Allan Jacobs is University Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley, He is an urban designer, trained as an architect and city planner at Miami University, at Harvard, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked in many cities, most notably Pittsburgh, Calcutta, Boston, and San Francisco, where for seven years he was Director of City Planning. He was responsible for San Francisco's now famous Urban Design Plan. Most of his present work is focused on the design of streets. Jacobs has consulted widely, and is a principal in the San Francisco urban design firm Cityworks. He works mostly in intensive urban environments, in both large and small cities.
He is concerned with the design of the public realm - streets, spaces, parks - and with achieving private development that helps to achieve community objectives, particularly as expressed in well thought out public plans. He writes on city planning and urban design, notably on streets, and the uses of observation as a design and planning tool. With the late Donald Appleyard, he authored a now seminal essay on the physical, designable characteristics of the best cities: Toward a New Urban Design Manifesto. His books include Great Streets, Looking at Cities, Making City Planning Work, and (with Elizabeth Macdonald and Yodan Rofe) The Boulevard Book. Cityworks is a two-partner urban design and architecture firm whose principals are directly involved in all of the company's projects. Much of their most recent work has involved street design, streetscape consulting, and large public planning projects in San Francisco, Oakland, Vancouver, British Columbia and Seaside, Florida.