Robert D. Yaro has been Professor of Practice at PennDesign since 2002. In 2004 he identified the emergence of 11 megaregions across the United States, and since then has led seminars and studios on planning for emerging megaregions in the US, Spain, the United Kingdom, China, Singapore and Morocco.
He is also president emeritus of the Regional Plan Association. He led RPA from 1990 until his retirement as president and CEO in December 2014. Headquartered in Manhattan, RPA is America’s oldest and most distinguished independent metropolitan research and advocacy group.
At RPA, Yarrow led the five-year effort to prepare RPA’s Third Regional Plan, A Region at Risk, which he co-authored in 1996. He also initiated work on the fourth plan. These strategic plans are designed to shape metropolitan growth and development and policies and investments in transportation, environment and climate, housing and urban design across the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan region.
At RPA he also established and led the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, a broad-based coalition of civic groups formed to guide redevelopment in Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He also initiated and led America 2050, an investigation of long-term development trends and infrastructure needs for the United States and its megaregions. He is now leading Rebooting New England, an initiative to build a high-performance rail network between New York and Boston, as part of a broader effort to with revitalize the region’s mid-sized cities.
Professor of Practice, University of Pennsylvania