The Davidoff Tapes Project is a newly launched initiative of the UMass Boston Master of Science Program in Urban Planning and Community Development…
…which seeks to address a significant gap in the contemporary urban planning literature related to the life and work of Paul Davidoff as a planning scholar, professional educator, planning practitioner, and Civil Rights activist. While Paul Davidoff is recognized as one of the most important contributors to planning theory and the originator of the “advocacy planning” movement in the United States; there is very little available about his many imp ortant contributions to planning scholarship, education, and practice on the web or in print. The Davidoff Tapes Project seeks to remedy this situation in a number of ways:
1. Interviews with more than 60 individuals who are familiar with his many contributions to urban planning and American civic life that will be taped and transcribed and posted on the Internet.
2. Collection, scanning, and publishing of important primary documents that Illuminate important aspects of his life and work.
3. Assembly and publishing of Paul Davidoff’s most important professional and scholarly papers on the web.
4. Collection and publishing of important scholarly and professional works by others that discuss Paul Davidoff’s work and influence.
5. Solicitation, scanning, and publishing of outstanding examples of advocacy plans produced by individuals and organizations committed to highly participatory and inclusionary approaches to public planning.
Who was Paul Davidoff?
Paul Davidoff was an important urban planning scholar and Civil Rights activist who fought to insure poor and working-class families…
More than fifty years after the publication of Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning in the Journal of the American Institute of Planners by Paul Davidoff, this article remains one of the most frequently downloaded, read, and cited, urban planning articles.
It prompted planners attending the Annual Conference of the American Institute of Planners in 1968 to establish Planners for Equal Opportunity, a Civil Rights organization, that pursued a wide range of direct action organizing activities to promote racial integration and justice within the American planning profession. It also led to the establishment of the first graduate program in urban affairs dedicated to training both lay and professional planners in the theory and methods of advocacy planning by Paul Davidoff at Hunter College of the City University of New York. The success of this program, in turned, enabled Paul Davidoff to subsequently launch Suburban Action Institute (later renamed Metropolitan Action Institute) that generated high quality legal and social science research in support of lawsuits designed to promote greater equal opportunity in education, employment, and housing. The most significant of these cases with the Mt. Laurel v. NAACP Supreme Court Case that struck down the use of “exclusionary zoning” by suburban communities in New Jersey designed to prevent low-income families of color from moving into communities with better schools, more jobs, and higher quality services.