Contributing Author Bios


Janine Benyus is a natural sciences writer, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including her latest − Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.  In Biomimicry, she names an emerging discipline that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's designs and processes.  Since the book's 1997 release, Janine has evolved the practice of biomimicry, co-founding an education and innovation practice called Biomimicry Guild, consulting with sustainable business, academic, and government leaders, serving on the Eco-Dream Team at Interface, Inc., and conducting seminars about what we can learn from the genius that surrounds us.  Additionally, Benyus teaches interpretive writing, lectures at the University of Montana, and works towards restoring and protecting wild lands.  She has received several awards including Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award, the Lud Browman Award for Science Writing, the Science Writing in Society Journalism Award, and the Barrows and Heinz Distinguished Lectureships. Janine Benyus speaking on TED.


Hillary Brown, FAIA, is founding principal of the firm New Civic Works, which assists public, institutional and nonprofit entities in portfolio-wide sustainability planning (buildings and infrastructure.) Clients for whom she has authored and helped implement environmental guidelines include Governors Island Education and Preservation Corporation, the City of New Haven, the State University of New York/ University at Buffalo, and Battery Park City.  Hillary established the City of New York's initial Office of Sustainable Design, which published the City of New York High Performance Building Guidelines in 1999. By early 2009, more than 60 city projects incorporating its sustainable strategies are in design, construction, or have been built. Her current firm since envisioned and co-authored the companion publication: High Performance Infrastructure Guideline: best practices for the public right-of-way. Hillary has served on both the national and New York Board of Directors for the U.S. Green Building Council. As Professor at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York, she will direct its new interdisciplinary Masters of Science program in Urban Sustainability. Interview with Hilary Brown on Living on Earth, NPR


Robert Cowan is a director of the London-based consultant and training provider Urban Design Skills. He is the author of The Dictionary of Urbanism and editor of Context, the journal of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. His publications include The Connected City, The Cities Design Forgot, Urban Design Guidance, London After Dark and Re:urbanism. He has written design policy and guidance for England and Wales, and for the Scottish Government. He devised the community audit method Placecheck and the urban design skills appraisal method Capacitycheck. He is an illustrator and his weekly cartoon appeared in Planning for 20 years. Recorded Public Lecture with Rob Cowan, New Castly University


The Honorable David Crombie, P.C., O.C., has served as Mayor of Toronto, Member of Parliament and Federal Cabinet Minister. He is the former President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, former Chair of Ontario Place Corporation and Founding Chair of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust.  He has received honorary degrees from the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Seneca College.  He is President of David Crombie and Associates Inc. and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Council for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and Chair of the Toronto Lands Corporation.  Crombie is also Chancellor Emeritus of Ryerson University and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.  He has been appointed an Officer to the Order of Canada. Read about Crombie's Waterfront Regeneration Trust Initiative


Pierre Desrochers is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto. His main research interests focus primarily on economic development, technological innovation and business-environment interactions. He maintains a detailed website at


Samuli Leppälä is a Research Associate in the Department of Economics at the Turku School of Economics, Finland. He earned a M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration from the Turku School of Economics in 2004. Currently, Samuli is writing a dissertation on economics of knowledge and his research interests include markets for information, innovation, and technological change. Read Samuli's presented work on Division of Labor


Matias Sendoa Echanove was born in Geneva, Switzerland, studied Economics at the LSE in London and Urban Planning at Columbia University in New York. He is now a Ph.D scholar researching information technology and participatory urban planning at the University of Tokyo. His has published articles and essays in international publications urbanism, the informal economy, unplanned settlements, participatory politics and information technology. His writings can be found on He coordinated the Urban Typhoon workshops in Shimokatzawa (Tokyo) and Dharavi (Mumbai). He is a co-founder of in Mumbai and The Institute of Urbanology in Goa.


Nan Ellin is Planning Program Director and Associate Professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. She holds an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College.  She has previously taught at the University of Cincinnati, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), University of Southern California, and New York University. Ellin is a former Fulbright Scholar and the author of Integral Urbanism (2006) and Postmodern Urbanism(1996; revised 1999).  She is the editor of Architecture of Fear (1997).  Most recently, Ellin collaborated with Edward Booth-Clibborn on Phoenix: 21st-Century City and is a popular essayist and lecturer on urban revitalization, sustainable urbanism, regional planning for the future, and the creative city. Ellin's Feature in Shade Magazines's "From Phoenix to Flourish"


Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, is a research psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and a professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University.  Trained at Bryn Mawr College and Columbia University, she has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities.  She has authored Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It(2004), The House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place (1999), and is co-author of Rodrick Wallace's Collective Consciousness and Its Discontents: Institutional Distributed Cognition, Racial Policy and Public Health in the United States (2008). Next American City Magazine feature on Fullilove.



Jan Gehl is Professor of Urban Design at the School of Architecture at Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where he earned his BA and MA in 1960. He is also the founding partner of Gehl Architects - Urban Quality Consultants. His research on public spaces and public life began in Copenhagen, but was quickly applied to many other cities in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Gehl's publications include Life between Buildings, Public Spaces- Public Life, and New Urban Spaces, which have been translated into multiple languages and published in various countries across Europe, North America, and Asia. They present a method for evaluating city quality, discuss how our sensory abilities affect our use of space, and make recommendations for how design techniques can encourage active use of outdoor space. Project for Public Spaces Profile of Jan Gehl


Arlene Goldbard's work focuses on the intersection of culture, politics and spirituality. Her books include New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development, Community, Culture and Globalization and Clarity, a novel. Her essays have been published in In Motion Magazine, The Arts Politic, Theatre, Tikkun, and many other journals. She has addressed academic and community audiences on topics ranging from the ethics of community arts practice to the need for a paradigm shift in cultural policy. See her talks and writings at


Roberta Brandes Gratz is a journalist, author and New York City Landmarks Preservation Commissioner.  Her work has emphasized historic preservation and community development based on organic, incremental concepts like urban husbandry.  Gratz's published works include Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown (Wiley, 2000) and The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way (Wiley, 1994).  Her forthcoming title is The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs (Nation Books/Basic Books, 2010). Gratz has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, Municipal Art Society, the New York Press Club and the City Club of New York. Read about the New York Preservation Archive Roberta Grantz Project


Ken Greenberg is an architect, urban designer, teacher, writer, former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the City of Toronto and Principal of Greenberg Consultants. For over three decades he has played a pivotal role on public and private assignments in urban settings throughout North America and Europe, focusing on the rejuvenation of downtowns, waterfronts, neighborhoods and on campus master planning, regional growth management, and new community planning. Cities as diverse as Toronto, Hartford, Amsterdam, New York, Boston, Montréal, Washington DC, Paris, Detroit, Saint Paul and San Juan Puerto Rico have benefited from his advocacy and passion for restoring the vitality, relevance and sustainability of the public realm in urban life. In each city, with each project, his strategic, consensus-building approach has led to coordinated planning and a renewed focus on urban design. He is the recipient of the 2010 American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for public design excellence and is currently working on a book on cities with Random House. View photos and descriptions of his latest projects.


Nabeel Hamdi has consulted on participatory action planning and upgrading of slums in cities worldwide. He is the author of Small Change, Housing Without Houses , co-author of Making Micro Plans and Action Planning for Cities, and editor of the collected volumes Educating for Real and Urban Futures. Currently Professor Emeritus of Housing and Urban Development at Oxford Brookes University and teaching fellow at University College, London. He has been an Arup Fellow at the University of Cape Town and is adjunct professor at the National University of Technology, Trondhiem,  Norway. As an architect for the Greater London Council between 1969 and 1978, his award-winning housing projects established his reputation in participatory design and planning. During the 1980s he was Professor of Housing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Among other distinguished honors of his career, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2008. Read more about Hamdi on the sustainability website Worldchanging.


Chester Hartman, an urban planner and author, is Director of Research and founding Executive Director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council in Washington, DC. Prior to that, he was a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, and of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. He holds a PhD. in City and Regional Planning from Harvard and served on the faculty there, as well as at Yale, the University of North Carolina, Cornell, the University of California-Berkeley, and Columbia University. He is currently serving as an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at George Washington University. Additionally, Dr. Hartman is the founder and former Chair of the Planners Network, a national organization of progressive urban and rural planners and community organizers, and has been a consultant to numerous public and private agencies.  He has nearly two dozen books to his name. PBS:The Fillmore Stories featuring Chester Hartman


Sanford (Sandy) Ikeda is Associate Professor of Economics at State University New York, Purchase and visting scholar at New York University, where he received his PhD. His work has emphasized the impact of governmental institutions on urban areas and has recently published scholarly articles on social capital, urbanizing economics, and the economic impact of Katrina on New Orleans. He contributed the entry on Robert Moses for the new International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences and on Jane Jacobs for the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. His published works include Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism; The Career of Robert Moses: City Planning as a Microcosm of Socialism; and The Role of Social Capital in the Market Process. Ikeda's article on New Orleans for Forbes Magazine


Allan Jacobs is Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, and a member of the Department of City and Regional Planning since 1975. He promotes the use of observation as a tool for researching the design of the public realm - streets, spaces, and parks. Prior to his tenure at Berkeley, Jacobs served as Director of Planning for the City of San Francisco from 1967-1975, and has since served as a consultant in city planning and urban design to Curitiba, Brazil; Berkeley; the Los Angeles Redevelopment Authority; Portland; and many other cities. Jacobs is widely known for his publications and research in the field of urban design, including such books as Great Streets, Looking at Cities, and Making City Planning Work. Jacobs holds a Bachelor of Architecture cum laude from Miami University, and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Fulbright Scholar in City Planning at University College London. He has won a number of honors and awards, including the AIA Excellence in Education Award, California Chapter, 1994; Resident in Architecture, American Academy in Rome, 1996; and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1982. Read a review of Jacob's Great Streets


Daniel Kemmis is the author of Community and The Politics of Place and The Good City and the Good Life. Mr. Kemmis was formerly Mayor of Missoula, Montana, and a former Speaker and Minority Leader of the Montana House of Representatives. He was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize for outstanding contribution to the field of the humanities by President Clinton, and the Center of the American West awarded him the Wallace Stegner Prize for sustained contribution to the cultural identity of the West. UTNE reader profile of Daniel Kemmis

Jaime Lerner
is an architect and urban planner and founder of the Instituto Jaime Lerner. Former president of the UIA-International Union of Architects, three-time mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, he led the urban revolution that made the city renowned for urban planning in public transportation, environment, and social programs. He served as governor of Parana State twice and conducted an urban and rural economic and social transformation. His international awards include the highest United Nations Environmental Award (1990), Child and Peace Award from UNICEF (1996), The 2001 World Technology Award for Transportation, and the 2002 Sir Robert Mathew Prize for the Improvement of Quality of Human Settlements. Jaime Lerner speaking on TED.


Elizabeth Macdonald, Phd., is Associate Professor of City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. A registered architect and a member of Berkeley's Landscape Architecture Department,  she is the the co-editor, with Michael Larice, of The Urban Design Reader, and, with Jacobs and Rofe, the author of The Boulevard Book. A third book, on Olmsted's Brooklyn parkways has been accepted for publication. She has consulted widely, in San Francisco, Vancouver, Abu Dhabi, and other cities. A partner in the firm Jacobs Macdonald Cityworks, Octavia Boulevard in San Francisco, and Pacific Boulevard,in Vancouver are two of the many street design projects she has worked on.

MacDonald speaking on ForaTV


Clare Cooper Marcus is Professor Emerita in the departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the Principal of Healing Landscapes, a consulting firm that specializes in user-needs analysis related to the programming and design of outdoor spaces in healthcare settings. She is internationally recognized for her research on the social and psychological implications of design, particularly urban open space, affordable housing, and environments for children and for the elderly. She has lectured and consulted in the United States, Canada, Britain, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Italy, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, and China. Marcus has been recognized for her work with awards from the AIA, ASLA ,The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has authored/co-authored/edited numerous publications, including notably Housing As If People Mattered (1986), People Places (1990), House as a Mirror of Self (1995), and Healing Gardens (1999). Read Clare's "Healing Gardens in Hospitals"


Richard Register is a theorist and educator working on ecological city design, planning, policy development and actual implementation in laws and built projects. He is author of several books including Ecocities - Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature, 2006, with more than 120 of his illustrations. He is also founder of the International Ecocity Conference series held in the United States, Senegal Brazil, India and China to date. He speaks frequently at conferences for designers, architects, planners, environmentalists, government officials and concerned citizens around the world.He has founded several organizations and is currently director of EcoCity Builders.


Mary Rowe has developed and managed projects involving the public and private sectors, labor and local communities, in areas in the public interest: health, governance, the environment, housing, social services, education and culture, and is currently serving the New Orleans Institute for Resilience and Innovation. She was previously Vice President of Urban Programs at the Blue Moon Fund and their Senior Urban Fellow. Mary was Director of Toronto-based Ideas that Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of Jane Jacobs. She was also Project Director for BorderLines: Canada in North America, and The C5, an ongoing meeting of the Mayors of Canada's five 'hub' cities and their community leaders seeking more autonomy for their city-regions. Mary was a close personal friend and colleague of Ms. Jacobs. Rowe speaks about Jacobs' work on Miller McCune


Janette Sadik-Khan was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2007.  She is internationally recognized for her expertise in transportation issues, public policy development and innovative finance -knowledge gained in over 18 years of experience in federal and local government and the private sector. Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, she was a Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a leading international engineering firm. Previously, she was Deputy Administrator at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), managing the capital construction budget and responsible for developing an innovative finance program which provided localities with increased funding and regulatory flexibility. Sadik-Khan holds a B.A. in Political Science from Occidental College, a law degree from Columbia University School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar. She was a Rockefeller Fellow and has been a visiting scholar at New York University. New York Magazine Feature on Janette


Saskia Sassen, in addition to her appointments at Columbia University and the London School of Economics serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. Her research and writing focuses on globalization (including social, economic and political dimensions), immigration, global cities (including cities and terrorism), the new networked technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. In her research she has focused on the unexpected and the counterintuitive as a way to cut through established "truths." She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Cities. In addition to authoring over half a dozen books, she has contributed text to The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek International, Vanguardia, Clarin, and the Financial Times, among others. Read Sassen's recent contribution to The Huffington Post on Haiti


Ron Shiffman, FAICP, is the former director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, which he co-founded in 1964. A city planner with nearly four decades of experience, he is also a professor at Pratt's Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment where he's currently teaching a course in Advocacy Planning. He has received "numerous awards from community based organizations, national advocacy groups including local and national awards from ADPSR (Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility), the local chapters of the AIA and AICP, the Municipal Art Society and he has authored a number of articles on urban planning, social justice and community economic development. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since May 1985 and in April 2002 became an AICP Fellow. Gotham Gazette "Rebuilding NYC" with Shiffman


Robert Sirman is based in Ottawa as Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. During 15 years as co-CEO of Canada's National Ballet School in Toronto he spearheaded a $100 million capital expansion program that tripled the School's physical plant and re-animated the inner city neighbourhood in which the School is located. Sirman has an MA in sociology (University of Toronto) and worked for 10 years as Director of Operations and Director of Research and Policy Planning at the Ontario Arts Council. Read Sirman's 2009 Speech at the "Leading Creative Organizations" conference.


Michael Sorkin is Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York. From 1993 to 2000 he was Professor and Director of the Institute for Urbanism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Sorkin's long academic career has also included professorships at Cooper Union, Harvard, Yale (holder of the Davenport and Bishop chairs), Cornell (Gensler Chari) Columbia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois. Michigan (Saarinen Chair), Nebraska (Hyde Chair). Sorkin lectures widely and is the author of several hundred articles on architectural and urban subjects. For ten years he was the architectural critic of the Village Voice and is currently contributing editor for Architectural Record. His books include Variations on a Theme Park, Exquisite Corpse, Giving Ground (edited with Joan Copjec), Wiggle, Local Code, Some Assembly Required, The Next Jerusalem, After the World Trade Center (edited with Sharon Zukin), Starting from Zero, Against the Wall, and Indefensible Space. Forthcoming are Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, Eutopia, All Over the Map, and Project New Orleans. Sorkin is also President of Terreform, a non-profit engaged in urban research and advocacy and President of The Institute for Urban Design. Michael Sorkin on


Rahul Srivastava studied social and urban anthropology in Mumbai, Delhi and Cambridge (UK). He taught at Wilson College, Mumbai and worked as Director of PUKAR in Mumbai, a research collective set-up by Arjun Appadurai. He has done research in Mumbai, Delhi, Georgetown-Penang, Kolkata, Tokyo, Nara (Japan) and New York. His previous publications include Tribal Identity and Minority Status An Ethnography of Urbanized Nomads Around Mumbai (1994), a novel published by Puffin, Penguin India (2007) and essays on urban anthropology and popular culture. He is based in Goa and Mumbai, is a co-founder of and The Institute of Urbanology in Goa. He has published articles and essays in international publications. His writings can be found on


James Stockard is Curator of the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In this role, he directs the nation's only program of independent study for mid-career practitioners in fields related to the built and natural environment. He was a founding principal in the firm of Stockard, Engler & Brigham. He is past president of the Citizens Housing and Planning Association, a founding trustee of the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust, and served as a commissioner of the Cambridge Housing Authority for the past 30 years, including seven terms as chairperson. Mr. Stockard holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Princeton University and a Master of City Planning degree from the Harvard Design School. He was a Rockefeller Fellow at Union Theological Seminary and a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Design School. Read about the Citizen's Housing and Planning Association.


Ray Suarez has spent the last 30 years as a journalist covering some of the largest urban areas in the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Rome, and Chicago. He is currently a Washington-based Senior Correspondent for the NewsHour on PBS. His books include The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America, and The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration. His next book, on demographic change in the US, has the working title Life in the Next America. PBS exclusive with Suarez, Nov. 2009


Deanne Taylor is a playwright and co-founder of the award-winning theater company, VideoCabaret in Toronto, Canada. With the company's seminal troupe, The Hummer Sisters, her early work featured camera-wielding actor/singers in a landscape of hot-wired TVs. Over the years her productions developed a repertoire of video effects for plays, operettas, and mock-news cabarets satirizing mass-media politics. Deanne's interest in city planning goes back to the eighties when The Hummer Sisters ran for Mayor of Toronto with the help of hundreds of artists and musicians (coming second with 10 percent of the vote!). Since then Deanne has written and directed many election cabarets and the recent play, City For Sale. Deanne has also produced twenty plays by VideoCab co-founder, Michael Hollingsworth, dramatizing the entire history of Canada, and she occasionally writes for readers. Read about one of Deanne's original works for Video Cabaret,The Patty Rehearst Story.


Alexie M. Torres-Fleming is the Founder and Executive Director of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ), a faith-based organization located in New York City. YMPJ's mission is to foster peace and justice through youth and community development and organizing. Since its founding in 1994, YMPJ has helped a generation of Bronx youth utilize advocacy, community organizing, environmentalism, and the arts to actively re-imagine and reconstruct their neighborhoods. Ms. Torres-Fleming's work generates creative use of the urban environment and provides neighborhood leadership to solve common problems. She is a recipient of the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal. Ms. Torres-Fleming lives in the South Bronx with her husband and two children. Read Alexie's Keynote address to the 2009 freshman class at Bronx Community College


Susan Witt has served as executive director of the E. F. Schumacher Society since its founding in 1980. She is the founder of the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires and of the newly formed BerkShare local currency program. She previously founded the Self-Help Association for a Regional Economy (SHARE) a micro-lending program for small businesses. A board member of the Great Barrington Land Conservancy and an advisory board member of The Orion Society, of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). Witt's essays appear in Rooted in the Land; People, Land, and Community; A Forest of Voices: Conversations in Ecology; Environmental Activists; The Money Changers: Currency Reform from Aristotle to E-cash; in the 1999 edition of Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered; and The Essential Agrarian Reader. Ms. Witt speaks regularly on the topic of citizen responsibility for shaping local economies. Her work has been described in various radio, TV, book, magazine, newspaper, and on-line interviews. A list of links to Witt's published work on community land trusts.


Peter Zlonicky, is a German architect and author, born in Czechoslovakia in 1935. He studied urban design and renewal in Darmstadt, and in 1963 established the Büro für Stadtplanung und Stadtforschung (urban planning and research office) in Darmstadt, Essen and Dortmund, now also in Munich. Working on both national and international levels, he is currently collaborating with Didier Vancutsem. He has been a full professor since 1971, first at the Technical University in Aachen, then in Dortmund and Hamburg. He has held guest professorships at the universities of Venice, Trent, Zurich and Vienna.

Find Peter in the archInform International Architecture Database.

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