2005 L'Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design

Sir Peter Hall

December 15, 2005
National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.

The Sustainable City: A Mythical Beast?

An annual lecture to draw attention to critical issues in city and regional planning in the United States was created by the American Planning Association and the National Building Museum. The L'Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design is named for Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who created the acclaimed plan for Washington, D.C.

Sir Peter HallNoted British planner, teacher, and author Sir Peter Hall gave the inaugural lecture on December 15, 2005, at the National Building Museum. Hall is director of the Institute of Community Studies and professor of planning at the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College London. He has taught at the London School of Economics, the University of Reading (1968-88), where he served as dean of the faculty of urban and regional studies, and at the University of California at Berkeley (1980-92), where he is professor emeritus of city and regional planning.

In his address "The Sustainable City: A Mythical Beast," Hall suggested that though we all think we know what sustainability is, the problem is to make the definition work operationally — in designing new cities, and reshaping old ones. But we have some guidance in how to do this from real cities, especially in Europe but also in Latin America and Eastern Asia.

He focused on the relationship between transportation and land use planning, and addressed the key question: To what extent, and in what ways, could these be applied in an American context?

Transcript of Sir Peter Hall's lecture