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About Sy Adler

Professor Sy Adler understands and shares how the forces of history have shaped modern planning theory and practice. He teaches courses in healthy communities, urban planning history and theory, and a year-long freshman course on the City of Portland. His interests include the evolution of planning institutions, theories and practices, urban social and political dynamics, and the relationship between planning and public health.
In 2012, Professor Adler authored Oregon Plans: The Making of an Unquiet Land Use Revolution, a dissection of the political history of the Oregon Land Use Planning Program. The book relies on archival research and interviews with activists and planners from local, regional, and state levels. As a response to anti-planning ballot measures in the early 2000’s, Professor Adler wrote the book to help Oregonians understand the roots of their famed land use system and why it matters to daily life. Dr. Adler is now writing a complement to this work, an historical analysis of Portland’s original urban growth boundary.
In 2011, Dr. Adler co-authored with Carl Abbott and Margery Abbott the chapter “The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area – Regional Planning for the New West” in Carleton Montgomery’s book Regional Planning for a Sustainable America. The chapter examines planning activities in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area since his co-authored 1997 book, Planning a New West. Dr. Adler’s retrospective view about a 1992 article co-authored with Johanna Brenner, “Gender and Space: Lesbians and Gay Men in the City,” published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, also appeared in 2011 in Queerying Planning: Challenging Heternormative Assumptions and Reframing Planning Practice, edited by Petra Doan.


Present Associate Dean, Portland State University College of Urban and Public Affairs
Present Professor, Portland State University Urban Studies and Planning

Curriculum Vitae

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Articles (17)

Books (3)

Interviews (6)