Friday, September 20, 2013

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Inga Saffron

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
How the Hispter Generation will Save Philadelphia 

What do bike lanes, new parks, skateboarders, coffee shops, pop-ups, farmers, markets, dog parks, composting mean for urban life? This talk will discuss how a new generation of urban dwellers use the city in a different way, and have different expectations of public space.

E-mail: isaffron(at)
Twitter: @ingasaffron

Inga Saffron writes about architecture, design and planning issues for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her popular column, “Changing Skyline” has been appearing on Fridays in the paper’s Home & Design section since 1999. In 2012, she completed a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. She has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times, in 2004, 2008, and 2009, and in 2010 received the Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award.

Pushing beyond the usual boundaries of architectural criticism, her columns focus on the buildings and public spaces that Philadelphians encounter in their daily lives. In her criticism, Saffron also applies a reporter's skills and sensibility to explore the variety of forces - political, financial, cultural - that shape the city. Her columns on waterfront development, zoning and parking issues have led to significant changes in city policy. 

Before assuming her current position, Saffron spent five years as a correspondent in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union for The Inquirer. She covered wars in the former Yugoslavia and in Chechnya, and witnessed the destruction of Sarajevo and Grozny. It was in part because of those experiences that she became interested in the fate of cities and began writing about architecture.

Saffron began her journalism career as a magazine writer in Ireland and worked for the CourierNews in Plainfield, N.J., before joining The Inquirer in 1985 as a suburban reporter. She is the author of “Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World’s Most Coveted Delicacy,” published by Broadway Books in 2002. She lives with her family in Philadelphia.

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