Yonn Dierwechter, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Specialty: Spatial Planning, Urban Political Geography, Sustainability

Dierwechter, Yonn

Contact information

Dept: Urban Studies
Room: PNK 217
Phone: 253-692-4504
Email: yonn@u.washington.edu
Schedule: TBA


  • Ph.D., Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, 2001.
  • M.A., Urban and Regional Planning, Cornell University, 1993.
  • B.A., Geography, University of Iowa, 1988.


Yonn Dierwechter holds degrees from the University of Iowa (BA), Cornell University (MRP) and the London School of Economics (PhD). His research interests include urban and political geography, especially critical geographies of comparative regional planning practices; state/space relationships; planning theory and spatial management systems; and the theoretical and policy links between urban growth management/smart growth, sustainability and political regionalism. He has expertise in South Africa, the USA and Europe. Yonn's major piece of research to date is Urban Growth Management and its Discontents: Promises, Practices and Geo-politics in US City-Regions (Palgrave, 2008). See http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=302721 Recent and forthcoming scholarship appears in Urban Studies, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, Social Science Review, Space and Polity, Professional Geographer, Environment and Planning A, Environment and Planning C, Regional Studies, International Development Planning Review, Arcade, and multiple book chapters. Since 2007, Yonn has also worked extensively with the Organization for Economic Cooperation in Paris, consulting on various projects in Cape Town, South Africa; Nuremberg, Germany; Forli-Cesena, Italy; Rennes, France; and Geelong, Australia.

In the classroom Yonn annually teaches the following courses: City worlds; Urban Issues in the Developing World; Political Geography; Introduction to Sustainability; and Green Internationalism and the City. In the past he has also taught: Introduction to Urban Planning; Planning Theory and Practice; Land-Use Planning; Urban Government and Organizations; Sustainable Development: Planning for Sustainability; The Metropolis: London; and Planning and Development in the Puget Sound Region. In addition, Yonn has been active on campus in study abroad experiences, running the programs Urban Field Experience: Europe course 5 times to the Netherlands, with complementary side trips to London, Paris, Berlin and Turin. He is currently working on a new international course for Japan.

Select scholarship and public intellectual work

  • Dierwechter, Yonn. (2013) "Smart city-regionalism in Seattle: progressing transit nodes in labor space?" Geoforum 49: 139-149.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn. (2013) "Smart growth and state territoriality." "Urban Studies 50(11):2275-2292.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn and Anne Taufen Wessells. (2013) "The uneven localization of climate action in metropolitan Seattle." Urban Studies 50 (7): 1368-1385.
  • Pendras, Mark and Yonn Dierwechter (2012). "The problematic potential of universities to advance critical urban politics. " Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 36(2): 1-15.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn and Andy Thornley (2012). "Urban Planning and Regulation: The Challenge of the Market." In Randall Crane and Rachel Weber, eds. The Oxford Handbook in Urban Planning. Oxford University Press.
  • OECD (forthcoming). Rural-urban partnerships. See http://www.oecd.org/regional/rurbanrural-urbanpartnerships.htm
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2010). Metropolitan geographies of US climate action: cities, suburbs, and the 'local divide' in global responsibilities. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 12(1): 59-82.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn and Brian Coffey (2010). "Assessing the effects of neighborhood councils on urban governance: the case of Tacoma, Washington." Social Science Journal 47(3): 1-20.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2008) Urban Growth Management and Its Discontents: Promises, Practices, and Geopolitics in US City-Regions. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. 298 pages. See http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=302721
  • OECD (2008) OECD Territorial Reviews: Cape Town, South Africa. Paris: OECD. [Consulting author and contributor.] See: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/urban-rural-and-regional-development/oecd-territorial-reviews-cape-town-south-africa-2008_9789264049642-en
  • Carlson, Tom and Yonn Dierwechter (2007). "Effects of urban growth boundaries on residential development in Pierce County, Washington." Professional Geographer 56(2): 209-220.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2006). "The geographical limitations of neoliberalism: urban planning and the occluded territoriality of informal survival in African Cape Town." Space and Polity 10(3): 243-262.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2006). "Urban planning." Nick Manning, Gill Pascall, James Midgely and Huck-ju Kwo. Eds. International Encyclopedia of Social Policy. London, Routledge.
  • Coffey, Brian and Yonn Dierwechter (2005). "The university as a vehicle for inner-city renewal: the example of the University of Washington, Tacoma." In Wim Wieval and David Perry. University as Developer: The University, the City and Real Estate Development.
  • Armonk, N.Y, M.E. Sharpe.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2004). "Dreams, bricks and bodies: mapping 'neglected spatialities' in African Cape Town." Environment and Planning A 36: 959-981.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2003). "Planning and the geographies of (un)sustainability." Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 21: 779-783.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2002). "Six cities of the informal sector - and beyond. " International Development Planning Review 24(1): 21-40.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn and Brian Coffey (2002). "Connections matter - will Tacoma make the right ones?" Arcade 20(6): 34-5.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2000). "Accessing food: informal practice, local actor-networks and quality of life in Cape Town, South Africa." In Foo, T.S. and L.L. Yuan. Planning for a Better Quality of Life in Cities. National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (2001). "Lefebvre's modernities: informality, planning and space in Cape Town." In Yvonne Rydin and Andy Thornley. Planning in a Global Era. London, Ashgate.
  • Dierwechter, Yonn (1999). "Clinton's Third Way: Left, Right and All-American." In Murat Yalçintan. Ucuncu Yol Arayislari ve Turkiye, (The Third Way Debate in Turkey) . Buluk Press, Istanbul.

In development

  • Dierwechter, Yonn. "Growing transit communities in the Seattle city-region: metropolitan security, smart growth and the space-economy of work." AAG Los Angeles (2013).
  • Dierwechter, Yonn. Federal sustainability, smart regionalism, urban regeneration: the state of reshaping Seattle-Tacoma IBG 2012 (Edinburgh).
  • Dierwechter, Yonn. "Planning, progressive ideology, and the historical geography of the WPA in Metropolitan Seattle, 1935-1939." (with Charles Williams)
  • Dierwechter, Yonn. Progressing sustainability: cities, state, and the challenge of planned space in coastal city-regions. Book project.