Peter Calthorpe (born 1949) is a San Francisco-based architect, urban designer and urban planner. He is a founding member of the Congress for New Urbanism, a Chicago-based advocacy group formed in 1992 that promotes sustainable building practices.


Calthorpe was born in London and raised in Palo Alto.[1] He attended the Yale School of Architecture.

In the 1986 he, along with Sim Van der Ryn, published Sustainable Communities.[citation needed] In the early 1990s he developed the concept of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) highlighted in The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community,and the American Dream.[2]

He has taught at U.C. Berkeley, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and the University of North Carolina.[citation needed]

In 1989, he proposed the concept of "Pedestrian Pocket" an up to 110 acres (45 ha) pedestrian friendly, transit linked, mixed-use urban area with a park at its centre. The Pedestrian Pocket mixes low-rise high-density housing, commercial and retail uses. The concept had a number of similarities with Ebenezer Howard's Garden City, and aimed to be an alternative to the then usual low-density residential suburban developments.[3]

Personal life

He is married to Jean Driscoll.[4] He has three children: Lucia, Jacob, and Asa.[4] His sister Diana Calthorpe is married to real estate developer Jonathan F.P. Rose.[5] His niece is artist Rachel Rose.


  • Calthorpe, Peter and Sim Van der Ryn (1986). Sustainable Communities: A New Design Synthesis for Cities, Suburbs and Towns. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. ISBN 0-87156-629-X
  • Calthorpe, Peter: The Pedestrian pocket, in Doug, Kelbaugh (ed.) Pedestrian Pocket Book, 1989
  • Calthorpe, Peter: The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream, Princeton Architectural Press, 1993
  • Calthorpe, Peter and Fulton, William: The Regional City, Island Press, 2001
  • Calthorpe, Peter: Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change, Island Press, 2010


External links