Dr. Paul Van Buskirk, city planner/professional engineer/author opines on “defund the police,” inner-city, & much more. He said much has not changed in the inner-city in 52 years.
A substantive conversation with Dr. Paul Van Buskirk on “Defund the Police” and more.
Dr. Van Buskirk recently authored the book “Big Mike, Uncle Dan, and Me” that we discussed at the end of the interview.
Who is Paul Van Buskirk?
Dr. Paul Van Buskirk is a licensed engineer, a nationally recognized city planner, and an accomplished educator, political leader, and published author, described in Legendary Locals of Cohoes (2013) as “one of the greatest political leaders in the city’s history” and recognized by the Albany Times Union (1966) as a “political giant” for his role in overthrowing the Cohoes arm of the Albany Democratic political machine.
At the age of 31, Paul was selected for the “Distinguished Service Award” by the Albany County Junior Chamber of Commerce for his leading role in many civic projects and for helping his city be recognized as an All-America City. Look Magazine (1967) credited Dr. Van Buskirk for his role in “breaking the grip of an entranced political machine that had used every trick to stay in power.” The New York Times (1973) published a piece on Van Buskirk’s use of state-of-the-art management techniques to revitalize the city he grew up in.
Dr. Van Buskirk is the author of Resurrection of an American City (General Learning Press, (1973), a case study of the Model Cities Program. He is also a contributing author of the book, Improving School Board Effectiveness (Harvard Education Press, 2015) about the relationship between school board governance and student performance. His serial essays, “European Nations are Solving Their Urban Problems,” (2015) are part of the Baum Digital Collection at George Mason University. Dr. Van Buskirk also has co-authored several articles for Planning Magazine and several published research papers on urban modeling, water resources, and school board governance. He is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from Barry University in Miami, Florida. Also in 2020 he was inducted to the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows.
Dr. Van Buskirk studied engineering at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and received his PhD from Barry University of Miami in the behavior sciences. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Award and the Charles Evens Hughes Award from the American Society for Public Administration for his “courageous and imaginative work” in local government.
He established a consulting firm with clients in the Northeast, the Southeast, and Puerto Rico. He is currently chairman of the board of Metro Forecasting Models, LLC, having developed copyrighted forecasting models for scores of local governments and school boards, primarily across the Southeastern U.S.