Urban Fold

Summer Academics: Finding Faculty Blogs

Ann Forsyth's picture

With the coming of summer, students finish courses, faculty head off to do research, and practitioners think about vacations. However, for those interested in keeping up to date with academic issues in planning, a number of bloggists provide useful insights into the politics and hot issues in planning education. For students they are a window into the work of educators and for practicing planners they are an easy way to keep up to date with what's happening in the schools.

The most established bloggist is Martin Krieger at USC who has been providing advice over the internet for more than a decade. This Week's Finds in Planning is a fabulous resource full of hard-hitting advice for doctoral students and musings about Krieger's planning interests-particularly using diverse media in planning

A more recent entrant into the blog field is Randy Crane at UCLA. Urban Planning Research invites guest postings, including one by me. It is more topical than This Week's Finds and typically has much longer entries. It's often quite provocative.

A native of Columbia, Maryland, engineering professor, and adjunct faculty member in planning, David Levinson's blog The Transportationist, mixes personal anecdote and a great deal if information about Levinson's current interests. While transportation is the focus, you'll also find his comments on the British National Health Service and other miscellaneous topics. Several other faculty have blogs of this type, including Peter Gordon.

Of course a number of other Planetizen bloggists are planning faculty as well. Most write about planning topics--for instance Planetizen has assembled a diverse bunch of planning bloggists with Genie Birch, Lance Freeman, Eric Damien Kelly, and John Renne. Bruce Stiftel is the other bloggist to focus on education, highlighting the issue of planning research and giving tips for students at conferences.

All worth looking at.

Ann Forsyth's blog focuses on planning education. In late February it provided advice for planning students heading into the season of graduate school offers. In late March it pondered the temptation to email a famous author for help with assignments. In late April it pointed to some fantastic online video resources available to those interested in refreshing their knowledge of planning history. Future blogs will deal with planning as a job versus a calling, and provide inside advice on applying to graduate schools in planning.


Ann Forsyth is professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University.


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