Ann Forsyth

Professor of Urban Planning

Director of the Master in Urban Planning Program

Trained in planning and architecture, Ann Forsyth works mainly on the social aspects of physical planning and urban development. The big issue behind her research and practice is how to make more sustainable and healthy cities. 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, walkability, affordable housing, social diversity, and appropriate green space. In doing this work she has created a number of tools and methods in planning—an urban design inventory, GIS protocols, health impact assessments, and participatory planning techniques.

Forsyth is also a reflective practitioner/theorist and has created several new ways of understanding social and intellectual diversity in planning and design. Her education includes a B.Sc. in architecture from the University of Sydney, M.A. in urban planning from UCLA, and Ph.D. in city and regional planning from Cornell.

At Harvard, Forsyth is affiliated with the Joint Center for Housing StudiesHarvard Center for Population and Development StudiesHarvard University Center for the EnvironmentWeatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Harvard-China Project and the Harvard Global Health Institute.

She is a co-leader of the Healthy Places Design Lab and the New Towns Initiative.

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