Ann Forsyth's blog

Ann Forsyth is professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University.
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Moving Pictures of Planning History: Education Online

Constantly updated, the internet has created an important tool for accessing up-to date information—text, still images, and video. Increasingly it also provides a window into aspects of history, including planning history, that have previously been difficult to find. Documents, indexes to archival materials, and the photographic and map collections of historical societies are accessible online. Less well known are film and video resources—resources that can be played online or downloaded. The Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division now boasts an outstanding collection of hundreds of videos relevant to urban issues.

Some examples illustrate the range:

If Paul Davidoff has Email Should I Write?

Information Strategies for Answering Fundamental Planning Questions

In universities in the northern hemisphere, April and May are months for completing work and moving closer to graduation. Assignments are due. Exams are looming. Students are too tired to write well and professors are too tired to notice. In the crunch for time, enterprising students look to the power of new information and communication technologies to reach out beyond their harried contexts to experts who can help them answer important questions. If Paul Davidoff (now dead) had email, they reason, he would have been happy to respond.

Decision Time for (Prospective) Graduate Students

For those admitted to graduate planning programs in the U.S., March is the season of choices and decisions. Offers appear. Decision deadlines approach. Wait lists are formed. Even those who thought they knew what they wanted may be tempted to change their minds. Having been affiliated with seven vastly different planning programs, and having worked both as a faculty member and practitioner, I can attest that the choices aren’t simple.

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