using plans symposium --
Celebrating Lew Hopkins' Career

Symposium Overview


To mark Lew's retirement at the end of the 2006-2007 academic year, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning organized a symposium entitled Using Plans. Held on the Champaign-Urbana campus on September 6-8, 2007, the symposium honored the career of one of planning's leading scholars with a schedule of invited speakers, roundtable discussions and opportunities for discussion and engagement around the important themes that have been so central to Lew's work. Generous support for the event was provided by the Center For Advanced Study, the Land use Evolution and Impact Assessment Model Group, the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, the Department of Landscape Architecture, and the College of Fine and Applied Arts. The evening event featured a dinner and friendly roast of Lew.

Perhaps the best way to understand the career of Lew Hopkins is to recall a line from his own book, Urban Development: The Logic of Making Plans (2001). In the preface, Lew notes, "I have been trying for a long time to figure out how plans for urban development work and how to make them. My parents encouraged this interest so that I am one of those unusual persons who was interested in planning by junior high school and even had some clue what it was." Clearly, for Lew, planning has truly been a lifelong passion, and his many contributions to the field are evidence of that commitment.

Since joining the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975 after receiving his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Lew has continued to be a prominent participant in many critical conversations about the role of plans and planning in an increasingly complex world ---as a Fulbright Senior Scholar, a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and an editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER). Additionally, he has been a recognized leader in the field of planning education, as head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Illinois for 13 years, chair of the Planning Accreditation Board, and most recently serving as an Associate Dean at the College of Fine and Applied arts at the University of Illinois.

As a researcher and educator, Lew's work has been vital in helping frame, orient, critique and improve the ways we think about making and using plans. From his early work with land suitability mapping, to recent investigations of the utility of plans, Lew's prolific output has straddled theory and practice, helping to create tools and methods for more informed decision-making about the future of our communities.

Images and tributes to Lew from the symposium and dinner here.

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