Susan Nigra Snyder is a registered architect practicing with George E. Thomas, Ph.D., a cultural and architectural historian in CivicVisions, based in Philadelphia. CivicVisions merges knowledge of a place’s history with the ability to see how this may be used to create a future that responds to contemporary lifestyle forces. CivicVisions has created a downtown Las Vegas Arts District, an economic/identity initiative for Pennsylvania’s colleges and communities, a Getty Grant exhibit about Haverford’s campus identity and projects for developers and institutions nationwide. Their “Learning from Las Vegas in the Media Age” was selected as one of the top 25 speakers at the AIA 2005 national convention. Ms. Snyder investigates how local identity is expressed, maintained and able to develop while being responsive to larger global and media forces that affect the realms of contemporary life. Her teaching for more than twenty five years at the University of Pennsylvania includes seminars and design studios that investigate the forces of consumption on urban form. Ms. Snyder’s research on contemporary systems seeks to understand the changing shape of urban retail/distribution and the relation between the automobile and contemporary community form. She has received two University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation grants to study processes of urban identity. Public service includes serving as chair of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Advisory Board of Design, a member of the Fine Arts Committee and of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance jury.