John Friedmann is one of the pioneering urban theorists of the late twentieth century. He founded the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning at UCLA in the late 1960. He is famous for his analysis of world city formation.
In Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action (1987) Friedman promoted a radical planning model based on "decolonization", "democratization", "self-empowerment" and "reaching out". Friedman described this model as an "agropolitan development" paradigm, emphasising the re-localisation of primary production and manufacture. In Toward a Non-Euclidian Mode of Planning (1993) he further promoted the urgency of decentralizing planning, advocating a planning paradigm that is normative, innovative, political, transactive and based on a Social learning approach to knowledge and policy.