Gregory Heller is a practitioner and author in the fields of community/economic development and urban policy. Greg serves as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), the City’s implementation arm for community development, where he was appointed in March 2016. Here Greg has brought a focus on leveraging public land assets and creative financing to incentivize social impact development.
In 2016 Greg was named a member of the Urban Land 40 Under 40, which recognizes the “best young land-use professionals from around the globe.” Greg’s involvement with the Urban Land Institute includes his service on ULI’s national Public/Private Partnership Council.
In June 2015 Greg was a speaker at TEDx Philadelphia, where he talked about the potential of “social impact real estate” to transform America’s urban communities.
Prior to his work at PRA, Greg was CEO of American Communities Trust (ACT), a national group based in Baltimore, that advises private real estate developers, government entities, and financial institutions, helping them connect their resources with urban and low-income communities. Greg grew the organization to serve clients in over 25 cities. In 2013 Greg served as a Senior Advisor with Econsult Solutions Inc., a Philadelphia-based economics firm.
From 2009-2012, he worked at The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation, in West Philadelphia, serving first in a project management role, and then as the organization’s Director. Here Greg was project manager for the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises. In 2012 Greg was awarded Community College of Philadelphia’s Distinguished Leadership Award.
From 2006-2009 Greg worked at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, where he was one of the primary authors of “Promoting Civic Design Excellence for Philadelphia,” an agenda for improving the quality of the city’s urban design and development. Following the publication of this report, Greg was invited to serve on Mayor Michael Nutter’s transition teams, where he helped implement the report’s policy recommendations. From 2004-2006 Greg worked at the Parkside Historic Preservation Corporation, an affordable housing developer.
Greg is the author of “Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics and the Building of Modern Philadelphia” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), and Greg’s writings on urban design and development have appeared in a variety of national and local publications.
For over 10 years Greg has served on the board of Families Forward Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s largest family homeless shelter. Greg is a founder of the Better Philadelphia Challenge, an annual, international urban design competition administered today by the Philadelphia Center for Architecture.
Greg has a B.A. from Wesleyan University, where he graduated with dual degrees in American Studies and German Studies. Greg lives with his wife, author and urbanist Diana Lind, and two sons, in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia.