GSD’s Forysth named editor of journal

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The American Planning Association (APA), a membership and education organization with more than 40,000 members, and Harvard University Graduate School of Design (Harvard GSD), are very pleased to announce the selection of the new editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA). Professor Ann Forsyth will begin her five‐year term on Jan. 1, 2019. Forsyth is currently professor of urban planning and director of the master in urban planning degree program at Harvard GSD.

Forsyth’s selection is a fitting honor given the special history between JAPA and Harvard. It was at Harvard University that the nation’s first degree program in city and regional planning was established by Henry Vincent Hubbard, who was one of the founders of City Planning — JAPA’s precursor. Several of JAPA’s editors in prior decades have been Harvard GSD faculty.

“Ann’s appointment is a recognition of her great contributions and dedication to the planning profession,” says Diane E. Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Development and Urbanism and chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard GSD. “She has directed Harvard GSD’s urban-planning program with a steadfast commitment to the values of the field and with an eye to the most pressing urban-planning problems of our time. Over the years the editors of JAPA have helped steer this premier journal to engage in new dialogues across subfields, and it is this collaborative, cross-disciplinary spirit, embodied in the early years of the journal, that Ann’s professional work embodies and that she continues to advance at the GSD today. We are delighted and extremely proud that our colleague Ann Forsyth has been recognized with this important editorship.”

Forsyth received her master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. in city and regional planning from Cornell University. She has been a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Cornell University before joining Harvard GSD. Her research interests are mainly in the areas of healthy places with an emphasis on aging, innovative planning and design in suburban and metropolitan areas, and the connections between planning research and practice.

“Professor Forsyth is a visionary among her peers in the planning profession, with an impressive record in both academia and professional practice,” said APA President and Chair of the JAPA Editor Search Committee Cynthia Bowen, FAICP. “I am excited about the future of JAPA under her leadership.”

An APA member for more than three decades, Forsyth has also worked in the private sector in the U.S. and internationally as a planning consultant, with a focus on physical planning, citizen participation, healthy communities, and housing. She has been a frequent speaker at APA’s National Planning Conference, has served on APA task forces and advisory groups, and is the recipient of many academic and professional awards, fellowships, and honors.

Forsyth succeeds outgoing editor Professor Sandra Rosenbloom of the University of Texas, Austin.