+ PhD Massachusetts Institute of Technology
+ MLA Cornell University
+ BS State University of New York -
College of Environmental Science and Forestry
PLAN 651: Urban Form and the Design of Cities
PLAN 089: Technology, Infrastructure and the Modern Metropolis
PLAN 550: Evolution of the American Urban Landscape
PLAN 752: Principles of Site Planning and Urban Design
PLAN 499: Comparative Globalization Seminar:
Transforming Urban China (w/ Prof. Yan Song)
PLAN 052: Cities and Human Values
PLAN 056: Race, Sex and Place in America (w/ Prof. Michele Berger)
Research, writing and practice
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Thomas J. Campanella is an urbanist and historian whose work focuses on the physical planning and design of cities and the historical development of the American landscape. He has also studied and written about the convulsive transformation of Chinese cities in the post-Mao era.
Campanella is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. He has been awarded Guggenheim, Fulbright and James Marston Fitch fellowships and has held visiting appointments at Columbia University, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Nanjing University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He taught previously at MIT, and in 2009 was the inaugural Amacon-Beasley Scholar-in-Residence at the University of British Columbia School of Community and Regional Planning.
Campanella's most recent book is The Concrete Dragon: China's Urban Revolution and What It Means for the World (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), a primer on contemporary Chinese urbanism which "sets the scene," writes sinologist Jonathan D. Spence, "for any further discussion of China's explosive urban growth across the last twenty years." The Concrete Dragon was a 2009 Planetizen "Top Ten Book" and runner-up for the 2008 Environmental Design Research Association book award. It is among the most widely used texts on Chinese urbanism in American and European schools of architecture and planning. The book is discussed in this New York Review of Books essay.
Campanella is also the author of Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm (Yale University Press, 2003), the first study of the rise and fall of that paragon of American vernacular space, "Elm Street." The book received a Spiro Kostof Award from the Society of Architectural Historians in 2005, and was reviewed in The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe, which named it one of the ten best non-fiction books of 2003.
Campanella's other works include Cities From the Sky: An Aerial Portrait of America (Princeton, 2001), a monograph on the development of urban aerial photography and one of its pioneers, the Fairchild Air Survey Company; and The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover From Disaster (Oxford University Press, 2005), an anthology on the politics and processes of urban regeneration through history co-edited with Lawrence J. Vale of MIT. The Resilient City was a Planetizen "Top Ten Book" in 2005.
Campanella is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and his essays and criticism have appeared in Orion, Metropolis, Salon, Obit, Places, Landscape Architecture and Architectural Record. He has been a guest on radio and television programs on National Public Radio, the BBC, CNN, CBC (Canada) and CCTV (China).
He holds a PhD in urban planning from MIT; a master's degree in landscape architecture from Cornell University; and a BS in environmental studies from the State University of New York. His doctoral dissertation won the John Reps Prize from the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. At Cornell, Campanella was awarded the Michael Rapuano Memorial Medal for design excellence in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, and received a commendation for outstanding achievement from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Campanella has consulted on urban design and planning projects in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, and the United States. Prior to his academic career, he worked as a wildland firefighter, EMT and fire lookout operator for the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Alaska Fire Service. He is also a licensed pilot.
Campanella served two consecutive terms as a planning commissioner for the Town of Hillsborough, North Carolina. He chaired the Hillsborough - Orange County Rail Station Task Force in 2009, and prepared the official master plan for the Hillsborough Station transit-oriented development. He also serves on the Chancellor's Committee for Buildings and Grounds at UNC, and the Campus Arts Advisory Committee. He was previously a member of the board of the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, and has helped organize community charettes with the Durham Area Designers, a Triangle-based planning advocacy group.
+ The Concrete Dragon: China's Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008)
+ The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster (Oxford University Press, 2005). Edited with Lawrence J. Vale.
+ Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm (Yale University Press, 2003).
+ Cities from the Sky: An Aerial Portrait of America (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001).
Selected articles + essays
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Robert Moses, Pedal Pusher?" The Wall Street Journal (June 26, 2012), D5.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "The Rise and Fall of Edward G. Lawson." Landscape Architecture Magazine (March 2012), pp 120-127.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "The Roman Roots of Gotham's London Plane." The Wall Street Journal (July 20, 2011), D5.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning." Design Observer: Places (April 2011). This is a shorter version of a chapter of the same title that appeared in Max Page and Timothy Mennel, eds., Reconsidering Jane Jacobs (Planners Press, 2011).
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "China: As We Once Were." Journal of Architectural Education 63:2 (March 2010), pp 63-64.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Hillsborough in Time and Space: A View From Afar." In 27 Views of Hillsborough: A Southern Town in Prose and Poetry (Eno Publishers, 2010), pp. 81-89.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Mimetic Utopias: Themeing and Consumerism on China's Suburban Frontier." New Geographies 1 (Spring 2009), pp 78-87.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "After the Inferno." Obit (February, 2009). Part of this essay was excerpted in Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2009).
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "'Mark Well the Gloom': Shedding Light on the Great Dark Day of 1780." Environmental History 12:1 (January 2007), pp 35-58.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Recovering New Orleans." In Planetizen's Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning (Island Press, 2007), pp. 110-116.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Longer View: Urban Resilience and the Fate of New Orleans." Journal of the American Planning Association 72:2 (Spring 2006), pp 1-6.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "'The Civilizing Road': American Influences on the Development of Highways and Motoring in China, 1900-1949." Journal of Transport History 26:3 (March 2005), pp 87-98.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Transplanting the New Jersey Turnpike to China." Chapter in Joseph Rykwert and Tony Atkin, eds., Structure and Meaning in Human Settlements (Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum Press, 2005), pp. 293-306.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Anti-Urbanist City Images and New Media Culture." Chapter in Lawrence J. Vale and Sam Bass Warner, eds., Imaging the City: Continuing Struggles and New Directions (Rutgers University Press, 2001), pp. 237-254.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Eden by Wire: Webcameras and the Telepresent Landscape." Chapter in Ken Goldberg, ed., The Robot in the Garden (MIT Press, 2000), pp. 22-46. Reprinted in Nicholas Mirzoeff, ed., The Visual Culture Reader (Routledge, 2002), pp. 264-278 and Stephen Graham, ed. The Cybercities Reader (Routledge, 2004), pp. 57-63.
+ Campanella, Thomas J. "Sanctuary in the Wilderness: Deborah Moody and the 1643 Town Plan for Colonial Gravesend." Landscape Journal 12:2 (Fall 1993), pp. 106-130.