Alexander Garvin (Branford ‘62, M.Arch '67, M.U.S. '67)

Alexander Garvin (Branford ‘62, M.Arch '67, M.U.S. '67)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Professor Adjunct Alexander Garvin (Branford ’62, M.Arch ’67, M.U.S. ’67). Garvin taught at Yale for over 50 years, including his continuously popular course Introduction to the Study of the City at Yale College, and Yale School of Architecture courses Introduction to Planning and Development, Residential Design & Development, and Intermediate Planning and Development.

Garvin founded his own consulting practice, AGA Public Realm Strategists, and influenced the planning and development of New York City for decades. He served under five mayoral administrations, including as Deputy Commissioner of Housing and City Planning Commissioner.

He led several high-profile planning efforts around the country, including his tenure as managing director for the NYC2012 Olympic bid; his stint as Vice President for Planning, Design and Development of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; and his initial master plans for the Atlanta BeltLine, Tessera, Texas, and Hinton Park, Tennessee.

Garvin is the author of the book The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t, published by McGraw-Hill and winner of the 1996 American Institute of Architects book award in urbanism. He also is the author of The Planning Game: Lessons from Great Cities, published by W. W. Norton in 2013; Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities, published by W. W. Norton in 2010; Parks, Recreation, and Open Space: A 21st Century Agenda, published in 2001 by the American Planning Association; and one of the principal authors of Urban Parks and Open Space, published in 1997 jointly by the Trust for Public Land and the Urban Land Institute. His most recent books are What Makes a Great City (Island Press, 2016) and The Heart of the City: Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century (Island Press, 2019).

At Yale, Garvin educated generations of urban planners, developers, and architects, and his influence on the built environment of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is incalculable. He will be missed.

Celebrations of Professor Garvin’s life and legacy are being planned for Spring 2022. Donations to the Alexander Garvin Teaching Fund—in support of urban studies at YSoA—are being accepted at this link.