Research, teaching, and practice
Whittemore especially focuses on planning’s influence on the built form and design of North American cities and the politics associated with planning for neighborhood change. His research asks how regulatory forces shape the built environment and how communities understand and use regulatory approaches in guiding development. He principally uses archival and ethnographic methods to explore these questions. He has published on the history of zoning and land use politics in Los Angeles, the FHA’s impact on local zoning, redevelopment politics in conservative contexts, the uses and politics of planned unit development, the history of American urban form, and planning theory with a focus on phenomenological or humanist procedural approaches in planning.
Dr. Whittemore is the illustrator and co-author, with Sam Bass Warner, of American Urban Form: A Representative History (MIT Press, 2012). The book follows the development of a hypothetical metropolis on the eastern seaboard of the United States from before European colonization to the present, bringing attention to the typical patterns of urbanization in that region.
He is currently researching the development of a lesbian and gay-oriented real estate market in Dallas, and the ways in which local planners frame redevelopment efforts in community engagement efforts.