Urbanist Sir Peter Hall dies aged 82

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British urbanist, planner and the man credited with inventing the concept of enterprise zones Sir Peter Hall has died aged 82.

The professor of planning and regeneration and the president of the UK’s Town and County Planning Association was named by Queen Elizabeth II as a “Pioneer in the Life of the Nation” in 2003.

An urban development corporation for London’s Docklands, the Channel Tunnel high speed rail link, the M25 motorway and the creation of a third London airport at Stansted were among his projects. More latterly he was also involved with the Thames Gateway and Crossrail.

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One of the UK’s most passionate advocates of cities his written works include London 2000, London 2001, The World Cities, Urban and Regional Planning, Great Planning Disasters, Cities of Tomorrow, Sociable Cities, Cities in Civilization and most recently, Good Cities Better Lives.

Born in Hampstead in 1932, Sir Peter studied geography at the University of Cambridge from where he graduated with both a masters degree and a PhD.

His academic career began in 1957 at Birkbeck College, London where he was a lecturer in geography. In 1968 he joined the University of Reading where he was Dean of the Faculty of Urban and Regional Studies and also dean of the Faculty of Urban Planning and Regional Studies at the University of California in Berkeley.

Sir Peter took up the post of chair of the University College London Bartlett’s School of Planning in 1989, and he continued to work at the university until his death.

He was a special adviser on strategic planning to the government between 1991 and 1994, and went on to join architect Richard Rogers’ Urban Task Force in 1998.

A man with a passionate devotion to cities and how people interact with the urban framework received Sir Peter received a number of awards throughout his career, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Town Planning Institute, and in 2005 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to urban regeneration and planning by then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.

In 1962, he married Carla Wartenberg, they divorced in 1966. The following year he married Magdalena Mróz, and she survives him. A popular figure in his profession he has been described as “the most urbane of urbanists.”

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