John M. Courtney



John M. Courtney worked for the World Bank for 20 years (1976-95) as a senior urban planner on urban infrastructure projects in the developing World -- China (Shanghai), India (Singrauli), Pakistan (Lahore), Indonesia (Jakarta,Surabaja), Brazil (Recife),Philippines (Manila) and Vietnam (Saigon South). In 1983 he was the senior urban planner on the World Bank’s first urban infrastructure project in China in Shanghai. He was also responsible for the planning of the World Bank’s new corporate headquarters in Washington DC. In 2003-4 he headed up a team for the World Bank Institute that addressed urban planning reforms in several East Asian countries including China. Prior to joining the World Bank in 1976 he worked on a range of urban infrastructure and urban design projects in the US including highways and rapid rail.

He worked for Skidmore Owing's and Merrill, a leading international architectural and planning firm,on major urban design projects and also worked for the Boston Redevelopment Authority in the 1960's on the urban renewal of Boston before setting up in private practice in Washington DC in 1972.

After retiring from the World Bank in 1996 he was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley, Urban and Regional Planning program and taught urban infrastructure policy and planning. He has been an advisor at MIT on the Special Program on Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS), and since 2005 an advisor in China.

He left Australia in 1964 and has lived in the United States since then, in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Washington DC. He is now spending time in his city of origins, Sydney as well as Beijing where he has been a long term urban planning advisor.


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The Australian Institute of Urban Studies is an independent non-profit organisation established through the initiatives of the Australian Planning Institute and the Social Science Research Council.

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