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Ann Forsyth is professor of Urban Planning at Harvard University.
Member for
 9 years
Contributed
 79 posts
Trained in planning and architecture, Ann Forsyth is a professor of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. From 2007-2012 she was a professor of city and regional planning at Cornell. She taught previously at at the University of Minnesota, directing the Metropolitan Design Center (2002-2007), Harvard (1999-2002), and the University of Massachusetts (1993-1999) where she was co-director of a small community design center, the Urban Places Project. She has held short-term positions at Columbia, Macquarie, and Sydney Universities. Ann Forsyth’s work focuses on the social aspects of physical planning and urban development. The big question behind her research and practice is how to make cities more sustainable and healthy. Forsyth’s contributions have been to analyze the success of planned alternatives to sprawl, particularly exploring the tensions between social and ecological values in urban design. Several issues prove to be the most difficult to deal with in planning better places and provide a focus for some of her more detailed investigations: suburban design more generally (sense of place, overall layout) and other aspects of healthy places (walkability, social diversity, housing, green space, food). Forsyth received her B.Sc. in Architecture from the University of Sydney, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell.

Recent Posts

Blog post
April 13, 2016, 10am PDT
As the 2016 admission season winds down, thoughts turn to the 2017 application process. For students considering the idea, there are several good reasons to attend graduate school in 2017, and a few that may cause problems later.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
April 6, 2015, 10am PDT
How to generate ideas in planning is a question that many planning students ask. This can seem a mysterious and difficult process. Unfortunately, planning education has not always done a great job of helping students unpack this apparent mystery.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
February 10, 2015, 5am PST
With social media and the internet generally making it easy to contact faculty across the globe students are tempted to do so. But when is it appropriate? The short answer is contact them if they request it.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
January 13, 2015, 5am PST
Ann Forsyth, professor of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, shares insight into common traits of the best educational programs in planning.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
December 8, 2014, 5am PST
One question I get asked a lot is if students should present at conference. In fact it is often more of a statement of intent rather than a question about whether it is useful. The answer, however, is not as clear as many students believe.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
November 26, 2014, 9am PST
At this time of year, many prospective graduate students are asking themselves if they should apply to planning programs. This is a good question. Planning is a diverse field and it can be hard to figure out if it will be the right fit.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
December 24, 2013, 12am PST
As students plan their spring semester courses and make early plans for the summer, they often wonder how to choose a planning specialization or concentration. They ask how important the concentration is for their future career as a planner.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
June 20, 2013, 12am PDT
What should graduate students read the summer before entering planning school? For those with some time on their hands the following suggestions can help provide direction.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
February 27, 2013, 10am PST
How should a statement of purpose for a graduate school application differ from one for an undergrad program? This post outlines the elements of a compelling graduate school statement.
Ann Forsyth
Blog post
February 8, 2013, 2pm PST
Making the most of being a student requires more than just completing the course credits necessary for a degree. See my suggestions for activities beyond the classroom that are key to getting a great education.
Ann Forsyth