About Me

Stephanie Frank location portrait at Film Row
Photo by Brandon Parigo

I am Assistant Professor of Urban Planning + Design in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. An award-winning mentor, I teach courses in planning history, historic preservation, housing, land use planning, and urban studies. I am in charge of the department’s Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation.

My research examines the complexities of corporate power, industrial planning, and urban development in metropolitan America. My long-term project on the film industry’s role in shaping metropolitan Los Angeles investigates the shift in production methods (from fordist to postfordist) on film companies’ land-use decisions from 1920 to 1975. I am working on a grant-funded project to understand the film industry’s role in Kansas City’s urban development through film distribution and exhibition.

I am active member of two the leading planning and urban history organizations. I am a member of the Board of Trustees for the Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACPRH). Since June 2019, I have been an assistant editor for the Urban History Association’s The Metropole. I was recently featured as an Urban History Association Member of the Week on the blog.

I earned my Ph.D. in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California, my master’s degree in American Studies with a certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland, and my bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of Maryland. While in school, I worked as a historic preservation consultant at firms in Maryland and Los Angeles.

Beyond my academic responsibilities, I’m a news junkie who loves to travel to cities and art museums near and far. I’m always hunting for the perfect burger. And as you might expect from my research interests, I typically go to the movies every week.