The Urban Land 40 Under 40 represent the best young land use professionals from around the globe, as selected by members of the Urban Land Institute.
At the intersection of real estate development and public policy, Brian Abernathy is making a difference as executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, which focuses on planning and developing balanced mixed-use communities to create thriving, well-served neighborhoods. It is the primary agency that underwrites the city’s affordable housing projects while managing part of the city’s real estate portfolio and partnering with public and private entities to improve neighborhoods.
Abernathy earlier was chief of staff to the city’s managing director and director of policy and legislative aide for Philadelphia City Councilman Frank DiCicco. This work helped Abernathy understand community dynamics and challenges to real estate development.
Abernathy is credited with being a great collaborator who was instrumental in creating a civic vision for the central Delaware River area.
“Philadelphia’s growth has been spurred by public/private partnerships,” Abernathy says. “As resources shrink, our job is to think creatively about how to make these projects happen and the role government can play. A part of facilitating development, especially in the midst of the contentious politics of urban redevelopment, is engaging the community and supporting neighborhoods.”
Read more about the winners here.