2017 Distinguished Educator Award
Share |

A Closer Look with Donald Shoup
Distinguished Educator Award Winner

The ACSP Distinguished Educator Award is presented biennially in appreciation of significant contributions that have made a difference to planning scholarship, education, and practice. The four key criteria considered in the selection process are scholarly contributions, teaching excellence, public service, and professional practice.

The 2017 winner of the ACSP Distinguished Educator Award is Donald Shoup from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Dr. Shoup is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Urban Planning at the UCLA. His research has focused on how parking policies affect cities, the economy, and the environment. In his book, The High Cost of Free Parking, Shoup recommends that cities should charge fair market prices for on-street parking, use the meter revenue to finance added public services in the metered neighborhoods, and remove off-street parking requirements. Shoup is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and an Honorary Professor at the Beijing Transportation Research Center.

Shoup’s nomination letter included testimonials from renowned scholars at UCLA and other universities:

  • “… in recent years he has become one of the most widely cited urban planning scholars in the world. … [Shoup] is literally the world’s leading expert in the subject matter on which he specializes while admirably fulfilling all of the other responsibilities of a senior faculty member.” --Martin Wachs, UCLA and UC Berkeley
  • “Don is probably the most creative, original planning scholar who has been at work during the past several decades, and this is certainly so within the field of transportation.”
    --Alan Altshuler, Harvard University
  • “What impresses me most … is his willingness to take his ideas and writings and be fully engaged in public debate and action over them. It is not an exaggeration to say that he has been one of the most powerful forces in the nation for bringing sanity and good sense to our work with urban communities.” 
    Michael Dukakis, UCLA, former Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential nominee
  • “Over the years I watched him create literally many generations of students who went on to implement his ideas in cities throughout the U.S. and world. It would be difficult indeed to find another scholar who has had as much impact on the practice of urban planning.”
    --Genevieve Giuliano, University of Southern California

Shoup accepted this prestigious award earlier this month at the ACSP Conference in Denver, Colorado. His acceptance speech received an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Referred to by the Wall Street Journal as “a parking rock star and the Yoda of urban planning,” here’s A Closer Look at Shoup:

Q: How did you feel upon accepting the award?
A: I’m a late bloomer but it’s OK to be a late bloomer if you make it to the flower show, and I want to thank the ACSP for inviting me to this wonderful flower show.

Q: Who do you want to thank, if anyone?
A: I’m grateful that UCLA and the planning profession gave me the freedom to persist on a path independent of and even opposed to the prevailing intellectual currents.

Q: What inspires you about the work for which you won your award?
A: If you focus on a problem that others have neglected or overlooked, and you can show that it is important, and you explore all its ramifications and possible solutions, you can make a valuable contribution.

Q: What's next?
A: I'm at work on a new book, Parking and the City, which will be published in Spring 2018.

Click links for more information about Donald Shoup and the Distinguished Educator Award.


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