about cities and many other topics

Martin Zimmerman, urban planner + journalistIt happened at age 10 when I first visited Mellon Square – Pittsburgh’s modern urban masterwork. Sort of an epiphany moment. When I returned to Cleveland, Ohio, I asked my uncle if I could borrow some drafting pencils and tracing paper.

Later I graduated with dual degrees from the University of Michigan followed by a varied career path as a practicing architect, campus planner, and director of a non-profit advocacy group. This took me from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to metro Washington D.C., and finally my current home base – Charlotte, North Carolina. Along the way I also taught occasionally at three universities and led summer forums at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

My foray into freelance journalism began shortly after graduate school. It has burgeoned since, with hundreds of feature articles, interviews and reviews for Urban Land, APA Planning, Washington Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Landscape Architecture, Architectural Record, Preservation, National Building Museum’s Blueprints, On Common Ground, Plan Charlotte and other print and on-line publications.

I travel widely in the USA and Europe, often with the aid of a trusty bicycle, in search of innovative visionaries, ideas and initiatives. Topics of note include a lengthy interview with Andres Duany, patron saint of the New Urbanism movement, and photo essays on low carbon living in Europe, especially the world-renowned Vauban eco-quartier in Freiburg, Germany and the user friendly 21st century transportation system of Malmö, Sweden.