Christopher Alexander, Influential Author of "A Pattern Language," Passes Away at 85

Christopher Alexander died on March 17, leaving behind a towering legacy of influence on the fields of architecture, planning, and urban design.

March 20, 2022, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Paris Street

NeyroM / Shutterstock

Christopher Alexander, author of A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction and The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth, among other books and essays, passed away on March 17 after a long illness.

Alexander's death was first reported by Michael Mehaffy and commemorated with an article on the CNU Public Square written by Robert Steuteville.

Steuteville describes Alexander as "a towering figure in architecture and urbanism" and "one of the biggest influences on the New Urbanism movement." Both Planetizen and Brent Toderian ranked A Pattern Language as one of the top planning books of all time. In 2017, Planetizen readers also ranked Alexander as one of the most influential urbanists of all time.

More suggested reading and listening on the influence of Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language:

Friday, March 18, 2022 in CNU Public Square

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

View from middle of street in downtown Telluride, Colorado with mountains in background

Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity

A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.

August 5, 2022 - Governing

U.S> Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg delivers a speech in front of a bridge in Washington, D.C. The podium where he stands has a sign that reads: "Building a Better America."

$2.2 Billion in RAISE Grant Funding Announced for Transportation Projects

The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) competitive grant program, supersized by the federal infrastructure bill in 2021, just announced a new round of funding.

37 minutes ago - U.S. Department Of Transportation

Aerial view of Salida, Colorado with mountains in background

Colorado Workers Squeezed by Housing Crisis

In Colorado’s booming resort towns, even sleeping in your car has become an unaffordable luxury.

1 hour ago - Denver Post

An aerial view of Los Angeles at dawn, with Westlake and MacArthur Park in the foreground and Downtown Los Angeles in the background.

Did L.A.’s Supportive Housing Bond Fail?

Six years after Prop HHH was passed, the fund appears to be delivering on its housing construction goals in the 10-year timeline. But the measure is being routinely criticized on all sides.

2 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.