Donovan Rypkema / Bill Kennedy Memorial Lecture

Event Details

Teri Nagel
College of Architecture
Contact Teri Nagel


Summary Sentence: Celebrating Kennedy's influence in the shaping of Atlanta.

Full Summary: Donovan Rypkema is a recognized expert in the economics of preserving historic structures.

Bill Kennedy was a major influence in the shaping of Atlanta over a 40-year span. He loved cities, and especially Atlanta and its surrounding communities. His passion was to help Atlanta grow and prosper while preserving its unique neighborhoods and its historical buildings.

To celebrate his life, the School of City and Regional Planning will host a public event featuring Donovan Rypkema, a recognized expert in the economics of preserving historic structures. Free and open to the public, thanks to the William F. Kennedy, Jr. Memorial Foundation.

William Franklin Kennedy, Jr., was born in Decatur, Georgia, and grew up with his four siblings in Stone Mountain. His interest in Atlanta began at an early age, frequently visiting the city and studying its buildings and attractions. After earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Georgia State University, he went on to Georgia Institute of Technology where he completed the coursework for a master’s degree in city planning.

From 1961 through 1995 Bill worked in the City of Atlanta’s Department of Planning, serving the last 15 years as the city’s zoning administrator. A strong advocate for neighborhoods, he was a leading force in establishing Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit program, which gave neighborhoods a voice in the growth of their communities. After retiring from the city, he consulted on major planning and zoning projects throughout the metropolitan area and served as an expert witness in many zoning cases, often donating his time to non-profit groups.

Throughout his career, regardless of what position others took on any issue, they always had great respect for Bill’s vision, his ability to grasp and simplify complicated issues, his fairness, his compassion and his unquestionable integrity.

Bill was an active member of several professional and preservation organizations and spoke at many national conventions. Bill loved to explore cities around the world. After retiring from the city, he generally traveled abroad two or three times a year throughout Europe and China. He was so thorough in his preparation before visiting a city that on his first trip to Rome he conducted a walking tour for a group of tourists he encountered.

Donovan Rypkema is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development-consulting firm specializing in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures. In 2004 Rypkema established Heritage Strategies International, a new firm created to provide similar services to world-wide clients. He has performed real estate and economic development consulting services throughout the United States for State and local governments and non-profit organizations with interests in a broad range of properties, from National Historic Landmark Structures to Main Street commercial centers. His specific fields of consultation include: feasibility analyses for real estate development; training in community-based development; economic revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood commercial centers; and the rehabilitation of historic structures. He also teaches a graduate course in preservation economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rypkema has lectured widely on economic and preservation issues and has delivered short courses to architects, bankers, developers, preservationists, planners and downtown managers. He is author of several publications including Community Initiated Development, The Economics of Rehabilitation, and the Downtown Real Estate Development Series. His articles have appeared in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Architectural Record, The Journal of Commercial Bank Lending, The Responsive Community, Urban Land, Real Estate Finance, Investment Decisions, Places, Preservation Forum, Vital Speeches, the Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society and others. In Washington he has served on the Boards of Directors of North Capital Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Washington Council of Agencies.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

College of Design, School of City & Regional Planning

Invited Audience
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city planning, historic preservation
  • Created By: Teri Nagel
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 3, 2010 - 11:18am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:48pm