Research Staff / Student
Bella Purdy

Bella Purdy is a Master of City Planning candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at MIT, where is associated with the City Design and Development and Housing, Community, and Economic Development program groups. Her research and curriculum are focused on climate resilience and adaptation planning, with an emphasis on developing permanent post-disaster housing solutions and open space strategies that mitigate flood-risks and heat island effects.

Bella was a Priscilla King Gray Public Service Fellow in the Boston Department of Environment, Energy, and Open Space during the summer of 2018. Working with the environment and preservation teams, she integrated resilience guidelines into existing historic preservation regulations for the City of Boston. Bella also created a design reference for developers to facilitate compliance with Boston's Green Buildings and Climate Resiliency regulations.

Before coming to MIT, Bella worked in Philadelphia for three years as a design professional at the architecture and research firm, KieranTimberlake. At KieranTimberlake, Bella contributed to the design, detailing, and prototyping of façade and envelope systems for new student housing in Seattle and San Francisco. She also supported the research team’s sustainability goals by conducting Life Cycle Assessments for construction materials for the University of Washington project.  

Bella became interested in sustainable development as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in Global Sustainability. At UVa, Bella was a student researcher for the Arctic Design Group, an academic initiative examining the effects of sea level rise on society, economy, and governance in the Arctic region.  

Bella is continuing her research and training in sustainable and resilient urban development as a Leventhal Fellow at the Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism.