Photo by Inna Spivakova.

Diana Lind

Diana Lind  is a writer and urban policy specialist. She is currently working on a book, BRAVE NEW HOME: THE SMARTER, CHEAPER, HAPPIER FUTURE OF HOUSING (Nation Books), diagnosing the current crisis in American housing and its detrimental effects on inequality, health, the environment, racial progress, community and democracy.

A graduate of Cornell University (B.A., English) and Columbia University (M.F.A. in Creative Writing), Diana has held positions at Architectural Record magazine, Rizzoli International Publications, Next City, The Philadelphia Inquirer / and The University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of two books: Designing the Hamptons (Edizioni Press, 2006) and Brooklyn Modern: Architecture, Interiors & Design (Rizzoli, 2008). She also launched her own short-lived magazine, WORK, in 2004, which featured writers such as Rivka Galchen and James Surowiecki.

In 2008, Diana moved to Philadelphia to become the editor in chief of Next City, a leading urbanist website and nonprofit. Over the course of the next six years, Diana also became the organization’s executive director and transformed the fledgling organization into a national nonprofit with funding from the country’s major foundations, including Rockefeller, Ford, MacArthur, Kresge, Knight, Surdna and others. She also served as a founding adviser to the New Cities Foundation and received a fellowship from the Van Alen Institute. Through these experiences, she became known nationally as an expert on cities.

Diana currently leads the Fels Policy Research Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, a program with the mission to connect faculty’s policy relevant research with policymakers and the broader public.

She is a regular op-ed contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Citizen, and in addition to an extensive number of articles for Architectural Record and Next City, Diana’s writing has been published in The New York Times, New York, and The Hill, among other venues. She is a frequent public speaker, and has given keynotes or participated in panels at more than 100 events, including major conventions like the World Urban Forum and Smart City Expo. She has received honors such as the TED City 2.0 prize, the ACLU Stand Up for Freedom award, and a funded residency at Blue Mountain Center. She serves on the board of two local media nonprofit organizations: The Philadelphia Citizen and Greater Greater Washington.

Born and raised in Manhattan, she currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Greg Heller, the executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, and their children.