Imagining Philadelphia: Edmund Bacon and the Future of the City

Scott Knowles

Assistant Professor & Director of Great Works Symposium
Department of History & Politics


In his 1959 essay "Philadelphia in the Year 2009," Edmund Bacon described a city remade, modernized in time to host the 1976 Bicentennial celebration and Philadelphia World's Fair. Imagining Philadelphia assesses Bacon's vision, discussing what has been accomplished and what might have been.

About Dr. Knowles

Dr. Knowles is interested in cities and the ways that cities change over time.  In recent years he has been particularly focused on understanding the means by which technological change, risk-taking, and urban planning have shaped modern American cities.  His work takes an interdisciplinary approach, so he is working across the boundaries of history, urban planning, sociology, cultural studies, and public policy.

In the Department of History and Politics he teaches a course on the history of Philadelphia, one of his favorite classes, as it combines classroom instruction with walks and site visits out in the city.  He also regularly teaches 20th-century United States and 19-century United States history surveys.

More about Dr. Knowles