Nikos Salingaros ranks 11th in Planetizen's Top 100 Urban Thinkers

Nikos Salingaros

Nikos Salingaros

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(Nov. 23, 2009)--UTSA mathematics professor and urbanist Nikos Salingaros is ranked 11th on an international list of the Top 100 Urban Thinkers, according to urban planning Web site Planetizen. Salingaros has served on UTSA's mathematics faculty since 1983 and also holds architecture appointments with the University of Rome III in Italy, the Delft University of Technology in Holland and Tecnologico de Monterrey in Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico.

"I was informed rather late in the poll that my name had been included and that it was rising every day," said Salingaros. "I was glad that the scientific approach to urban planning was well represented on the list with the inclusion of Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander and Bill Hillier."

Like Salingaros, Christopher Alexander and Bill Hillier, who also are on the list, are mathematicians who became urbanists, applying scientific analysis to better understand cities. While Jane Jacobs was not a mathematician, she was the first person who suggested applying complexity theory to urbanism, along with Warren Weaver, in the 1960s.

"This represents a clear victory for the application of science to designing cities," said Salingaros. "I was very proud to be included and frankly surprised to make such a good showing, ending right next to my friend James Howard Kunstler, with whom I have written a paper and recorded an interview. I guess we are complementary."

Although Salingaros calls himself "a relative newcomer to urban design," the academician has published five books on urbanism and architecture, including "Principles of Urban Structure" and "A Theory of Architecture," and has two more due this year and next. In his book, "Anti-architecture and Deconstruction," Salingaros presents architectural rules that are grounded in science and mathematics, setting off a controversy between both architects and critics.

In addition to publishing more than 110 papers in mathematics, physics, architecture and urban design, Salingaros is the associate editor of three architecture and urban planning journals. He serves on the editorial board of Resource for Urban Design Information, as a consultant to the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C., and as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the Israel Science Foundation. Additionally, he contributes to major architectural projects in Qatar, Mexico, Brazil, Italy and Kosovo.

Planetizen is a Web-based community for urban planners, designers and developers that includes partners such as the American Society of Landscape Architects, Christian Science Monitor, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Preservation magazine, among others. Its Top 100 Urban Thinkers poll was conducted from Aug. 7 to Sept. 7, 2009.