Elizabeth Macdonald, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley and Chair of the Program in the Design of Urban Places, an interdisciplinary program sponsored by UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design that offers a Master's of Urban Design Degree. She is a licensed architect and holds a B.A. in Architecture (1981), a M.L.A. and M.C.P. (1995), and a Ph.D. (1999) from the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley.
From 1999 to 2001 she taught at the University of Toronto, where she helped start the first Master of Urban Design program in Canada, and from 2001-2002 she taught at the University of British Columbia, where she established a studio-based urban design concentration within the Master of City Planning program.
Macdonald's research and professional work focuses on the design of the public realm, including streets, promenades, small public spaces, and interfaces between buildings and the public realm. Her writings include The Boulevard Book: History, Evolution, Design of Multiway Boulevards (MIT Press, 2002), The Urban Design Reader (Routledge, 2006), and numerous journal articles. A forthcoming book, Parkways and Promenades: A History of Olmsted and Vaux's Brooklyn Parkways, chronicles the evolution of Eastern and Ocean Parkways - complexly designed multiway boulevards built in the 1870s that escaped reconfiguration to 20th century street design norms and are now historic landscapes - from the time they were built until the present day.
Macdonald is a principal of Cityworks, a San Francisco-based urban design and architecture firm whose recent work has involved streetscape design and large public planning projects in San Francisco, Oakland, Vancouver, Seaside, Abu Dhabi, and Ahmedabad, India. In 2007, the firm's Octavia Boulevard project, which replaced a portion of San Francisco's central freeway with a pedestrian-friendly multiway boulevard, received an APA award for a hard-won victory.