Vote for the Most Influential Urbanists, Past and Present

Readers sent hundreds of nominees for an updated version of Planetizen's Most Influential Urbanists list. Now's your chance to vote among 200 nominees.

42 minute read

June 29, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Planetizen

@planetizen


Rosa Parks, Jane Jacobs, Frederick Law Olmsted

Credits: Ebony Magazine/ New York World-Telegram & Sun/ T. Johnson / Wikimedia Commons

There are 200 nominees for Planetizen's Most Influential Urbanists list. Of those nominees, 100 will be selected, by public survey, to be included on a forthcoming list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists. Take the survey here to rank your list and contribute to this semi-regular check-in with the leading thinkers and doers of the world of urbanism and its numerous intersections. (Take the survey here.)

Planetizen intends the term urbanists to be broadly intersectional, defined as anyone who has influenced the direction of the built environment and the quality of life of the communities that inhabit them. That can include artists, environmentalists, racial and social justice advocates, and transit riders, as well as suburban apologists, car manufacturers, and devil's advocates. For better or worse, these people have shaped the way the world lives, works, and plays in 2023.

That broad intersectionality hasn't always been represented in the canon of planning and urbanism discourse, as a long history of male and Eurocentric hegemony has made representation of women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color a challenge for lists like these. In the call for nominees for this list, we made a direct appeal for more representation that achieved by the survey that produced Planetizen's Most Influential Urbanists list in 2017:

This time around, we want to further amplify the work and influence of communities of color, women, and the LGBTQI+ community in shaping cities and making them more inclusive, accessible, and safe and highlight the efforts of leaders and organizations that have catalyzed changes at every level of government. We hope our list can reflect the changing demographics of the planning field as well as the growing recognition that the built environment and public policy have significant, and often unequal, impacts on people and communities.

While we can't speak for the list's racial or gender identity of everyone on the list, by our estimate, there are 53 Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) nominated, 15 BIPOC women among a total of 54 women, and several non-binary representatives as well. While the current ratio is an obvious advancement for representation of non-cis-white male urbanists compared to the Most Influential Urbanists List of 2017, it's too soon to rest on these laurels. A similar number of BIPOC and women were nominated in 2017, but the previous top 20 included only three women and one Brazilian man. 

While Planetizen will try to prevent ballot stuffing (you can only take the survey once), we do hope that by sharing this survey far and wide, the list this time around will be more thoroughly representative and reflective of the changing nature of planning and urbanism in the context of all the hard-earned lessons of race, class, economy, and environment over the past few years and decades. We wouldn't suggest that all the white men on this list are suddenly unfit to be acknowledged for their contributions to urbanism and the world, but surely such a list produced in 2023 can provide a more thorough and representative account of the great, big world of cities, community, and nature.

Editorial Note: All of those listed below that appeared on the 2017 Most Influential Urbanists include a reference to their placement list. All new nominees are bolded. 

Editorial Note (ct'd): The Planetizen editorial team decided to remove some of this year's nominees after assessing the competitiveness of the nomination relative to the rest of the list, due to space constraints and the need for more representation of gender and racial diversity. The Planetizen editorial team also removed some nominees from 2017 that weren't voted onto the final list, using the record provided by the 2017 survey and our own individual editorial assessment.

After reading the list, take the survey here. It is highly recommended that you choose a limited number to rank—the process of ranking dozens of names from this list can be challenging and complex.

Nominees for Planetizen's Most Influential Urbanists

Oscar Perry Abello - Journalist writing predominantly for Next City, providing in-depth coverage of the responses of communities to economic injustice.  

Jane Addams - (September 6, 1860 – May 21, 1935) Known as the "mother" of social work. (#24 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Christopher Alexander (October 4, 1936 – March 17, 2022) Architect and design theorist, regarded as the "father" of the pattern language movement. Co-author of the 1977 book A Pattern Language.

Saul Alinsky - (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) An American community organizer and writer and an early adopter and champion for many of the practices of modern community organizing. (#42 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Zaheer Allam - An advocate for energy and urban systems in Africa and the Small Island States. Co-founder of the Plateforme Citoyenne. (#68 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Dave Amos - An assistant professor of planning at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and producer and host of the popular YouTube channel CityBeautiful.

R. John Anderson - Co-founder and principal for Anderson|Kim Architecture + Urban Design. (#80 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Donald Appleyard - (July 26, 1928 – September 23, 1982) An urban designer and theorist, teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. Author of the book Livable Streets and, along with Allan Jacobs, the paper "Toward an Urban Design Manifesto." (#84 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Allison Arieff - Editorial director of print at the MIT Technology Review, contributing columnist to the New York Times, and former editorial director at the SPUR think tank. A critical voice on the tech industry's contributions to urbanism.

Sherry Arnstein - (January 11, 1930 – January 19, 1997) Originator of the "Ladder of Citizen Participation," a concept used to describe the level of community involvement in processes, among other core community engagement concepts.

Alex Baca - D.C. Policy Director at Greater Greater Washington and one of the most prominent forces in the planning and zoning reform movement commonly described as smart growth or YIMBY.

Edmund Bacon - (May 2, 1910 – October 14, 2005) An American urban planner, architect, educator, and author. Served as executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission from 1949 to 1970, earning the nickname "The Father of Modern Philadelphia." (#48 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Harland Bartholomew - (September 14, 1889 – December 2, 1989) The first full-time American planner, who pioneered many of the techniques for what is now called comprehensive planning. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat - (December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988) An American artist, who began his career as a graffiti artist in New York City, helping to popularize the medium. (#96 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Edward Bassett - (February 7, 1863 – October 7, 1948), "The Father of American Zoning," Bassett wrote the comprehensive zoning ordinance adopted by New York City in 1916. Bassett was also appointed by then-U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Herbert Hoover to serve as president of the National Conference on City Planning in 1909.

Catherine Bauer Wurster - (May 11, 1905 – November 21, 1964) A prominent public housing advocate and author of Modern Housing. The namesake, along with husband William Wurster, of Bauer Wurster Hall, home to the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.

Eddie Bautista - The executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA), Bautista is a community organizer and urban planner and former director of the Mayor’s Office of City Legislative Affairs in New York City.

F. Kaid Benfield - Former director for sustainable communities for the National Resources Defense Council and high profile author, writing at numerous urbanism publications and authoring several books. Currently the Senior Counsel for Environmental Strategies at PlaceMakers LLC. (#79 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Walter Benjamin - (July 15, 1892 –  September 26, 1940) A philosopher famous for theories of aesthetics. Benjamin also focused academic inquiry on the concept of the flâneur. (#82 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Alfred Bettman - (1873 – 1945) One of the central figures at the dawn of modern urban planning, Bettman bolstered the case for zoning by supporting the side of Euclid in the landmark Supreme Court case of Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. and led the creation of the first comprehensive plan in the United States: the City Plan for Cincinnati.

Michael Bloomberg - Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served three terms as the mayor of the city of New York, during a time of innovation in placemaking in the nation's largest city. Popular urbanism media outlet CityLab was bought by Bloomberg Media in 2019. (#23 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Earl Blumenauer - The U.S. Representative for Oregon's 3rd congressional district, Earl Blumenauer is one of the federal government's most ardent supporters of alternative transportation, through public transit and bike infrastructure, as well as sustainability initiatives. (#81 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Anthony Bourdain - (June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) A former chef, author of Kitchen Confidential, and the host of popular food travel shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown, Bourdain inspired a new era of food tourism in the United States and abroad.

Robert Bullard - Considered the father of environmental justice, Bullard is the chair of the Bullard Center for Environmental & Climate Justice at Texas Southern University.

Dan Burden - A leader in innovative transportation planning, working in the past as Florida's first state bicycle and pedestrian coordinator and as a co-founder of Walkable Communities, Inc. Burden is currently director of innovation and inspiration at Blue Zones, LLC. (#85 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Daniel Burnham - (September 4, 1846 – June 1, 1912) An American architect and a towering figure in the history of American planning, thanks to his work in co-authoring the Plan of Chicago. Burnham also contributed to plans for cities like Cleveland, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. (#18 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Tamika Butler - former executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Butler achieved national prominence speaking and advocating on the subjects of racial justice and transportation policy. Butler is currently the principal and founder of Tamika L. Butler Consulting while earning a PhD in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts - (July 19, 1949 – October 28, 2022) President of the State University of New York at Old Westbury and pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in the city of New York. Also the founder and chairman of Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) in New York. ADC invests in housing, for commercial development, for community services in distressed and underserved communities. 

Peter Calthorpe - Founder of the award-winning firm of Calthorpe Associates, Calthorpe is also one of the founders and the first board president of the Congress of New Urbanism. Most recently, Calthorpe has been advocating for a "Grand Boulevards" concept to retrofit defunct retail strip malls as housing. The concept was legislated in California by AB 2011, which allows residential construction by-right on lots previously zoned for commercial uses. (#22 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Geoffrey Canada - An American educator, social activist and author. Since 1990, Canada has been president of the Harlem Children's Zone in Harlem, New York. Canada has been repeatedly recognized as one of the most ambitious and accomplished leaders working for social good in the urban arena.

Rachel Carson - (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) An American marine biologist, author, and conservationist. Carson's book Silent Spring is credited with bringing environmental advocacy to a new level of public awareness. (#36 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Jimmy Carter - The 39th president of the United States, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and a tireless champion of Habitat for Humanity. (#40 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Majora Carter - An American urban revitalization strategist and public radio host from the South Bronx area of New York City. Carter's work focuses on inclusion and sustainability. (#70 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Horace Cayton, Jr. - (April 12, 1903 – January 21, 1970) A prominent American sociologist, newspaper columnist, and author, specializing in studies of working-class black Americans. Cayton Jr. co-authored, with St. Clair Drake, the seminal study "Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City."

Candi CdeBaca - Councilmember in the city of Denver. Previously co-founder and co-executive director of Project VOYCE, founder and member of the Cross Community Coalition, and founder and principal of Rebel Soul Strategies. (#38 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Henry Cisneros - Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, from 1981 to 1989—the second Latino mayor of a major American city and the city's first since 1842. Cisneros also served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the administration of President Bill Clinton. (#85 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Carol Coletta - President and CEO at Memphis River Parks Partnership. Formerly senior fellow with the Kresge Foundation’s American Cities program, vice president of community and national initiatives for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and president of ArtPlace. (#66 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Le Corbusier - (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965) Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, was a pioneer of modern architecture and planning. The "towers in the park" concept that emerged from his Radiant City Plan was adopted in cities around the United States. (#9 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Jose Corona - Former director of equity and strategic partnership for the Mayor's Office in the city of Oakland. Also previously worked as chief executive officer of Inner City Advisors (ICA) and the vice president of programs and partnerships at the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation. Corona is currently serving as the founder and principal of Rebozo Ventures.

Joe Cortright - A frequently cited source on subjects of urbanism in his working writing and researching for City Observatory.

Wendell Cox - Principal and owner of Wendell Cox Consultancy/Demographia, and a leading proponent of suburban development patterns and car-centric planning.

Dana Cuff - Founding director of cityLAB at the University of California, Los Angeles. Recently co-authored Urban Humanities: New Practices for Reimagining the City and authored Architectures of Spatial Justice. 

Paul Davidoff - (February 14, 1930 – December 27, 1984) Coined and developed the concept of Advocacy Planning with his wife, Linda Stone Davidoff. Primary litigant in the Mount Laurel decision, which established a state-constitutional basis for inclusionary zoning in New Jersey and established legal precedent for other jurisdictions around the country.

Mike Davis - (March 10, 1946 – October 25, 2022) Writer, political activist, urban theorist, and historian, best known for his investigations of power and social class in Southern California. Authored City of Quartz, published in 1990. (#92 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Alfa Demmellash - Co-founder and CEO of Rising Tide Capital, a nonprofit that supports under-served entrepreneurs in low-income urban communities to start and grow successful businesses.

Walt Disney - (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) An entrepreneur, animator, voice actor, and film producer. In 1965, Disney began development of Disney World as a new type of city, the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow." (#37 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Anthony Downs - (November 21, 1930 – October 2, 2021) A real estate finance expert, who researched "smart growth," traffic congestion, and metropolitan policy for the Brookings Institution. Authored An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957).

St. Clair Drake - (January 2, 1911 – June 15, 1990) A sociologist and anthropologist who documented social turmoil of the 1960s. Also established some of the first Black Studies programs in American universities, and co-authored, with Horace Cayton, Jr., the seminal study "Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City."

W.E.B. Du Bois - A sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and founder of the NAACP. DuBois was the first African-American to earn a doctorate (from Harvard, in sociology) and rose to prominence in 1899 with the publication of "The Philadelphia Negro." According to Pete Saunders, DuBois "was among the first to openly say that discrimination was at the heart of problems within isolated black urban communities."

Andrés Duany - An American architect, an urban planner, and a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Duany is credited with the plan and code for Seaside, the first new traditional community, the development of the SmartCode, and the definition of the rural to urban transect, among other accomplishments. (#5 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Ellen Dunham-Jones - Professor at the Georgia Tech School of Architecture and director of the school's urban design program. Authored, along with June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. (#71 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Janet Echelman - Famed for using art to bring a sense of wonder to public spaces. Also delivered a popular TED talk on the subject of imagination.

Amitai Etzioni - Known for work on socioeconomics and communitarianism, Etzioni founded the Communitarian Network.

Susan Fainstein - Currently a senior research fellow in the Harvard Graduate School of Design, with past professorships at Columbia University, and Rutgers University. Fainstein has authored and edited many books on urban theory, including Just City.

Doug Farr - Founding principal and president of Farr Associates Architecture and Urban Design. Farr also founded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Core Committee and is a board member of EcoDistricts. (#88 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - A pioneering hip hop group formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1976. Their classic song "The Message" is an instantly recognizable urban manifesto. (#72 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Richard Florida - One of the world's most visible contemporary urbanists. Richard Florida authored The Rise of the Creative Class and, more recently, The New Urban Crisis. Serves as university professor, director of cities at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto, and founder of the Creative Class Group. (#11 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Ann Forsyth - Professor of urban planning and director of the Master in Urban Planning Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Currently editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association.

John Hope Franklin - (January 2, 1915 – March 25, 2009) An American historian and former president of Phi Beta Kappa, the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Southern Historical Association. Author of From Slavery to Freedom, first published in 1947. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Yonah Freemark - Senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute think tank. Freemark is one of the leading voices for public transit in the world, including with the popular blog the transport politic. 

Buckminster Fuller -  (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) An American architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist. Fuller published more than 30 books and developed numerous inventions and architectural designs, including the geodesic dome. (#32 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Theaster Gates - A Chicago-based installation artist, Gates's addresses urban planning, among other issues. Gates is also the founder and artist director of the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on cultural-driven redevelopment and affordable space initiatives in under-served communities. (#99 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Patrick Geddes - (October 2, 1854 – April 17, 1932) A Scottish biologist, sociologist, geographer, and pioneering town planner, Geddes introduced the concept of "region" to architecture and planning and coined the term "conurbation." The 1909 drawing, the Valley Section, by Geddes, was an influential forebear of the contemporary development transect.  (#41 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Jan Gehl - An architect and urban designer famous for refocusing design and planning on the human scale. Author of Life Between Buildings; Public Spaces, Public Life; and Cities for People, among other books. Achieved new prominence with the 2011 documentary film Urbanized.  (#4 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Robert J. Gibbs - President of Gibbs Planning Group. Planned Michigan’s first ten New Urban communities and form-based codes, in addition to contributing to commercial developments in more than 400 town centers and historic cities in the United States and abroad. (#7 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Dan Gilbert - The chairman and founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans Inc., Gilbert makes this list for his portfolio of downtown development investments in Detroit and Cleveland. (#67 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Edward Glaeser - Economist and professor of economics at Harvard University. His book, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, is a popular and widely cited reference for urban boosters. (#43 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Roberta Brandes Gratz - A journalist, urban critic, lecturer, and author, Gratz co-founded the Center For the Living City and authored The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way, among other accomplishments.

Tyree Guyton - Practitioner of urban environmental art, working for over 30 years in Detroit's East Side on the Heidelberg Project.

Jason Hall - Bike advocate and co-founder of Detroit Bike City and the Slow Roll weekly group rides. The Slow Roll started in Detroit but has since spread to other cities around the United States.

Peter Hall - (March 19, 1932 – July, 30 2014) Professor of planning and regeneration at University College London. Also served as president of the Town and Country Planning Association and the Regional Studies Association. Considered the "father" of the enterprise zone, a policy tool subsequently adopted by countries worldwide to support economic development in disadvantaged areas.

Shima Hamidi - Transportation planner and a smart growth advocate. Former director of the Institute of Urban Studies and assistant professor of Urban Planning at the University of Texas Arlington. Currently an assistant professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins, where Hamidi serves as director and principal investigator for the new Center for Climate-Focused Transportation Solutions.

Julienne Hanson - Professor at University College of London. In the 1970s, Hanson pioneered, along with Bill Hillier, the concept of space syntax. Co-author of the Social Logic of Space.

Virginia Hanusik - A New Orleans-based artist examining the relationship between culture and the built environment. Hanusik's projects, Backwater and Impossible City, were detailed in Places Journal. Recipient of the Decade of Change Award (2020) and a Creative Capital Award finalist (2022). (#89 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

David Harvey - Marxist theorist in the field of urban studies, geographer by training, professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and prolific author. (#46 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Georges-Eugene Haussmann - (March 27, 1809 – January 11, 1891) Commonly known as Baron Haussmann. Carried out a massive urban renewal program of new boulevards, parks, and public works in Paris commonly referred to as Haussmann's renovation of Paris. (#50 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Susan Henderson - Architect and principal at PlaceMakers, LLC. Leads PlaceMakers' charrette teams. Also the director of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Anne Hidalgo - Current mayor of Paris, who has expended major political capital to deprioritize the automobile as the transportation mode of choice in the city's center, with vast improvements on traffic safety and air pollution, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions.

Bill Hillier - (1937 – November 5, 2019) Professor at the University of London, and chairman of the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies and Director of the Space Syntax Laboratory at the University College London. Hillier pioneered, along with Julienne Hanson, the concept of space syntax.

Ebenezer Howard - (January 29, 1850 – May 1, 1928), the originator of the garden city movement. Authored To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform, published in 1898, which described a utopian city in which people live harmoniously together with nature. (#19 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Sara Ishikawa - Architect and professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. Specializes in people-space relationships, with particular interest experience in affordable and low income housing and community facilities. Co-author of A Pattern Language.

Kanako Iuchi - Researches post-disaster planning approaches and processes. Visiting scholar of political science at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern University.

Allan Jacobs - An urban designer and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Authored the paper, "Toward an Urban Design Manifesto," with Donald Appleyard, among other books. Also served for eight years as the director of the San Francisco Department of City Planning. (#53 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Jane Jacobs - (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) The author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs is credited with nurturing a new era of community-led planning. Famously opposed Robert Moses on some of the most famous planning controversies of the 20th century. (#1 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Kristin Jeffers - Founder and editor-in-chief of The Black Urbanist website, with a highly visible byline that has been featured on many other planning and urban design media outlets. Also produces the Third-Wave Urbanism podcast with Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman.

Thomas Jefferson - (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) The third president of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and an accomplished architect. Jefferson's designs for his home of Monticello and the University of Virginia campus are significant contributions to the architectural heritage of the United States, as well as influences on the federal style of architecture that survives to this day. (#53 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

C. Ray Jeffery - Authored the book Crime Prevention through Environmental Design and coined the term CPTED, thus developing a system for designing a built environment that effectively deter criminal activity.

Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman - Assistant director of the South Street Headhouse District in Philadelphia, founder of THINK.urba, and co-founder of the Women Led Cities Initiative. Johnston-Zimmerman is a prominent speaker and advocate for "urban anthology" and a self-described "professional people watcher."

Bruce Katz - Served for 20 years as the vice president and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and was the inaugural Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution. More recently, Katz founded, with Jeremy Nowak, New Localism Advisors. Also authored the books The Metropolitan Revolution (2013) and The New Localism (2018). (#76 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Jennifer Keesmaat - Served as chief planner of Toronto from 2012 until September 2017, during which the city underwent a period of rapid growth. Keesmaat is an active participant in the planning discussion, contributing numerous editorials for local publications that argued in favor of progressive transportation planning policies. (#54 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Fred Kent - Founder and former president of Project for Public Spaces, and an authority on revitalizing public spaces. (#62 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Leslie Kern - Author of The Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World (2020) and Gentrification Is Inevitable and Other Lies (2022).

Marina Khoury - Partner at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and project director of Miami 21, the transformation of the city of Miami's use-based zoning code into a form-based code.

Michael Kimmelman - The architecture critic of The New York Times. His criticism has broadened the traditional purview of architecture criticism to include urban affairs, public space, infrastructure, and social equity.

Naomi Klein - A journalist, activist, and author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, Shock Doctrine, and No is Not Enough. (#83 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Stephen Klineberg - Founding Director of the Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research and author of Prophetic City. Klineberg is a prominent voice for the increasingly global influence of the city of Houston.

Rem Koolhaas - Architect, architectural theorist, urbanist, and professor in practice of Architecture and Urban Design at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Koolhaus is the author of multiple books, including S,M,L,XL, which includes an essay on urban planning titled "Whatever Happened to Urbanism?" (#56 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Joel Kotkin - A dissenting voice from the standard narratives of progressive urbanism, Kotkin is the presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and the executive editor of the New Geography website. Kotkin has also written several books.

Léon Krier - A leading proponent of New Urbanism and provocateur or modern urbanism. Best known for the development of Poundbury, an urban extension to Dorchester, in the United Kingdom. (#35 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Norman Krumholz - Professor in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Long-time Cleveland planning director, serving under three separate mayors, and a leading proponent of equity planning. (#100 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

James Howard Kunstler - Noted author and critic of suburban development patterns, best known for the book, The Geography of Nowhere. (#29 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Pierre-Charles L'Enfant - (August 2, 1754 – June 14, 1825), A French-born American military engineer who designed the basic plan for Washington, D.C. known today as the L'Enfant Plan (1791). (#31 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Phyllis Lambert - An architect and philanthropist, Lambert founded Heritage Montreal and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The subject of the documentary film Citizen Lambert: Joan of Architecture (2007).

Henri Lefebrve - (June 16, 1901 – June 29, 1991) A Marxist philosopher and sociologist, best known for pioneering the critique of everyday life and for introducing the concepts of the right to the city and the production of social space. Author of 60 books and 300 articles. (#39 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Christopher Leinberger - Research professor and chair of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business, president of Locus: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors, and founding partner of Arcadia Land Company. Recently a proponent of Walkable Urban Places, or WalkUPs. (#65 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Blanche Lemco van Ginkel - ( December 14, 1923 – October 20, 2022) As an architect and city planner, Co-founded van Ginkel Associates, which pioneered approaches to historic preservation and pedestrian infrastructure. Van Gankel is known for spearheading the preservation of Old Montreal. One of the subjects of the documentary film City Dreamers (2018).

Jaime Lerner - (17 December 1937 – 27 May 2021) An architect and urban planner, founder of the Instituto Jaime Lerner and chairman of Jaime Lerner Arquitetos Associados. A three-time mayor of Curitiba, Brazil, during a period of revitalization that made the city renowned for urban planning, public transportation, environmental social programs, and urban projects. (#2 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

William Levitt - (February 11, 1907 – January 28, 1994) A real-estate developer credited as the "father" of modern American suburbia. President of Levitt & Sons, and namesake of Levittown.

Alon Levy - Blogger at Pedestrian Observations, with a specific research focus on public transit and the extreme costs of capital investments for U.S. transit projects. Levy's pioneering work on the subject led to a relatively nascent movement to study the origins of high costs on tU.S. transit projects by mainstream media publications and national research institutions. 

Charles Lindblom - (March 21, 1917 – January 30, 2018) Professor emeritus of political science and economics at Yale University. Coined the theory of Incrementalism to describe policy making as a process of rational analysis culminating in a value-maximizing decision. Authored Politics And Markets (1977).

Mike Lydon - Principal with Street Plans and a leading proponent of Tactical Urbanism and the Congress for the New Urbanism. Co-author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-Term Action, Long-Term Change, Vols.1-5. (#75 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Kevin Lynch - (January 7, 1918 – April 25, 1984) An urban planner and author of The Image of the City (1960) and What Time is This Place? (1972). In The Image of the City, Lynch posited a theory of paths, edges, districts, nodes, and landmarks that is referenced implicitly or explicitly in many planning and design efforts of the current day. (#14 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Alan Mallach - Senior Fellow with the Center for Community Progress in Washington, D.C. and prolific author and researcher, focusing on Legacy Cities. Authored The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America (2018) among many other books. 

Charles Marohn - Founder and president of Strong Towns, a news and commentary website and a popular portal for advocacy on issues of planning. Authored Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity (2019) and Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town (2021). (#10 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

William McDonough - Architect, product designer, and advocate. Authored the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002), as the most famous expression of his message. Also the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners and co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). (#98 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Ian McHarg - A pioneer of the environmental movement, McHarg founded the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Landscape Architecture and authored the book Design with Nature, published in 1969. (#28 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Michael Mehaffy - Portland-based consultant and author specializing in walkable mixed-use projects. Mehaffy is also a senior researcher in urban sustainability at KTH University in Stockholm and the executive director of the Sustasis Foundation. (#61 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Joseph Minicozzi - Principal of Urban3, LLC, Minnicozzi is an advocate for downtown-style mixed-use developments, especially as preferred to big box retail. (#60 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Charles Montgomery - Author of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design (2013) and founder of the urban design, planning, and research consultant firm, Happy Cities. 

Carlos Moreno - Colombian planning professor and researcher at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne who coined the term 15-Minute City, subject to culture war controversy in the months preceding this writing. 

Robert Moses - The "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City and environs, Robert Moses is one of the most polarizing figures of modern city building. Perhaps the most powerful man in New York City for a long stretch of the 20th century, Moses pursued a campaign of modernism based on slum clearing, public housing projects, and high-speed automobile transportation evident in New York to this day. Moses's ambitions also inspired the growth of an opposition movement around Jane Jacobs. (#17 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Elizabeth Moule - Partner at Moule and Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists and co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Coa-uthored the CNU’s Canons of Sustainable Architecture and Urbanism, a companion to the Charter of the New Urbanism. 

King Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor - Now King of England. As the Prince of Wales, King Charles was a frequent commenter on matters of the built environment. An advocate of neo-traditional ideas, such as those of Christopher Alexander and Leon Krier. Prince Charles illustrated his ideas on the built environment during a 1984 attack on the British architectural community in a speech given to the Royal Institute of British Architects, in which he described a proposed extension to the National Gallery in London as a "monstrous carbuncle." 

John Muir - (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) A naturalist and author, most famous an early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. His activism helped preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park, and many other wilderness areas. Muir also founded the Sierra Club, which is one of the most active environmental groups, advocating positions on development projects throughout the United States. (#33 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Lewis Mumford - (October 19, 1895 – January 26, 1990) Mumford interpreted architecture and urban life in a social context, while working as the architectural critic for The New Yorker magazine for over 30 years and authoring numerous books, including The City in History (1961). (#6 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Elon Musk - The world's richest person as of this writing, Musk currently leads several companies central to a antagonistic role to contemporary urban planning, including the Boring Co., Tesla, and Twitter.

Svante Myrick - Mayor of Ithaca, New York. The youngest mayor and first mayor of color in Ithaca city history. Currently president of People for the American Way, an organization created by Normal Lear to campaign for freedom of expression, civic engagement, fair courts, and legal and lived equality for LGBTQ people. 

Shi Nan - The vice president and secretary general of the Urban Planning Society of China and the chief editor of the City Planning Review. Nan was also actively involved in major planning and research projects like the Revision of National Planning Act and the National Standard for Planning Terminology.

Naheed Nenshi - Former mayor of Calgary, Alberta, and the first Muslim mayor of a large North American city. While mayor, Nenshi ended a developer subsidy and fought to curb sprawl, with resulting controversy.

John Nolen - (June 14, 1869 - February 18, 1937) A landscape architect and planner best known for work in Florida and Wisconsin. An advocate for regional planning and land use controls to counter land speculation. (#74 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Steven Nygren - The founder of the planned "agrihood" of Serenbe, which has won numerous awards, including the Urban Land Institute Inaugural Sustainability Award, the Atlanta Regional Commission Development of Excellence, and EarthCraft's Development of the Year.

Randal O’Toole - A former senior fellow at the Cato Institute and current Transportation Policy Center Director at the Independence Institute. O'Toole is known for supporting suburban development and car-centric planning principles, and is a frequent antagonist of contemporary urban planning thinkers.

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander - (June 20, 1921 – May 22, 2021) Founded Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Landscape Architects. Participated in several high-profile design projectsm wrote children's books on horticulture, and was awarded the Order of Canada, and the American Society of Landscape Architects Medal. One of the subjects of the documentary film City Dreamers (2018).

Hippodamus of Miletus - (498 – 408 BCE) An ancient Greek architect and urban planner, among other intellectual pursuits. Considered the "Father of European Urban Planning" and the namesake of the "Hippodamian Plan" (grid plan) of city layout.

Laurie Olin - Renowned landscape architect, with projects including the Washington Monument Grounds and Bryant Park in New York City. Also professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

Frederick Law Olmsted - (April 26, 1822 – August 28, 1903) A landscape architect, journalist, social critic, and public administrator. Olmsted is considered the "father" of American landscape architecture, and is responsible for many plans and designs of open spaces around the country, perhaps most famously exemplified by Central Park in Manhattan. (#3 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. - (July 24, 1870 – December 25, 1957) A landscape architect and city planner who worked on projects in Acadia, the Everglades, and Yosemite National Park as part of a life-long commitment to U.S. National Parks. Also a founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. (#34 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Darrell Owens - A software engineer with a vocal, leading role in the YIMBY movement, Owens is one of the most widely circulating social media users on both Twitter and Substack. Currently a policy and data analyst for California YIMBY.

Michael Pachovas - (June 17, 1948 - July 6, 2016) A founding member of the disability rights movement, whose "guerrilla mobility action" in Berkeley in the early 1970s (i.e., an unsanctioned and unpermitted curb cut) paved the way for the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Gordon Parks - (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) A first famous pioneer among black filmmakers, Parks developed films relating the experience of slaves and struggling black Americans, and created the "blaxploitation" genre.

Rosa Parks - (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) An activist in the Civil Rights Movement who set the stage for the Montgomery bus boycott with an act of civil disobedience on public transit. Not an urbanist by strict definition, but an activist with a profound effect on the most essential urban system of public transit. (#30 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Dan Parolek - Architect, urban designer, and the founding principal of Opticos Design, one of the busiest zoning and urban design consultants in the United States. Parolek achieved widespread fame and notoriety by coining the term Missing Middle Housing, one of the most prominent contemporary planning trends and the inspiration of numerous local and statewide legislative reforms around the country in recent years.

Mary Pattillo - Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Authored Black Picket Fences (1999) and Black on the Block (2007), both of which investigate neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side.

Enrique Peñalosa - Mayor of Bogotá from 1998 until 2001, and then from 2016 to 2019, overseeing major transportation and public space projects in the city. Also served as the president of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). A controversial inclusion on the 2017 list. (#25 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Gil Peñalosa - Founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, and a leading advocate for the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, using public transit, and the new use of cars. Ran for mayor of Toronto in 2022 but came up short. (#44 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

William Penn - (14 October 1644 – 30 July 1718) An English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (#78 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Clarence Perry - (1872 – Sept 6, 1944) worked in the New York City planning department, where he was credited with creating the "Neighborhood Unit" as a central component of the 1929 Regional Plan of New York and Its Environs. An early promoter of neighborhood community and recreation centers.

Jay Pitter - Toronto-based advocate for an inclusive city-building processes. Gained new levels of prominence in the re-emergent Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020, and continues to critique popular contemporary planning ideas like the 15-Minute City and the densification of cities as problematic extensions of historic planning mistakes.

Valerie Plante - Mayor of Montreal since 2017, advancing an agenda of radical innovations in city planning as a response to the risks of climate change. Plante calls this vision for planning "sustainable urbanism."

Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk - Co-founder of Arquitectonica and Duany Plater Zyberk & Company. A leader in the New Urbanism movement and the co-author of Suburban Nation: the Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream, and The New Civic Art. (#15 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Stefanos Polyzoides - Architect and urban planner described as the "godfather of New Urbanism." Co-founder of Moule Polyzoides, Architects and Urbanists as well as co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

Shelley Poticha - Chief Climate Strategist at the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC). Formerly a senior political appointee in the Obama Administration, where she led the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and launched the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (#87 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Lynn Richards - Lynn Richards is the former president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the current executive vice president and chief policy and implementation officer of Blue Zones. Previously worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including as acting director and policy director in the Office of Sustainable Communities.

Dorothy Mae Richardson - (1923? – April 28, 1991) A community activist credited with introducing a new model of community development in the late 1960s. Richardson's efforts led to the founding of Neighborhood Housing Services in Pittsburgh and the national group now known as NeighborWorks America.

Jacob Riis - (May 3, 1849 – May 26, 1914) Social reformer, "muckraking" journalist, and social documentary photographer. Published How the Other Half Lives in 1890, inspiring a wave of reforms in the built environment, including the New York Tenement House Act of 1867. (#49 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Jason Roberts - Co-founder of the Better Block Project, founder of the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, and co-founder of the Art Conspiracy and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff. recognized with a Champions of Change award from the White House in 2012. (#95 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

James Rojas - A leading proponent of Latino Urbanism and the founder of the Latino Urban Forum. Rojas has also championed a public-engagement and community-visioning method called PLACE IT! Rojas is also. Co-authored Dream, Play, Build (2022).

James Rouse - (April 26, 1914 – April 9, 1996) Founder of The Rouse Company, was a pioneering real estate developer, urban planner, and civic activist. In 1982, Rouse created the Enterprise Foundation, an organization that helps community groups build housing. (#69 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Janette Sadik-Khan - Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2007–2013, while the nation's largest city pursued and delivered one of the most sweeping revitalizations of the city’s streets in a half-century. Currently the principal at Bloomberg Associates and chair of the National Association of Transportation Officials (NACTO). Author of Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution (2017). (#16 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Nikos Salingaros - A mathematician by training who applies his work to urban theory. Salingros has championed network thinking and traditional architecture in the books Principles of Urban Structure (2005) and A Theory of Architecture (2006), respectively, among other books. (#26 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017)

Saskia Sassen - Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a member of the Committee on Global Thought. Coined the term "Global City," and authored Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, published in 1991. (#45 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Pete Saunders - Planner and write at The Corner Side Yard, Forbes, Crain's, and numerous other publications. Currently the community and economic development director at the Village of Richton Park, Illinois.

Angie Schmitt - Former editor of Streetsblog USA and a leading voice for traffic safety and pedestrian environments. Authored Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America (2020) and currently works as founder and principal of 3MPH Planning and Consulting.

Jenny Schuetz - Senior fellow at Brookings Metro and a widely cited researcher in housing policy and land use regulation. Advocates for pro-development reforms to address the ongoing housing affordability crisis. Authored Fixer Upper: How to Repair America's Broken Housing Systems (2022). 

Denise Scott Brown - Architect, author, educator, and principal of the firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. Co-author, with Robert Venturi and Steven Izenour, of the influential book Learning From Las Vegas. Scott Brown is a symbolic figure in the discourse about the under-representation of women in the urban design professions. One of the subjects of the documentary film City Dreamers (2018).

Richard Sennett - Centennial professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and university professor of the Humanities at New York University. Sennett studies social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on individuals in the modern world, and has authored many books on related subjects, including The Fall of Public Man, published in 1977, about the public realm, and Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation, published in 2012.  (#90 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Donald Shoup - Distinguished research professor in the Department of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. Author of The High Cost of Free Parking, which, since its publication in 2005, has succeeded in launching a new approach to parking policy as a fundamental aspect of planning and land use regulations in communities around the country. Parking reforms inspired by Shoup's writings have increased at a high rate in recent years, at both state and local levels. (#13 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Gaétan Siew - Architect, planner, and founder of Lampotang & Siew Architects. Work includes master plans for the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius, the Chinese neighborhood in Port Louis, the Seychelles International Airport, and other projects around the world.  (#73 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Mitchell Silver - Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Past president of the American Planning Association (APA) and former chief planning and development officer and planning director for Raleigh, North Carolina. Co-editor of Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice. (#64 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Herbert Simon - (June 15, 1916 – February 9, 2001) An economist known for the theory of bounded rationality, a theory about economic decision-making that Simon preferred to call "satisficing," a portmanteau of "satisfy" and "suffice." Simon was among the pioneers of several of today's important scientific domains, including artificial intelligence, information processing, decision-making, problem-solving, organization theory, complex systems, and computer simulation of scientific discovery.

Camillo Sitte - Architect, painter, and city planning theoretician. Authored City Planning According to Artistic Principles, published in 1889, frequently cited as a criticism of the Modernist movement. (#77 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Kennedy Smith - Expert on commercial district revitalization and development, independent main street businesses, and economically and environmentally sound community development. Co-founded the Community Land Use and Economics (CLUE) Group, LLC. Also the longest-serving director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Main Street Center. (#91 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Rebecca Solnit - A writer on a variety of subjects, including the environment, politics, place, and art. Solnit's books on urbanism-related subjects include A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster (2009) and Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2001). 

Jeff Speck - A city planner and urban designer and a leading advocate for walkable cities. Author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (2012), among other books. Also a prominent figure in the Congress for the New urbanism. (#21 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Rahul Srivastava - Blogger and public figure through the blog airoots/eirut and the Institute of Urbanology. Works with Matias Echanove at the urbz.net collective.

Clarence Stein - (June 19, 1882 – February 7, 1975) Co-founded the Regional Planning Association of America to address large-scale planning issues such as affordable housing, the impact of sprawl, and wilderness preservation. Stein was also a major proponent of the Garden City movement in the United States. (#93 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Christopher Stone (October 2, 1937 – May 14, 2021) - Leader on environmental and global issues, achieving key victories for the legal rights of nature.

Ildefonso Cerdá Suñer - (December 23, 1815 – August 21, 1876) A Catalan Spanish urban planner who designed the 19th-century "extension" of Barcelona called the Eixample.

David Suzuki - A genticist by training and an outspoken environmental activist, Suzuki has a long history of producing and hosting scientific-focused television and radio shows.

Galina Tachieva - Managing Partner at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. Author of Sprawl Repair and the SmartCode Sprawl Repair Module.

Emily Talen - Professor of urbanism at the University of Chicago, following previous faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Arizona State University. Author of numerous books devoted to the relationship between the built environment and social equity.

Beth Tamayose - Co-author of Financing Transit-Oriented Development with Land Values, and an independent contractor with specific expertise in indigenous planning, particularly within the Pacific Islands region.

Aaron Tanaka - Co-founder and director of the Center for Economic Democracy, which stewards funding and technical assistance to grassroots groups in low income communities of color. Tanaka is also the startup manager for the Boston Impact Initiative—Boston’s first local impact fund.

Destiny Thomas - CEO and founder of the Thrivance Group, which describes its purpose as an accountability-partner to urban and transportation planning policymakers, regulatory agencies, and civil service agencies. Thomas has a leading role in the planning field's process of coming to terms, and moving past, with the racist practices of past and present.

Brent Toderian - Vancouver chief planner from 2006 to 2012, during the city's 2010 Winter Olympics-related planning and design process as well as the EcoDensity initiative and the Greenest City Action Plan. Toderian is now a consulting city planner and urbanist with TODERIAN UrbanWORKS and vocal advocate for livability initiatives. (#52 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Donald J. Trump - The former president of the United States and long-time developer of casinos and golf courses. In addition to his name adorning buildings in cities around the world, Trump's presidency inspired unprecedented attention to issues of urbanism, development, demographics, and infrastructure investment.

Alfred Twu - An architect who has achieved prominence in contemporary planning for artfully depicting land use regulations and proposed legislation in California—as an advocate for pro-development and YIMBY causes.

Deanna Van Buren - Co-founder of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces and co-founder of BIG Oakland. Van Buren is a leader in researching, formulating, and advocating for restorative justice centers, as a radical transformation of the criminal justice system.

Jim Venturi - Jim Venturi is the founder and principal of ReThinkNYC, a New York City-based urban transportation planning think tank. (#63 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Vitruvius - (c. 80–70 BCE – c. 15 BCE) A Roman author, architect, and engineer. Author of De architectura, whose description of perfect proportion in architecture and human form influenced Leonardo da Vinci. (#55 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Alissa Walker - Urbanism editor at Curbed, and one of the most-widely read contemporary journalists writing about issues of planning. Walker is an advocate for walkable environments, public transit, and racial equity.

Jarrett Walker - A consulting transit planner, Walker's work in cities like Houston and his blog Human Transit leads current thinking about best practices public transit and mass transportation infrastructure. (#57 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Robert Weaver - (December 29, 1907 – July 17, 1997) The first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, from 1966 to 1968. Also the first African-American member of the U.S. Cabinet, serving under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

William H. Whyte - (October 1, 1917 – January 12, 1999) Whyte's 1980 book The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces set a new standard of observation and the study of human behavior in urban settings. (#12 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Scott Wiener - Current California state senator and previous San Francisco supervisor. Wiener has been leading the charge for state preemption of local control of zoning regulations in California—a movement now picking up momentum around the country. 

William Julius Wilson - Professor of sociology, previously at the University of Chicago and now at Harvard University. His many books examine the experience of Black Americans living in urban areas, and the effects of concentrated poverty.

Louis Wirth - (August 28, 1897 – May 3, 1952) Sociologist who pioneered the study of urban problems. Wrote Our Cities: Their Role in the National Economy, published in 1937, as an early attempt at outlining a national urban policy.

Charles Wolfe - Pacific Northwest-based, globetrotting author and blogger and former land use and environmental lawyer. Authored Sustaining a City's Culture and Character: Principles and Best Practices (2021) and Seeing the Better City (2017).

Jeff Wood - Founder and operator of the Overhead Wire consulting firm, Wood is most prominent for his role as leaving the Talking Headways podcast.

Frank Lloyd Wright - Perhaps the most famous architect in U.S. history. Frank Lloyd Wright led the Prairie School of architecture and pursued the theory of organic architecture. Fallingwater, a home located in Pennsylvania, is a beloved example of his work. (#8 Most Influential Urbanist in 2017) 

Diane Yentel - President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, an organization growing in prominence for its advocacy during a nationwide housing affordability crisis. 

Kongjian Yu - A landscape architect, professor for landscape architecture at Peking University (PKU), and the founder of the planning office Turenscape in Beijing.

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Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

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Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Rail tracks on the left, rustic log-built train station painted reddish brown with a green metal roof and concrete platform on the right, evergreen forest and bright blue sky with fluffy white clouds in the background.

More Passenger Rail Coming to Montana

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May 14, 2024 - 8KPAX

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LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

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