Professor John Macdonald

Subject: Social Sciences

Department/institution: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 

Contact details: johnmm@upenn.edu

From August 2019 - July 2020


Research Interests:

Professor John MacDonald is a criminologist who teaches and conducts scholarly research on a variety of topics including public policy responses to reduce crime and violence in society; reducing race and ethnic disparities in criminal justice; and the impact of the built environment on safety and health.  He is the past recipient of the David N. Kershaw Prize from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management for contributions to Public Policy by Age 40. His most recent book examines how urban landscape – from streets and sidewalks to green spaces, mass transit, and housing – can be designed to improve the health and safety of communities. The book argues for embracing science in urban planning, showing how scientists, planners, and citizens can work together to reshape cities in ways that improve health and safety in the population.  

Professor MacDonald also actively studies racial disparities in criminal justice processing and efforts to improve police-community relations.  While at Clare Hall, MacDonald will be engaged in projects to compare federal court efforts to impose reforms on the police in the US to approaches tried in England and Wales, and evidence-based approaches to creating effective and fair policing around the world.  


Select Publications:

MacDonald, J., Branas, C., & Stokes, R. (2019). Changing Places: The Science and Art of New Urban Planning. Princeton University Press