Christopher Alexander

Urban Symmetry

The Surprisingly Important Role of Symmetry in Healthy Places

New research suggests there might be a "symmetry deficit disorder" in today's built environments, with significant impacts on health, well-being, and even sustainability.

March 8, 2021 - Michael W. Mehaffy

Paris Street

Is it Time to Revive the Pattern Language?

Software and other fields have made brilliant progress with the pattern language methodology, while built environment fields lag badly, mired in parochial debates over the massive book that invented the methodology.

April 21, 2020 - Michael Mehaffy

Greenwich Village

The Lessons Jane Jacobs and Christopher Alexander Still Have to Teach

Robert Steuteville reviews Cities Alive, by Michael Mehaffy, describing the newly released book as "an important analysis for urbanism."

November 21, 2017 - Public Square: A CNU Journal

The Unexpected Influence of Christopher Alexander

Known for A Pattern Language, his landmark book on architecture and urban design, Christopher Alexander's ideas have had an effect on everything from software and iPhone apps to business management and ecology.

September 8, 2011 - Metropolis Magazine

Making Sense of Neighborhood Structure

Planner Sam Gennawey details a public participation exercise he regularly uses, taken from the ideas of Christopher Alexander, that makes complex ideas simple for public understanding.

August 16, 2010 - Sam Gennawey

Supermodel Sirens on "Sanctuary" Island

Is there an ideal model for a city's circulation, a "supermodel"? Fanis Grammenos reviews a new paper that proposes the use of organic forms first recognized by Christopher Alexander.

August 9, 2010 - Fanis Grammenos

The Man Behind the Pattern Language

Witold Rybczynski profiles Christopher Alexander, author of A Pattern Language, one of the most influential books in urban planning. Alexander recently won the Vincent Scully prize from the National Building Museum.

December 3, 2009 - Slate

Urban Emergence

The concept of 'emergence', in science refers to the way complex systems and patterns arise among groups without planned organization. Emergence is now being applied in interesting ways to study urban areas that evolved spontaneously.

March 24, 2009 - Emergent Urbanism

Senior Associate

Community Builders

Senior Planner

City of Scotts Valley

Deputy Planning Officer (Assistant Planning Director)

Gallatin County Department of Planning & Community Development

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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.