Jerold S. Kayden is the Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His teaching and scholarship address issues of land use and environmental law, public and private real estate development, public space, and urban disasters and climate change. His books include Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience; Urban Disaster Resilience: New Dimensions from International Practice in the Built Environment; Landmark Justice: The Influence of William J. Brennan on America's Communities; and Zoning and the American Dream: Promises Still To Keep.
As urban planner and lawyer, Professor Kayden has advised governments, non-governmental organizations, and real estate developers in the United States and around the world. He has consulted for the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the United States Agency for International Development, and the United Nations Development Programme, among others, working principally in Armenia, China, Nepal, Russia, and Ukraine. Since 1991, he has served as principal constitutional counsel to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, D.C., and leads Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space, a non-profit organization based in New York City.
Among Professor Kayden’s honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, the Environmental Design Research Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Society of Landscape Architects. At the Design School, where he served as co-chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, he was recognized schoolwide as “Teacher of the Year.” He earned his undergraduate, law, and city and regional planning degrees from Harvard, and subsequently was law clerk to Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Frank Backus Williams Professor of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University was established in 1957 from a bequest from Frank Backus Williams, a prominent New York City lawyer who played a significant role in creating the 1916 New York City zoning resolution, the first comprehensive zoning law in the United States. Among many publications, he wrote The Law of City Planning and Zoning (Macmillan, 1922) and co-wrote Model Laws for Planning Cities, Counties, and States (Harvard University Press, 1935). Previous holders of the chair include Martin Meyerson (1957), followed by Charles Abrams, Fernando Belaunde Terry, Brian Berry, and William Doebele.