Jennifer Wolch is a scholar of urban analysis and planning. Her past work focused on urban homelessness and the delivery of affordable housing and human services for poor people. She has also studied urban sprawl and alternative approaches to city-building such as smart growth and new urbanism. Her most recent work analyzes connections between city form, physical activity, and public health, and develops strategies to improve access to urban parks and recreational resources. The founding director of the University of Southern California’s Center for Sustainable Cities, Wolch worked to promote sustainable metropolitan development through research, education, and policy outreach programs. She also headed the Green Vision Plan for 21st Century Southern California, a planning guide for habitat conservation, watershed health, and recreational open space.
Wolch has authored or co-authored over 100 academic journal articles and book chapters. She was also a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Study Center, and other prestigious honors.