John I. Gilderbloom , Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Urban & Public Affairs Director, Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods


John I. “Hans” Gilderbloom is considered one of the most influential figures in urban affairs with an emphasis on sustainability, housing, health and transportation.  His fingerprints are all over cities throughout the world.  Since 1976 he has been credited as a major player in getting passed and defending the enactment of tenant protections against unfair evictions and unreasonable rents in over 125 cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and over 100 New Jersey cities.  His research on the housing and transportation needs of the disabled and elderly was instrumental provided a justification for Congress  passing  Americans Disability Act according to Planning Magazine.  Dr. Gilderbloom has also showed how to partner up with non-profits, government, developers and banks in creating and renovating  attractive, affordable, and sustainable homes in cities.  He has also linked this success  to traffic calming by converting fast multi-lane one way streets into calmer two-way for greater walkability, biking and transit use. Dr. Gilderbloom also argues the need to empower poor citizens to demand and act to create livable neighborhoods by cleaning up graffiti, liter, and painting homes to encourage neighborhood regeneration. Dr. Gilderbloom  was also an effective advocate for ending the U.S. Embargo of  Cuba testifying in the US Senate and writing about the harsh situation. Finally, Dr. Gilderbloom's research has encouraged cities to take a more active role in reducing air, water and ground pollution that will improve life span, prosperity, housing, and health.    Dr. Gilderbloom is a Professor in the Graduate Planning, Public Administration, Public Health, and Urban Affairs program at the University of Louisville, where he also directs the highly lauded Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods ( Since earning his Ph.D., Gilderbloom’s research in urban sustainability has appeared in eight co-authored or edited books or journals, 55 scholarly peer-reviewed journals, 30 chapters in edited books, 11 monographs and 31 opinion pieces in newspapers and magazines including: Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Courier-Journal, and USA Today Magazine. The New York Times (among many other newspapers in the Netherlands, Japan and Russia) ran a Sunday feature of his work on renewing poor neighborhoods. He is also a Fellow of the Scholars Strategy Network housed at Harvard under the direction of Professor Theda Skocpol. He has consulted for Presidents (Bush, Clinton and Obama), Mayors (Burlington \), Senators (McConnell, Schumer); Governors ( Jerry Brown, Andrew Cuomo and Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development ( Cuomo, Cisneros). He has consulted with the Mayors of Moscow, Russia; Habana, Cuba; San Jose, Costa Rica, Melbourne, Australia, and such US cities as  Vermont, Houston, Newport, Louisville, Newark, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Chicago. He had personally advised the Secretary of US Treasury under Obama, along with Gay Rights icon the late Harvey Milk, Mayor Bernie Sanders of Burlington and US Senate, Martin Luther King the 3rd,, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,   and Donald Turner,  top US advisor to President Nelson Mandela on housing and community development. 

In an international poll of thousands of Urbanists, planners and architects, Professor Gilderbloom was ranked one of the “top 100 urban thinkers in the world.”  A new panel of international judges nominated Dr. Gilderbloom as one of the most influential living urbanists by Planetizen. Gilderbloom earned the University of Louisville a Medal for Distinguished Faculty Research and Creative Activity and his picture is glass engraved wall of honor along  University Avenue 

Significant  and important  books:

"Ten Commandments of Neighborhood Livability:  Creating Healthy, Happy, Safe, Sustainable and Equitable Places" by John I. "Hans" Gilderbloom in press (2019)  University of Louisville, Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods.

"Painted Ladies:  Igniting Places Everywhere!"  by John I. "Hans" Gilderbloom.(2018)  Lexington, KY:  University Press of Kentucky

"Invisible City: Poverty, Housing and New Urbanism" by John I. Gilderbloom.(2008)  Austin, TX University of Texas Press.

"Promise and Betrayal: Universities and the Battle for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods." (2005) by John I. Gilderbloom and Robert Mullins. New Albany, NY:  State University of New York Press. 

Rethinking Rental Housing by John I. Gilderbloom and Richard Appelbaum (1988) Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press

Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods 

Numerous lectures by Gilderbloom on urban pollution, two way streets and neighborhood regeneration;

posted on YouTube:

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