Faculty Award - John Friedmann Book Award
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Nominations Now Closed


This award is presented in even-numbered years only.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) has established the John Friedmann Book Award, approved by its Governing Board on April 13, 2013. This award is presented to a book or comparable work that best exemplifies scholarship in the area of planning for sustainable development.

John Friedmann was a widely-recognized planning scholar with an exceptionally distinguished career. He contributed in many ways to the field of urban and regional planning, through his writings on planning theory, regional development planning, and world cities. He is the author of 26 books and close to 200 articles, and has received many distinguished awards (see below). He has also offered unstinting service to the planning academy, both through his varied teaching career and through his co-sponsorship of activities designed to support doctoral students in planning.

Winners will be introduced at the ACSP Annual Conference Faculty Awards Luncheon. The author of the winning book will also be invited to participate in the book signing event that follows the luncheon. Profiles and media announcements of winners and their accomplishments will follow the conference.


Deadline for Nomination

The deadline for submission of all nomination documentation is June 16 using the form below.



  • Exemplary scholarship in the area of planning for sustainable development, at a range of scales, including local, regional, national, or international.The award selection committee is particularly interested in the two areas of (1) economic development or (2) ‘environmental’ or ’just’ sustainability, which are specific components of the broader field of “sustainability.”
  • An original work which is either an original book, other than an edited volume; a creative feature-length film; or other creative product of exceptional quality;
  • Written or presented in the English language;
  • During the previous five years.

Specifically, the Selection Committee is looking for:

  • The degree to which the book/topic addresses social learning, incorporates diverse perspectives, offers innovation in conceptualizing planning institutions (what they are, who they are, etc.), and addresses the role of planner beyond technical analyst;
  • High quality analysis or argument (if applicable);
  • Original thought, creativity, and innovation (i.e., what is really new about this work? How does it push the boundaries of knowledge?);
  • High quality writing, including the ability to transcend typical academic audiences; and
  • Excellent overall exposition of the work (e.g., a narrative arc, clarity, layout, supporting figures, etc.).


Nomination Information

The following documentation should be submitted using the form below as one PDF document:

  • One nomination letter (self-nominations acceptable)
  • No fewer than two, and no more than four letters of support
  • Shipment delivery of one book to each member of the Committee; addresses provided on completion of the form below.
  • Nominations submitted in one year will not be held over for consideration in future years. Current nominations must be received in each award cycle.



The selection committee, appointed by the ACSP President, will ideally include a diverse (by age, race/ ethnicity, gender) collection of scholars with a distinguished record of publication and scholarship as well as some knowledge of sustainability planning.

  • Chair: Scott Campbell, University of Michigan, sdcamp@umich.edu
  • Julian Agyeman, Tufts University, julian.agyeman@tufts.edu
  • Phil Berke, UNC Chapel Hill, pberke@email.unc.edu
  • Lisa Schweitzer, University of Southern California, lschweit@usc.edu


Biography of John Friedmann (1926 – 2017)

Considered by many as the "Father of Urban Planning," Friedmann passed away in 2017, at the age of 91, after a long and distinguished career. 

Friedmann taught at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil (1956-58), MIT (1961-65), the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (1966-69), and the University of California at Los Angeles (1969-96, where he founded the Urban Planning Department in 1969 under Dean Harvey S. Perloff. After his official retirement from UCLA, he served in honorary positions at the University of Melbourne, the National University of Taiwan, and since 2001, held an honorary appointment at the School of Community and Regional Planning, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Throughout his life, Friedmann was an advisor to governments in Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Mozambique, and in China, where he was appointed Honorary Foreign Advisor to the China Academy of Planning and Urban Design (2007).

He is the author of 26 books, including 9 edited/co-edited collections, and about 200 articles on a wide range of topics, from regional planning to urbanization, social development, and planning theory. His writings have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Farsi.

Friedmann was best known for his early work on regional development planning with William Alonso, the core-periphery theory of regional development, the theory of transactive planning and social learning, and the world city hypothesis. His research interests were focused on urbanization processes in China. Some of his most recently published books include China’s Urban Transition (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) and Insurgencies: Essays in Planning Theory (Routledge, 2011).

Among the many honors Friedmann received in his lifetime are a Guggenheim Fellowship and Honorary doctorates from the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile (1969) and the University of Dortmund (1988). He was honored by the Chilean Government in 1969 receiving the Bernardo O’Higgins Order (in rank of Commander); the prestigious Distinguished Planning Educator Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; and received the first UN-Habitat Lecture Award for lifetime achievement in the service of human settlements (2006).


Past Award Winners



The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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