David Sawicki named Professor Emeritus

David Sawicki, FAICP, has been named Professor Emeritus. Sawicki retired from the Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning and Public Policy faculties this January. A graduate of Worcester Polytechnic and of Cornell University, Sawicki came to Tech in 1983 from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee to become Director of the Graduate City Planning Program, a position he held until 1992. In 1990, after co-chairing the committee that led to creation of Tech’s School of Public Policy, Sawicki joined the public policy faculty while continuing his duties in city and regional planning.  

Sawicki served as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association, and chair of the Georgia Tech Executive Board. His research included projects for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Georgia Office of Planning and Budgeting, the Atlanta Bureau of Planning, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. In the mid-1990s, Sawicki led the Atlanta Project, funded by the Carter Presidential Center and aimed at providing planning and policy analysis support for poor neighborhoods in the city. Among his many publications is a widely use textbook, Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning (Prentice-Hall), which was translated into Mandarin in 2009. He is a recipient of the Warner Bloomberg Award for Distinguished and Exceptionally Creative Research in Urban Issues, the Fannie Mae Foundation Award for Best Paper in Housing and Community Development, and the College of Architecture Distinguished Professor Award. In 2004, Sawicki was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Several former students shared their comments regarding Sawicki’s impact as a professor:
“My first class with Tech’s MCP program was with David and only two other students, held in his office, where we discussed the urban planning issues of the day. I’ll always remember that class and some of our passionate discussions. He later became my advisor and though I don’t think my mini thesis on “Big Box Stores” was quite up his alley, he did put up with it and was a great help. It was good to see him last month.” – Scott Loughrey (MCP ’95)

“I took several of Dr. Sawicki’s courses and was fortunate to have him as my advisor. His humor and intellect made classes a pleasure, and I appreciate the mild controversies he provoked to drive home important policy points. He shaped many of the technical skills I use professionally—statistical, demographic and policy analysis, for example—but he also influenced my personal view of the world. There is no doubt that my perspective on social equity issues reflects his influence and informs my decision-making as a real estate developer.” – David Zanaty (MCRP ’04)

“David brought a classical approach to classroom learning and to scholarship, a Renaissance attitude to appreciation of art, food, wine, and music, and a purely Humanist (caring and giving) bent to relationships with students and friends. He is and will be equally respected and beloved for all of these.” – James Skinner (MCP ’94)

Professor Catherine Ross expressed, “Dr. David Sawicki made numerous contributions to the profession, the College of Architecture and to the School of City and Regional Planning. He is recognized for his commitment to academic excellence and willingness to serve in leadership positions. His past service as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning ( ACSP) and editorship of the Journal of the American planning Association (JAPA) are both excellent examples of his stature in the profession and willingness to serve. David’s stature in the planning profession has served to raise the profile and reputation of the School of City and Regional Planning for which we all owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

Professor Emeritus Sawicki and his wife Amy Helling will divide time between Atlanta and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

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