A Sad Goodbye to Professor Sir Peter Hall

I hear with great sadness of the death of Sir Peter Hall.  He never really slowed down and arguably his best book was the one he published last year.  No planning academic has ever had the influence of Sir Peter.

Having lived such a long time he was allowed and had the intellectual flexibility to change his mind.  In his youth he was pretty anti-planning and public transport, but his ideas developed.  He was always aware though of the tensions between state actions and anarchic freedoms as in his unmatched history of planning – Cities of Tommorrow.  His great strength was in popularising great thinkers and great practice rather than getting bogged down in rather minor self indulgant research as so many planning and geography academics do.  Hence his relentless popularisation of Howard, Schumpeter and Mumford amongst many others.

He creates a great void that will not be easy to fill.

Talk will turn to how planning should memorialise his contributions.  An award for good journalism by a planning academic, or good research into best practice in international urban planning would be ideas.

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