DAG Reading List

Books, podcasts, social media accounts and content creators, web resources, and journalists that are loved by the DAG community.


Philadelphia Builds by Michael J. Lewis

In Philadelphia Builds, architecture critic Michael J. Lewis explains why Philadelphia has produced so many extraordinary architects, including Louis Kahn, Frank Furness, and Robert Venturi, bringing together twenty-two of his best essays.


Author Michael J. Lewis presented to DAG in January, 2023 on another of his publications Frank Furness: Seven Ideas about Architecture. To watch the recorded presentation CLICK HERE.


The Past and Future City by Stephanie Meeks

In The Past and Future City, Stephanie Meeks, the president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, describes in detail, and with unique empirical research, the many ways that saving and restoring historic fabric can help a city create thriving neighborhoods, good jobs, and a vibrant economy. 


Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It by M. Nolan Gray

In Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It, Gray shows why zoning abolition is a necessary—if not sufficient—condition for building more affordable, vibrant, equitable, and sustainable cities.


The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Kurt Kohlstedt and Roman Mars

"While this book is not Philly-specific, it is an excellent book on cities, architecture, urban design, and all the decisions (from miniscule and barely noticeable to large and in your face) that make urban places what they are. And if you’re not familiar with the podcast behind the book, 99% Invisible, you should definitely check that out, too!" - DAG Reader Recommendation



From Third World to First: The Singapore Story by (Former Prime Minister) Lee Kwan Yew

"At first glance, Singapore and Philadelphia have very little in common. But actually Singapore isn't that much bigger  (population 5 million) and both cities have similar post-industrial histories... The chapter on Singapore's triumph over traffic by pioneering congestion pricing (together with mass transit) is more relevant than ever given the recent Supreme Court decision to enable NYC to  begin congestion pricing next year. " - DAG Reader Recommendation


Reclaiming Your Community: You Don't Have to Move out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One by Majora Carter 

Majora Carter shows how brain drain cripples low-status communities and maps out a development strategy focused on talent retention to help them break out of economic stagnation. How can we solve the problem of persistent poverty in low-status communities? Major Carter argues that these areas need a talent-retention strategy, just like the ones companies have. Retaining homegrown talent is a critical part of creating a strong local economy that can resist gentrification. But too many people born in low-status communities measure their succes by how far away from them they can get. - DAG Reader Recommendation



PlanPhilly is a project of WHYY News providing in-depth, original reporting on Philadelphia's neighborhoods. PlanPhilly focuses on issues pertaining to housing, real estate, transportation, public spaces, sustainability, and historic preservation in Philadelphia. Visit their page HERE!


Philadelphia YIMBY

Philadelphia YIMBY, short for "Yes In My Backyard," focuses on new development in Philadelphia and covers the regions evolving architecture, construction, and real estate from a pro-growth perspective. A great resource for keeping up with new projects in the city. Visit their page HERE!


Hidden City

Hidden City Philadelphia is an online publication that acts as a watchdog for historic preservation in Philadelphia and is dedicated to reporting on architecture, urbanism, photography, public art, city life, and Philly history. Visit their page HERE!


The Preservation Alliance

The Preservation Alliance is a historic preservation advocacy organization that shines a spotlight on the places that make the Philadelphia region special, giving a voice and a toolbox to those who care about protecting these resources for the future through educational outreach, planning efforts, and direct advocacy.


Streets Dept

Philly-based blog exploring Art + Public Space. Follow HERE!


City of Architectural Love

Dedicated to the interesting and hidden beauty of Philadelphia’s architecture and built environment. Follow HERE!


Find In Philly

Find Philly area sights, activities, and food. Follow HERE!


The Rowhouse City

A maker/designer photographically documents Philadelphia's rowhouse architecture. Follow HERE!


Love Philly Walks

A Photographer documents their Philly walks. Follow HERE!


Enduring Philadelphia

A photo blog celebrating Philadelphia's historic architecture. Follow HERE!



Streets Dept

Philly-based blog exploring Art + Public Space. Follow HERE!



Old Images of Philadelphia

Posting historic images of Philadelphia. Follow HERE!


Philadelphia Industrial & Commercial Heritage

A public group that promotes the appreciation of Greater Philadelphia's indsutrial and commercial history and advocate for historic preservation and adaptive reuse of our legacy edifices of industry and commerce. Follow HERE!




Streets Dept

Philly-based blog exploring Art + Public Space. Follow HERE!



Chris Hytha: Photographer - Designer - Digital Artist Based in Philadelphia. Follow HERE!


99% Invisible

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars. Listen HERE!


The Streets Dept Podcast 

The Streets Dept Podcast features conversations with the creative minds shaping the world around us from street artists to poets, activists to politicians, small business owners to content creators. The podcast is produced and hosted by Conrad Benner. Conrad is a Fishtown born-and-raised photo-blogger, curator, and podcaster. Listen HERE!


Found in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a treasure trove of stories that are hidden in plain sight. The Found in Philadelphia podcast, hosted by Historic Preservationist Lori Aument, aims to bring stories into focus, to introduce you to the places and people of Philadelphia, and to help you see the city with new eyes. Each story will highlight a moment in Philadelphia’s past that still impacts us today. Every podcast will take you on a field trip in the city that you can experience yourself.

This podcast was developed in part through a grant from the Athenaeum of Philadelphia and with the support of Drexel University’s MAD Dragon Community Recording Studios. Listen HERE!




Inga Saffron

Inga Saffron is an architecture critic and journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work focuses on buildings, places, and what those designs tell us about our culture, our values, and our policy choices.


Jake Blumgart

As a journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jake Blumgart covers commercial real estate, new development, and the changing fortunes of office and retail in the era of remote work

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