A writer discovering people and places.
Born in Chicago, Alan Mammoser left for California at age nineteen and received a Bachelor of Arts in History at UCLA. He eventually returned to Chicago to pursue graduate studies, earning Master's Degrees in History and in Planning & Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Alan worked for six years as Associate Planner for the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, gaining experience in many aspects of metropolitan planning. He then held leadership roles in two planning non-profit groups. He served as Executive Director of a community-based environmental organization in post-industrial Southeast Chicago, and as Programs Director for a national organization promoting advanced land planning and zoning techniques.
Alan began to write for publication in 2000 while working in metropolitan planning. This regional experience led him to reflect on regions as the natural and cultural settings of cities. He sought out experts and looked for stories on a range of issues, including suburban development, conservation design, farmland preservation and metropolitan planning. He also wrote about food, music and dance. His articles appeared in local and national publications including Illinois Issues, Urban Land, Planning, New City, Conscious Choice and the Chicago Tribune.
The experience led him to coauthor a book, entitled Beyond Burnham, An Illustrated History of Planning for the Chicago Region (Lake Forest College Press, 2009).
He continues writing on a wide array of topics today, his interests encompassing planning, construction, infrastructure, conservation and agriculture. He enjoys writing about people and places. He has written profiles of cities and regions, including Chicago, Milan, Vienna, Sâo Paulo, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Dubai. He has published in professional and popular magazines such as Urban Land Europe, Planning, Américas, AramcoWorld and The Ceylon Chronicle.
Alan has traveled to the Middle East on several occasions for research and writing. He authored an illustrated full-length feature about the Masdar eco-city in Abu Dhabi. He is producing articles on renewable energy for Oilprice and other on-line publications. He is writing a book about Chicago's Union Station and the regional transit system. He is also writing a book called 'Regions,' which approaches the subject through human experience, telling the stories of people whose work seeks to find balance among the natural and human environments by combining traditional methods in useful ways with current technology and economy.
His first book, Beyond Burnham, coauthored with Joe Schwieterman, has proved to be a useful and enduring reference work on the Chicago legacy of regional planning. Here's what two prominent commentators on urban affairs have written about it:
"Definitive and readable, Schwieterman and Mammoser provide answers for all who've wondered whatever happened to the spirit of Daniel Burnham in Chicago. What most surprises is the idealism and tenacity of latter-day heroes who, at last, get their due."
- John McCarron, urban affairs columnist, Chicago Tribune
"An extraordinary story, Beyond Burnham shows how Burnham and Bennett's landmark Plan of Chicago created the foundation for a century of civic- and government-led initiatives. It depicts the remarkable personalities behind these plans."
- Robert D. Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association of New York