Contributors & Contacts

The Progressive Cities and Neighborhood Planning website grew out of an archive at Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) that includes documents from research and practice by Pierre Clavel and Kenneth M. Reardon. We wanted to make a sample of these accessible to a wider audience; however the collection has now gotten contributions from numerous others , some of whom have agreed to be recognized as “contributiors” to the site and be listed in this page, below. Pierre and Ken are happy to connect with others with an interest in this body of work. Contact information for Pierre and Ken – and selected others — are found below.


Lead Contributors: Pierre Clavel and Ken Reardon

PC at Harbor Cafe copyPIERRE CLAVEL. I’ve been a city planner, starting with Lexington, NC in 1958; then Cranston, RI., Binghamton, NY and several other places. Later I did a PhD at Cornell(1966), taught in the new Graduate Planning Program at the University of Puerto Rico (1965-67), then at Cornell from 1967 on. My interest is the “politics” of planning and community development. I see planners in their best moments representing all the people, and am annoyed at those who oppose planners in a fundamentalist way, especially the claims that the market or pluralism is always better. I found a way around this in community development efforts and particularly “progressive cities” that challenged this thinking, and devoted myself to writing about them. I’m sure that writing about “progressive planners” is one of the best things – maybe the best thing – an academic can do.


Contact Pierre: For information on the progressive city or to schedule an Activists in City Hall or progressive cities event, Pierre can be reached at pc29 [at] cornell [dot] edu.


Ken at work (2)KENNETH M. REARDON is a Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of Memphis where he is engaged in research, teaching, and outreach activities in the fields of neighborhood planning, community development, and community/university development partnerships. Prior to joining the UM faculty, Ken taught city planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Cornell University.

Contact Ken: For information on neighborhood action planning or participatory action research or to schedule a neighborhood action planning event, Ken can be reached at ken [at] memphis [dot] edu.



Other Contributors

STEPHEN BARTON (Picture coming soon) recently retired after 24 years with the progressive city of Berkeley, California as a planner, Housing Director and Deputy Director of the Rent Stabilization Program. He is the author of numerous articles on housing economics, housing policy, tenant, neighborhood and homeowners associations and the history and theory of city planning and is co-author of Common Interest Communities: Private Governments and the Public Interest. He has a Ph.D. in City & Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He received a national planning award from the American Planning Association and a distinguished public official award from the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California.


CLAIRE BENIT-GBAFFOU (Picture coming soon) is an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning, at Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa. A former fellow of Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS Ulm, Paris), she holds a PhD in Urban Geography (Univ. Poitiers, France) and a Masters in Urban Planning (Univ. Paris I-VIII, France). She is a researcher in CUBES (Center for Urbanism and the Built Environment Studies) at Wits University, and an associate researcher in LAVUE-Mosaiques at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. Her research interests lie at the intersection of urban and political studies. She has worked and published on local government, decentralisation, community participation, clientelism and urban politics in South African cities. She is currently developing research on local political leadership and the ability to drive urban change, both in local civil society and in municipal government, in post apartheid Johannesburg.


John Emmeus DavisJOHN EMMEUS DAVIS is a co-founder and partner in Burlington Associates in Community Development LLC, a national consulting cooperative specializing in the development of permanently affordable housing. Community land trusts have been a programmatic focus since the founding of Burlington Associates in 1993. Davis was director of housing for the City of Burlington for over a decade under two progressive mayors: Bernie Sanders and Peter Clavelle.  He also planned and coordinated the city’s Enterprise Community. Prior to moving to Vermont, he spent three years on the staff of the Institute for Community Economics and five years working in the Appalachian region of east Tennessee, first as a community organizer and later as executive director of a county-wide social services agency. Davis has taught housing policy and neighborhood planning at Tufts University, New Hampshire College, the University of Vermont, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was on the founding board of the National CLT Academy and served for several years as the Academy’s Dean. He is presently a Senior Fellow at the National Housing Institute. His publications include: The Community Land Trust Handbook (1984), Contested Ground: Collective Action and the Urban Neighborhood (1991), The Affordable City: Toward a Third Sector Housing Policy (1994), Shared Equity Homeownership: The Changing Landscape of Resale-restricted, Owner-occupied Housing (2006), Lands in Trust, Homes That Last (2009), and The Community Land Trust Reader (2010).  He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Cornell University, holding an M.S. and Ph.D. from the latter.


CRYSTAL LAUNDER is the website administrator for the Progressive City and Neighborhood Planning archive. In her other life, she works with housing policy and inclusionary housing implementation for the City of Boulder, Colorado and volunteers on the board of an affordable co-operative housing nonprofit. Crystal worked in her first historical archive in the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, VT as an undergraduate. She then worked with the Progressive City and Neighborhood Planning archive while pursuing her MRP at Cornell University. Her 2007 thesis “Expansion of the Public Realm in Burlington, VT: 1982-2007″ explored the interplay of social, spatial and participatory tools in sustained progressive city governance. Reseach collected during the writing of her thesis helped progressive leaders in Burlington to update and preserve their history at a critical juncture and updated the Burlington section of the the PCNP archive.


sarah mckinleySARAH McKINLEY is a research associate for The Democracy Collaborative, a national nonprofit that promotes innovations in community development. She has a background in community development and has worked with a number of community groups, including the Greater Southwest Development Corporation, a Chicago-based community development corporation, and the National Alliance of Community Development Associations. While earning her master degree in urban and regional planning at Cornell University, McKinley was a co-author of “A People’s Plan for New Orleans” a bottom-up community development plan for the 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina, and worked with Professor Clavel to manage the Progressive Cities and Neighborhood Planning Archives. In her spare time, McKinley, an avid food lover, is the Co-Chair of Slow Food DC, the local chapter of an international organization that promotes a good, clean, and fair food system.


JONATHAN THOMPSON works for the Department of Natural Resources of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation as the Fish Habitat Project Leader for the Walla Walla Basin. He is a Walla Walla County Planning Commisioner and was the president of the board of directors of Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, a non-profit providing HIV and Hepatitis C outreach, case management, and syringe exchange. He received his MRP from Cornell in 2005, looking at the institutional implications of infrastructure allocation policies in Porto Alegre, Brazil. His doctoral research was on the shift of progressive activists into local governance in the US in the 1970s; he is ABD. Before coming to Cornell he worked in the Caribbean, first as a Peace Corps Water and Sanitation volunteer, and later as a logistical coordinator for a post-hurricane housing rebuilding projects.