Associate Professor of Social Policy and Practice


Amy Hillier teaches courses relating to GIS, built environment and public health, and community development in city planning, urban studies, public health and social work. Her research focuses on issues of geographic disparities and access to services and resources in disadvantaged communities. Her research has included GIS applications in redlining and housing discrimination, affordable housing, and public health. Her dissertation, funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), considered the impact of the Home Owner's Loan Corporation on lending in Philadelphia. She continued this research as a HUD Urban Scholars Post-doctoral Fellow. See

Prior to joining the faculty at PennDesign, Dr. Hillier worked at the University of Pennsylvania's Cartographic Modeling Lab (CML) ( where she was the director of research. While at the CML, she worked with faculty across disciplines to integrate GIS and spatial analysis into their projects relating to obesity, gun violence, pre-term birth, and injuries to children.

In 2006, Dr. Hillier was awarded the Michael B. Katz Award for Teaching Excellence in Urban Studies.

In 2011, she was invited to present at TEDx Philly. See her talk about how we are failing our children and how GIS and spatial technologies can help at

Executive Board Term End