Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Top 100 Urban Thinkers

Without planning and design, our built environments can just grow into unlivable, uncontrolled collections of freeways, power supplies, billboards, factories, and pollution (left). The fact that many of our cities have some wonderful spaces that enhance our quality of life is because of the hard work of many urbanists and city planners.

A website called Planetizen took a poll of its members to find out who they thought were the most important urban thinkers. They must have some pretty knowledgeable members because their list of the top 100 is a veritable who's who of urban planning and design. This list is an excellent start for anyone interested in learning or teaching more about urban design.

Planetizen's poll was active for one month, from August 7th to September 7th, 2009. A significant issue that will surely be raised is the lack of women: only 9 out of the top 100 are female. This is countered somewhat by the decisively wide lead by which Jane Jacobs takes the top spot. The women who are included are impressive, but of course, there is a significant number of women making a big difference in urban planning who aren't on the list.

Click on the heading above to see the entire list of 100 urban thinkers on Planetizen's website and use that list as a foundation for any curriculum about urban planning and design.

No comments: