Monday, September 14, 2009

Top Urban Thinkers

Planetizen has announced results of its crowdsourcing experiment to rank the most influential urban thinkers of all time. Congratulations to our colleague Carol Coletta for making the list at #49.

Here's what Planetizen said:

The poll was active for one month, from August 7th to September 7th, 2009. We would never claim that this is a definitive list; voters were given free reign to submit and vote for whomever they liked. Our only caveat is that we cleared out a couple of submissions that were clearly in jest, such as "Jesus" (although I'm sure someone could make a legitimate argument for his influence on urban planning).

The other significant issue with this list that will surely be raised is the lack of women: only 7 out of the top 100 are female. This is countered somewhat by the impossibly wide lead by which Jane Jacobs takes the top spot. Those women who are included are an impressive crew, but of course, their are a significant number of women making a big difference in urban planning issues that aren't on the list.

The thinkers that are here are a fascinating bunch, ranging from planners of the past like Baron Haussmann, the civic planner that changed the face of Paris in the 19th century, to active thinkers of today like Scott Bernstein, President and Co-Founder of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. And to be honest, there were a handful of names that we didn't know. We hope that you'll also find a lot to chew on in these biographies, and we invite your comments.