Inga Saffron

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Inga Saffron
, the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has been writing about urban design issues for over a decade. She has reviewed some of the most memorable new projects of the era— including Gehry’s Disney Hall, Koolhaas’ Seattle Library and New York’s High Line. But her primary interest is in writing about the less-heralded places that people encounter in their daily lives—offices and casinos, parking garages and parks. Inga became a design critic after working for many years as a news reporter, and she melds a critic’s sensibility with a reporter’s ability to ferret out a story. For her, that story is Philadelphia’s struggle to maintain its urbanity, livability and distinctiveness in the face of pressure from a homogenizing, car-oriented culture. She writes about that effort in a weekly column, “Changing Skyline,” and has been influential in shaping the public conversation in Philadelphia about design and planning issues. Her advocacy was instrumental in convincing city officials to focus on Philadelphia’s neglected Delaware waterfront. She has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize three times since 2004, and received the Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award in 2010.

Before becoming the Inquirer’s architecture critic in 2000, Inga spent several years as a foreign correspondent for the paper, based in Belgrade and Moscow. While abroad, she covered two wars and witnessed the destruction of Sarajevo and Grozny, two events that strongly influenced her thinking about cities. After returning to the U.S., Inga published the cultural and environmental history, Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World’s Most Coveted Delicacy. She has also written for Metropolis and Dwell magazines.

As a Loeb Fellow, Inga plans to delve deeper into how cities can retain their distinct identities in a globalized, interconnected world, while remaining viable places to work and live.

People: Inga Saffron

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