Yonn Dierwechter is Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Washington, Tacoma, where he teaches courses in urban geography, urban sustainability and community planning. He started his academic career studying post-apartheid cities in the 1990s, particularly where this involved the challenges to spatial planning systems posed by “informal sector” actors in Cape Town. Over the past ten years or so his academic writing has focused more on the emerging spaces of city-regional planning in the United States, including studies of urban growth management, smart growth, climate action, urban politics, and neighborhood governance.
Yonn has also consulted with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Australia, Europe and South Africa and is typically active in local planning and policy indicatives within both Tacoma and the wider metropolitan region. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and is the 2014 winner of the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Distinguished Research Award. His most recent project is a major study of smart growth as a regional planning strategy to facilitate urban sustainability across Greater Seattle. Yonn was born American in North Africa and has lived and worked in South Africa, Britain, Italy and China.