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.
Getting Into Grad School in Planning
Ten years ago I wrote "Graduate School 2008: Nuts and Bolts of Applying". As deadlines draw near for this year’s round of applications it is a good time to revisit and update this advice.
The Best Reasons to Go to Grad School in Planning
As the 2016 admission season winds down, thoughts turn to the 2017 application process. For students considering the idea, there are several good reasons to attend graduate school in 2017, and a few that may cause problems later.
How do Planners Generate Ideas?
How to generate ideas in planning is a question that many planning students ask. This can seem a mysterious and difficult process. Unfortunately, planning education has not always done a great job of helping students unpack this apparent mystery.
Advice for Students: When to Contact Faculty at a Different Institution
With social media and the internet generally making it easy to contact faculty across the globe students are tempted to do so. But when is it appropriate? The short answer is contact them if they request it.
What Makes a Great Planning Program?
Ann Forsyth, professor of urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, shares insight into common traits of the best educational programs in planning.