Faculty Award - Paul Davidoff Book Award
Share |

Submission Window Closed 


Awarded in odd-numbered years

The Paul Davidoff award celebrated its 30th year in 2015. It is given by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) to honor the memory of Davidoff, an eminent planner who established the field of advocacy planning and who was an unyielding force for justice and social equity in the profession. This award has been given every other year since 1985.

Paul Davidoff viewed planning as a process to address a wide range of societal problems and to improve conditions for all people. He challenged academics and professionals alike to find ways to promote participatory planning and positive social change; to overcome poverty and racism and to reduce disparities in society. Before his untimely death, he implemented major contributions to the field as an educator, practitioner and intellectual. His influence in planning extends to this day. His work constitutes a watershed in the theory and practice of community planning.

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



The Paul Davidoff award recognizes an outstanding book publication regarding participatory planning and positive social change, opposing poverty and racism as factors in society and seeking ways to address social and place-based inequalities.


Deadline for Nominations

The deadline for all nominations is June 1 using the submission form below. (NOTE: Please ship the books to also arrive to the committee members by June 1)



  • The nominated work must be a book. If the nominated publication is an edited book, it will be considered if it is a coherent whole [other edited books, articles and reports are not eligible].
  • The nominated work may have single or multiple authors.
  • The nominated book must have been published within five (5) years of the date of the award.
  • Previously nominated books may be re-nominated and will be considered anew.
  • The nominated book must relate to the practice or theory of planning or provide critical background concepts or research important to the profession of planning.
  • The nominated book must reflect Paul Davidoff’s commitments and values in a manner consistent with the high quality of all his endeavors.


Nomination Information

  • Nominations submitted in one year will not be held over for consideration in future years. Current nominations must be received in each award cycle.
  • Nominations may come from any individual or organization including publishers, academics, public or private organizations, agencies or institutions.
  • Agencies are limited to three nominations; faculty and students may be involved in the identification of nominations.
  • Each nomination requires a submission of the nomination form below, one copy of the book directly to each of the committee members, and a letter of nomination which include:
    • The authors’ name, publication title, place and date
    • A brief abstract of contents
    • A summary statement of the consistency of the submission with the award purposes and the quality of the contribution
    • The name and email address of each author
    • No more than three (3) letters of support of the nominated book (optional)


Biography of Paul Davidoff (1930 – 1984)

Davidoff was born in New York City on February 14, 1930 to Bernard and Mildred Davidoff. He completed an undergraduate degree at Allegheny College and started but did not complete a law degree at Yale Law School before enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts, where he graduated with a degree in city planning in 1956. While teaching there, he also received a law degree from the university in 1961. He and Linda Greenberg met in the 1960s while she was a planning student at Penn and were married.

Over his career he held positions with planning agencies and in academia in around New York City. He worked for several years as a planner in New Canaan, CT, and later for the prestigious architectural firm of Voorhees, Walker Smith & Smith. In 1964 he founded the department of urban studies at Hunter College in New York.[1] In 1965 Davidoff wrote AIR journal article “Advocacy and pluralism in planning” where he argued for advocacy on behalf of poor communities, social planning and greater citizen involvement in the planning process.

Davidoff founded the Suburban Action Institute in 1969. It challenged exclusionary zoning in the courts, winning a notable success in the landmark Mount Laurel case (South Burlington County NAACP v. Mount Laurel Township, 92 N.J., 158). The litigation led to the requirement by the New Jersey Supreme Court (1983) for communities to supply their "regional fair share" of low-income housing needs, known as the "Mount Laurel Doctrine."

Davidoff died in New York City from complications related to cancer treatment on December 27, 1984. 



228 Wurster Hall, Spc 1850
Berkeley, California 94720-1850
United States

3250 Public Affairs Building
Los Angeles, California 90095-0001
United States

1224 E de la Guerra Street
Santa Barbara 93103
United States

1201 Randolph Dr Apt 520
El Paso, Texas 79902-3870
United States

Past Award Winners

  • 2019 Courtney Elizabeth Knapp, Pratt Institute, Constructing the Dynamo of Dixie (UNC Press)
  • 2017 Faranak Miraftab, Global Heartland: Displaced Labor, Transnational Lives, and Local Placemaking (Indiana University Press)
  • 2015 Marc Doussard, Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labor Market (University of Minnesota Press); Honorable Mention Tarry Hum, Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn's Sunset Park (Temple University Press); Honorable Mention Isabelle Anguelovski, Neighborhood as Refuge: Community Reconstruction, Place Remaking, and Environmental Justice in the City (MIT Press)
  • 2013 Douglas S. Massey; Len Albright; Rebecca Casciano; Elizabeth Derickson; and David Kinsey,Climbing Mount Laurel: The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb (Princeton University Press 2013); 2013 Honorable Mention to Gerardo Sandoval, Immigrants and the Revitalization of Los Angeles: Development and Change in MacArthur Park (Cambria Press, 2009)
  • 2011 Susan Fainstein, The Just City (Cornell University Press 2010); Christopher Klemek, The Transatlantic Collapse of Urban Renewal: Postwar Urbanism from New York to Berlin (University of Chicago Press, 2011); and Ananya Roy, Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development (Routledge, 2010). Honorable Mentions to Howell Baum, “Brown” in Baltimore: School Desegregation and the Limits of Liberalism (Cornell University Press, 2010); Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi, Food Justice (The MIT Press, 2010); and Edward W. Soja, Seeking Spatial Justice (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
  • 2009 Tom Angotti, New York for Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate (The MIT Press, 2008)
  • 2007 Xavier de Souza Briggs,The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America (The Brookings Institution, 2005); Charles Connerly, "The Most Segregated City in America": City Planning and Civil Rights in Birmingham, 1920-1980 (University of Virginia Press, 2005); Jason Corburn, Street Science: Community Knowledge and Environmental Health Justice (The MIT Press, 2005); and Randolph T. Hester, Design for Ecological Democracy  (The MIT Press, 2006)
  • 2005 Edward G. Goetz, Clearing the Way: Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America (Urban Institute Press, 2003); Leonie Sandercock, Cosmopolis II, Mongrel Cities of the 21st Century, 2nd Edition, (Bloomsbury Academic, 2004); and Lawrence J. Vale, Reclaiming Public Housing: A Half Century of Struggle in Three Public Neighborhoods (Harvard University Press, 2003)
  • 2003 Gerald E. Frug, City Making: Building Communities Without Building Walls (Princeton University Press, 2001)
  • 2001 Elise M. Bright, Reviving America's Forgotten Neighborhoods: An Investigation of Inner City Revitalization Efforts (Taylor and Francis, 2000/Routledge, 2003)
  • 1999 June Manning Thomas, Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit, (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997)
  • 1997 Philip Nyden, Anne Figert, Mark Shibley, and Darryl Burrows, Building Community: Social Science in Action (Pine Forge Press, 1997)
  • 1995 Rob Mier, Social Justice and Local Development Policy (SAGE Publications, Inc. 1993)
  • 1993 Edward Blakely and William Goldsmith, Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities  (Temple University Press, 1992)
  • 1991 Norman Krumholz and John Forester, Making Equity Planning Work: Leadership in the Public Sector (Temple University Press, 1990)
  • 1989 Lisa Peattie, Planning: Rethinking Ciudad Guayana (University of Michigan Press, 1987) and Pierre Clavel, The Progressive City: Planning and Participation, 1969-1984 (Rutgers University Press, 1986)
  • 1987 Peter Marris, Meaning and Action: Community Planning and Conceptions of Change (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987)
  • 1985 Chester Hartman, The Transformation of San Francisco (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1984) and Dolores Hayden, Redesigning the American Dream The Future of Housing, Work, and Family Life (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1984)



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.


2910 Kerry Forest Parkway, D4-206 • Tallahassee, FL 32309