The publication of this biography of Jaqueline Tyrwhitt by Ellen Shoshkes is timely. It is a reminder for professional planners and people affected by urban planning activity—which is to say, everybody—of the positive practical and philosophical reasons for planning, at a time when this activity is subject to criticism.

For me, as a professional British town planner and researcher, planning is the practical exercise of the utopian impulse—the activity, as the planning academic Patsy Healey puts it, of “making better places.”1 A significant element of Tyrwhitt's lifework was in developing both the science and the art of urban planning and design, but she also engaged with the other practical aspect of utopianism in experimenting with intentional communities, including Dartington, in Devon, England, and her own community at Sparoza, near Athens, Greece.

This book highlights the contribution made to planning thought, practice, and education by an individual who features rarely...

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