Interview with Gregory Heller

Source: New Books in Political Science
Date: August 12, 2013
Byline: Heath Brown

Gregory Heller is the author of Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics, and the Building of Modern Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). Heller is Senior Advisor at Econsult Solutions, Inc. in Philadelphia.

Bacon’s vision and leadership on urban renewal helped to create the physical landscape of what Philadelphia is today. He was central to many of the public and private projects that recreated this modern city. But, as the book title suggests, Bacon’s legacy is more than just as a planner. Heller dubs Heller ‘the planner as policy entrepreneur’. In doing so, Heller’s biography of Bacon can be read as an extended case-study in the policy process and urban politics. Bacon’s deep belief in public participation resulted in a vision for planning that was profoundly democratic and a great departure from many of his contemporaries who were often dismissive or indifferent of public input. Listen to the interview