William J. Cohen brings an extensive background as a professional planner and teacher to Temple. His teaching and research focus embraces ecological planning and environmental design.
Currently, he has completed a manuscript for publication assessing the legacy of landscape architect and regional planner, Ian McHarg in environmental planning and education. Most recently, he served as Principal Academic Advisor and Field Sound Producer for the documentary film, “City 21:Multiple Perspectives on Urban Futures,” and author of the foreword to the companion publication, City 21: The Search for the Second Enlightenment (2010).
He entered the professional field of city and regional planning in 1967 and has held several responsible positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. He has been Senior Planner in the Delaware State Planning Office where he worked from 1967 to 1971. He was appointed Planning Director in the City of Newark, Delaware from 1971 to 1977. In 1977 he founded a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that specialized in planning, government affairs, research, and design, serving as Principal until 1990.
From 1990 to 1998 Dr. Cohen was a Senior Resources Planner in the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control where he was appointed Executive Director of a gubernatorial task force that completed the most comprehensive planning project in the state’s history. That project became the planning, design, and implementation impetus that would revitalize the Wilmington, Delaware urban waterfront.
Dr. Cohen is the author or co-author of more than 90 technical and professional publications and reports on a variety of planning topics, including general planning and policy analysis, community studies and evaluations, development controls, environmental impact, land use and site suitability, and riverfront planning and development. He has also been an expert witness in legal proceedings on land use and environmental matters for the Delaware Department of Transportation.
He entered academic life in 1978, first as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Geography at the University of Delaware, teaching undergraduate, honors, and graduate courses and seminars. He joined the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Temple University Ambler in 2004 and has continued to combine theoretical concepts with practical applications in courses ranging from introduction to community and regional planning, history and practice of planning, special topics, planning history and theory, and the popular undergraduate course, people, places, and environment.
Dr. Cohen is a charter member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and in 2010 was elected to the AICP College of Fellows (FAICP). He is a past president of the Delaware Chapter, American Planning Association (1981-1983), and a past president of the Delaware Association for Public Administration (1976-1978).
He was selected as a Delaware Governor’s Management Fellow (1993-1994) in recognition of exceptional management ability. In 1996, he was designated a Lewis Mumford Scholar by the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania in recognition of his professional accomplishments. In 2002, the Morris Library at the University of Delaware (Special Collections) acquired the William J. Cohen Papers consisting of professional papers, documents, and ephemera covering his planning career from 1967-2001.
Cohen holds both a BA and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Delaware and the AM, MCP, and PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
CRP 0807 People, Places and the Environment
CRP 1017 Introduction to Community and Regional Planning
CRP 1027 History and Practice of Community and Regional Planning