William W. Goldsmith

William Goldsmith has published widely in scholarly journals on U.S. cities, segregation, and poverty, and also on international urbanization and regional development. His 2016 book, Saving U.S. Cities: A Progressive Plan to Transform Urban America won honorable mention for the John Friedmann Book Prize from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). An earlier coauthored publication, Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities won the Paul Davidoff Prize from ACSP in 1993; the second edition, in 2010, has a foreword by President Clinton.

A member of the planning faculty at Cornell from 1967 until 2012, Goldsmith also taught in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, and UC Berkeley. He chaired the planning department at Cornell and also served on the faculty committee of the Cornell Prison Education Program, the faculty board of Cornell University Press, and the City of Ithaca's Board of Public Works, as well as cofounding and chairing the board of Better Housing for Tompkins County. Goldsmith served on the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Act Advisory Committee during the Clinton and Bush Administrations.

Goldsmith holds a Ph.D. from Cornell in planning, economic development, and public administration and a B.S. in civil engineering from UC Berkeley.

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 5190 Urban Spatial TheoryThis course explores the rich legacy of urban physical planning and design, examining both the reification of human values in the built environment and the shaping of society and culture by the places we have envisioned, planned and built. A spectrum of forces and agents—economic, political, religious, technological—will be analyzed to understand their impact on the spatial form of cities and regions. Themes include the origins of urban settlements; humanism, utopianism and the quest for the "ideal city"; the dialectics of modernity and tradition; power and the grassroots; the role of transportation technology; the spatial dynamics of race and class; and the urban crisis, "white flight" and suburbanization. The course concludes with an analysis of contemporary urbanism and an assessment of the renewal of city life in an age of unprecedented global urbanization, peak oil and light speed flows of ideas and information.
  • CRP 3770/6870 The City in Brazil (Brazil)
  • CRP 1100 The American CityIntroductory course on the evolution of urban problems and opportunities facing the majority of this country's population as we enter the first decade of the 21st century. Readings, discussions, and brief papers explore topics ranging from suburban development to central city poverty, from environmental threats to downtown revitalization, and from municipal finance to the new position of women in the urban economy.
  • CRP 3721/6711 The European City (Rome)

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Fulbright award to Italy (2004)
  • Fulbright awards to Brazil (1982, 1983)
  • Fulbright award to Colombia (1973)

Publications (Selected)

  • Saving U.S. Cities: A Progressive Plan to Transform Urban America (Cornell University Press, 2016)
  • Goldsmith, William W., and Edward J. Blakely. Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities. (Temple University Press, 2010)
  • Urban and Regional Planning in an Age of Austerity (Permagon, 1980)