Master of Urban Design - Future Cities


College of Architecture & the Built Environment


Master of Urban Design


East Falls


On Campus


The faculty and students in the Master of Urban Design (MUD) program collaborate with partners from government, academia and industry on a variety of funded research projects. The main research interests in the MUD program include sustainable cities, urban data analytics, computational urban design, environmental simulation, mixed reality (MR) technologies and much more.

See a sampling of their current research projects below:

Create a Smart Mobility Platform for Analyzing and Visualizing the Effects of Urban Mobility on Population Health in the Center City of Philadelphia

Principal Investigator: Dr. Peng Du
Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Mitchell A. Kaminski & Yang Yang
External Collaborators: Beige Berryman (Philadelphia City Planning Commission) & Ilkay C. Standard (GENX)
Research Assistant: Nithin Cheluva R.M
Period: July 2022 – June 2023
Funding Source
Jefferson Institute for Smart & Healthy Cities Seed Grant

Description: This research aims to develop a fast, data-driven urban mobility simulation platform that can predict carbon emissions and evaluate a variety of population health impacts for a given built environment. Specifically, a predictive framework that combines urban mobility simulation and health impact assessment will be developed, and the Center City of Philadelphia will be modeled and analyzed as the studying area. 

Lighting Design for Tall Buildings: History, Technology and Sustainability

Principal Investigator: Dr. Peng Du
Research Assistant: Shreya Kanther
Period: August 2022 – July 2023
Funding Source
: Brandston Partnership Inc.

Description: The objective of this research is to review the trends, drivers and challenges of lighting design in the tall building development in the history, and also capture the current state-of-the-art and full potential of lighting design strategies and technologies in tall buildings.

Mixed Reality (MR) in Urban Design – Reimaging Downtown Philadelphia

Principal Investigator: Dr. Peng Du
Research Assistant: Nithin Cheluva R.M
Period: August 2022 – March 2023
Funding Source
: Jefferson Faculty Seed Grant

Description: The research will develop a workflow and set up core equipment (smart headsets, mobile devices, etc.) to implement Mixed Reality (MR) in the computational urban design and environmental performance simulation, using downtown Philadelphia as a case study.