News
Lynne Sagalyn and Gary Hack DUSP Fund

Urban Planning Alums Establish Fund for Doctoral Student Research

A new fund will provide vital financial support to doctoral candidates in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP). Established by and named in honor of two of the department's alumni, the “Lynne Sagalyn and Gary Hack DUSP Fund” will provide grants up to $20,000 per student to enable research leading to doctoral dissertations; funds may be used for travel, data acquisition, student stipends, and other research expenses.

“Our doctoral candidates are truly exceptional and ambitious scholars. Of course, ambitious plans require generous support, especially when students work on global issues such as urban development, public health, design and infrastructure, the future of urban mobility, and global environmental issues,” said Eran Ben-Joseph, professor and head of the department. “This funding will provide the resources we need to enable our students interested in city building to deliver on this promise.”

Sagalyn and Hack each earned a PhD in urban studies and planning from MIT—Hack in 1976 and Sagalyn in 1980. In making the gift, the two alumni said they were motivated by the difference that additional support can make for doctoral students, as well as by the potential impact DUSP PhD alumni can make in their fields.

 “Our doctoral studies at MIT provided the intellectual foundation for our academic careers and inspired us to go beyond our individual research interests. With our classmates, we went on to establish and lead programs at other universities,” said the donors in a statement. “We hope this gift will help challenge current doctoral students to set their sights on becoming intellectual and academic leaders.”

Hashim Sarkis, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, said the gift will help the school attract and support top scholars to follow in the footsteps of Sagalyn and Hack. “As educators and urban planners who have made a significant impact on the field, Lynne and Gary understand how important it is to support the next generation of leaders,” Sarkis said. “We could not be more grateful for their generosity and vision.”

Lynne Sagalyn is currently Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor Emerita of Real Estate at Columbia Business School, where she was formerly the director of the MBA Real Estate Program and the founding director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. She has published extensively on a broad range of issues in the fields of urban development finance, public/private partnerships, and real estate finance. Her books include Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon (MIT Press, 2001); Downtown Inc.: How America Rebuilds Cities (MIT Press, 1989, co-authored with Bernard Frieden); and Cases in Real Estate Investment and Finance (ULI, 1999). Her most recent book, Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan (Oxford University Press), was released in 2016.

In addition to teaching at Columbia, Sagalyn has held appointments at the University of Pennsylvania in both the School of Design (City Planning Department) and the Wharton School (Real Estate Department), and at DUSP/MIT, where she taught courses in housing and public policy and real estate finance as part of the school’s pioneering degree program in real estate development.

Gary Hack received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning in 1976. A former professor and the head of the department of urban studies and planning at MIT, he also served as dean of the School of Design at Penn from 1996-2008, where he is now Paley Professor Emeritus. He was also a long-time partner in the professional firm of Carr Lynch Hack and Sandell in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Earlier in his career, he was head of planning for Gruen Associates in New York and directed the Canadian government's housing and urban development research and demonstration programs.

Hack is the co-author of the third edition of the classic urban design text, Site Planning (MIT Press, 1984; with Kevin Lynch); Global City Regions: Their Emerging Forms (Spon Press, 2001); Urban Design in the Global Perspective (China Architecture and Building Press, 2006); and Local Planning (ICMA, 2011). His new international edition of Site Planning will be published in 2017. Hack was the lead planner on the redevelopment of Prudential Center in Boston, the West Side Waterfront in New York, and the MIT-led Metropolitan Development Plan for Bangkok.