Yale Journal of Architecture, I.D., Metropolis, Landscape Architecture, The Christian Science Monitor, and Architectural Record, for which she is a contributing editor.

“The missions of Places and PURL are aligned and Nancy will be a tremendous asset for them,” said Darren Petrucci, director of the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the College of Design.

PURL, located in the Downtown Phoenix campus, pursues projects and initiatives relating to urban design, using the metropolitan Phoenix area as its laboratory. In addition to its conference and publications, PURL has partnered with various municipalities including Phoenix and Glendale for planning, design, and redevelopment projects.