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Regional Studies Association Honors Susan Fainstein with Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Senior Research Fellow Susan Fainstein has been awarded the 2020 Sir Peter Hall Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field by The Regional Studies Association (RSA). The RSA is the global forum for city and regional research, development, and policy.

“Within these unprecedented times, we feel that it is important to remember to celebrate the research and work that has been carried out in regional studies and its related fields, including urban and rural studies, city-regions and interstitial spaces,” notes the RSA on its website. “These awards demonstrate the aim of our association to be an authoritative voice of, and network for, academics, students, practitioners, policy makers via our diverse and international membership.”

Professor Fainstein, a political theorist and scholar of urban planning, joined the GSD faculty in 2006 and retired from teaching in 2012. Her work centers around three values—democracy, diversity, and equity—and their interactions with spatial relations, as discussed in her book The Just City. John Agnew, the president of the RSA, describes Fainstein's research and writings as being focused on “the distributive effects of urban development strategies and mega-projects, the role of democracy and community control in local public institutions, and in establishing a moral theory of the just city.”

The 2020 awards ceremony was presented virtually and can be viewed on the RSA's website.