UCL News


Otto Koenigsberger celebrated

13 October 2008


Otto Koenigsberger ucl.ac.uk/dpu" target="_self">UCL DPU

The centenary the birth of Otto Koenigsberger (1908-1999), the first UCL Professor of Development Planning and founder of the Development Planning Unit (DPU), was celebrated on 6 October 2008, World Habitat Day.

A panel of current and former UCL DPU staff - Professor Patrick Wakely, Michael Safier, Professor Yves Cabannes and Caren Levy - reflected on his influence and the impact of his life and work in an open discussion.

Otto Koenigsberger was a polymath, whose contributions ranged from: building physics and design in tropical climates to the formulation of self-help policies for the improvement of urban slums; the planning and building of new towns to the development of national urban policies in the context of rapid growth and change; advising on professional and technical training to the establishment of university institutions.

He was one of the founders of modern urban-development planning in the rapidly growing cities of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. He played a major part in the establishment of the United Nations Centre for Planning, Building and Housing, which later became the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the first UN Conference on Human Settlements (1976). He started the School of Tropical Architecture at the Architectural Association (1954) and later the Development Planning Unit in UCL (1971).

Top image: Otto Koenigsberger

Bottom image: Professor Yves Cabannes, Caren Levy, Renate Koenigsberger, Michael Safier and Professor Patrick Wakely