News & Awards

"Climbing Mount Laurel" Wins 2013 Paul Davidoff Award

Nov 15, 2013
B. Rose Huber | (609) 258-0157
Woodrow Wilson School

PRINCETON, NJ—"Climbing Mount Laurel: The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb" has won the 2013 Paul Davidoff Award, presented biennially by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP). This award recognizes an outstanding book publication that promotes positive social change and overcomes poverty and racism.

Written by Douglas Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School (WWS), "Climbing Mount Laurel" explores life in the Ethel Lawrence Homes, a fair housing development that opened in 2001 in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Massey and his colleagues confirm that building affordable housing projects is a cost-affective approach to improving the lives of the poor with no drawbacks to the community at large.

"We applaud Doug Massey for revealing the impact this housing development has made on the community of Mount Laurel – a town once at the center of much political and legal debate," said WWS Dean Cecilia Rouse. "Massey's research shows that neighborhoods can shape the lives of their residents. We congratulate him for receiving this prestigious book award."

The Paul Davidoff Award was established three decades ago by the ACSP and is one of the most prestigious honors in the academic planning field. The award honors the memory of a revered and respected activist academic in the field of modern city planning.

Massey's book is an "especially fitting winner," according to ACSP's selection committee, as its namesake Paul Davidoff was the founder of the Suburban Action Institute, which was actively involved in the Mount Laurel legal cases.

“Paul Davidoff was an inspirational planner whose advocacy for minorities and the poor is legendary, and for this reason my coauthors and I are greatly honored that our book was selected to receive the Davidoff Award," said Massey. "We hope receipt of this award draws attention to the potential of affordable to ameliorate racial and class segregation and promote socioeconomic progress among the disadvantaged.” 

The award was announced at the ACSP Administrators' Conference Nov. 15 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about ACSP, click here