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Thread: Any influential urban planners that were not architects?

  1. #1

    Any influential urban planners that were not architects?

    It seems like anyone and everyone who has written on urban planning has an architecture background. Are there any influential works written by people with just an urban planning background?

    I am also curious about urban design.

  2. #2
    To name just a few who were not architects:

    Jane Jacobs
    Lewis Mumford
    Eve ne'er Howard
    Richard Florida

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Correct spelling is Ebenezer

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    William H Whyte
    Jacob Riis
    Herbert Gans
    Roberta Gratz
    Ian McHarg
    was Bacon an architect?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Any contemporary ones that graduated in urban planning?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Correct spelling is Ebenezer

    Frederick Law Olmsted and Jr.
    Sorry, I had eye surgery and was typing on autopilot.

  7. #7
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    Has Jane Jacobs really influenced planning? As I'm reading "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (1961) I find myself wondering if anything has changed in the 50 years since it was published or if we've been blindly plowing ahead. I wasn't around in 1961 but I have the feeling there's more blight in our cities now than there was then. So, was she actually influential?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Why, me, of course.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  9. #9
    "Urban Planning" is a very new academic discipline, I think only 1 or 2 universities even gave out MS's in Urban Planning in the States until the late 1940's, before then planning (at least the "official kind endorsed by governments) was kinda just the hobby of architects. IMHO we have just begun to see trained "Urban Planners" having a bigger influence on discipline and practice of planning. On that note:

    Influential "planners" with urban planning degrees:

    Kevin Lynch
    Allan B. Jacobs
    Donald Appleyard
    Paul Davidoff
    John Friedmann
    Leonie Sandercock (her PhD is technically Urban Research, but her dissertation was on urban planning in Australia)
    Bent Flyvbjerg


    Other non-architects who have influenced planning:

    Georges-Eugène Haussmann (planner of Paris, controversial but undeniably influential)
    Jurgen Habermas - communicative action theory
    Henri Lefebvre - theory on the "production of space"
    Richard Sennett
    Saskia Sassen
    Herbert Gans
    David Harvey

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jwhitty's avatar
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    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Ph.D in Transportation Engineering and Planning (I have heard the traffic in Tehran is terrible).

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Most of the people on this thread are either architects, architectural critics, landscape architects, or engineers. Interesting.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by jwhitty View post
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Ph.D in Transportation Engineering and Planning (I have heard the traffic in Tehran is terrible).
    Who knew?
    The content contrarian

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by Melalvai View post
    Has Jane Jacobs really influenced planning? As I'm reading "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (1961) I find myself wondering if anything has changed in the 50 years since it was published or if we've been blindly plowing ahead. I wasn't around in 1961 but I have the feeling there's more blight in our cities now than there was then. So, was she actually influential?
    She was legend in Toronto and lead several lesser known battles north of the border, including successfully defeating a highway plan that would have leveled one of Toronto's most cherished neighborhoods.

    She had no formal education in planning and is often the subject of controversy when debating the extent of her contribution to the profession. On a personal level, she helped influence my love of planning. Has Jane Jacobs really influenced planning? I guess it depends on who you ask.
    The content contrarian

  14. #14
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Can't forget Robert Moses. We learned a lot from how he did things.
    • Don't give one person so much power
    • NEPA
    • He wore snazzy suits!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    James Howard Kunstler, if you consider him an urban planner.

    Baron Haussmann was hugely influential on Paris, but I don't believe was ever a practicing architect.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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