Professor Ann Louise Strong: intellectual mentor and friend

I first met Ann Louise at the January 1969 Session set up by the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies in Austria. Her outstanding teaching on urban planning and land use control fit my own interest in the failure of the French policy..
We had long conversation in English …but I discovered later that she was fluent in French.
Anyway she encouraged me to come to Penn and join her new Environmental Research Institute ..
Eventually she managed to secure a one year Ford Foundation fellowship and on September 1970 I landed at Phila Airport greeted and invited by Ann and Michael at their wonderful house in Devon (Chester County)
Penn was (and I guess still is) a wonderful place to meet outstanding people interested in the new environmental policy encouraged by the famous first Earth Day meeting held at Fairmont Park.
My wife Ursula and our 3 kids joined me on January 1971 and the Strongs help us setting near the Campus on Pine Street
I shared my time at The Fine Art Library , the Mumford small brick house where I had an office , attending lessons by Ann , John Keene Julius Margolis Brit Harris…and joining the Ian McHarg Studio.
Returning to France I wanted to advocate two concepts;
– Environmental planning using McHargian’s tools developed in the outstanding “Design with Nature”
– Property rights and compensation for taking was to be considered for plan implementation as advocated by Ann in the Brandywine Plan and her concept of compensable regulation.
Spreading new ideas in socialist and bureaucratic France was and still is a very difficult task and half a century later I must say that I was moderately successful.
For sure I helped introducing some kind of the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act into the French 1976 Loi sur la Protection de la Nature with compulsory Environmental Impact Assessment. Publishing McHarg in French “Composer avec la Nature” needed ten year!
As for property rights I progressively adopted a free market environment perspective after reading Coase, Demsetz, Hardin, Ostrom and meeting Yandle, Baden, Anderson Stroup, Smith, Epstein …
Anyway Ann Strong was and still is a close friend and mentor. No doubt she influenced land use control and environmental policy in France thanks to several papers and conferences.
She really deserves the prestigious ACSP’s Award as recounted in outstanding Frederick Steiner’s paper.

Max Falque
Managing Director
April 2018