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.