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Remembering Paul Niebanck

The CEP community honors the late Paul L. Niebanck (1934 – 2021)

Written by Dennis Ryan

Paul L. Niebanck

In the fall of 1993 Paul as a Visiting Professor in Urban Design and Planning convened a group of undergraduate students in a 2-quarter long colloquium. It was a fundamental process of planning-in-action that led them to the creation of a new major of Community and Environmental Planning. The name was later adjusted to reflect a balance within the major – Community, Environment and Planning. Paul – an essential member of this group, later termed the Founders, modeled the quality of mutuality and respect they all sought in all educational practice.

The following year he facilitated the first quarter seminar for the new major and for the next several years his creative vision and energy, guidance and critical evaluation were essential to bringing the CEP major into its own.

Following his formal association with the UW, Paul continued to be a friend and mentor to many of the CEP community – graduates and educators – until the end of his life.

While he was always there to listen and encourage, he was most rewarded by evidence of engaged planning. The ACSP remembrances bring this to light as does his legacy – the CEP major itself – forever a work in process.


Additional Links:

  • ACSP Distinguished Educator, 2002: Paul L. Niebanck
  • Undergraduate Education with a Purpose: A Planning Program at the University of Washington
  • The Genesis of CEP and Undergraduate Education Reform