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RFF Senior Fellow Margaret Walls Appointed to Thomas J.
Klutznick Chair

For Release: February 18, 2010
Contact: RFF Office of Communications, 202-328-5026

WASHINGTON – Senior Fellow Margaret A. Walls has been named the first appointee to the Thomas J. Klutznick Chair at Resources for the Future. Walls, who has been affiliated with RFF since 1987, conducts research and analysis on a range of issues including private and public land use, urban transportation, parks and open space, and energy policies.

This academic chair was established through the support of Thomas Klutznick, a long-time supporter of RFF research. Founder of the Klutznick Company, a privately held real estate investment, development, and consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, Klutznick has been a strong advocate of balancing effective urban renewal and community development policies with environmental protection.

Among landmark projects that Klutznick helped develop are Chicago’s Water Tower Place, Boston’s Copley Place, Philadelphia’s One Logan Square, Houston’s First City National Bank, Denver’s City Center, Los Angeles’ Fox Plaza, Cleveland’s Sohio Building, restoration of Seattle’s Olympic Hotel, Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, California, The Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, Colorado, and Phoenix’s 5,700-acre Desert Ridge master-planned community and CityNorth urban enclave.

“Tom Klutznick created this chair to extend RFF’s work on the urban development and environmental concerns that he cared about deeply,” said RFF President Phil Sharp. “Margaret Walls has demonstrated a strong commitment to these issues through her work on preservation of open space and livable communities, and is clearly an appropriate person to honor his vision on these important policy challenges.”

The Klutznick Chair will support a permanent senior research position through the RFF endowment. Klutznick served on the RFF Board of Directors from 1985 to 1994, and was instrumental in establishing RFF’s own real estate portfolio.

In the spring 2001 issue of Resources, in announcing the initial funding of the Chair, Klutznick noted the need for more research to help society understand complex relationship of urban development, land-use, transportation and the environment.

“Americans are fed up with urban sprawl and congestion. But what we do about it is still open for debate,” he said. “I think there is a real need for independent analysis on how to prevent and alleviate the negative impacts of unfettered urban growth. RFF is one organization that we can count on to bring research, reason, and common sense to this highly contentious debate.”

As the Thomas Klutznick Senior Fellow, Walls intends to develop a stream of work on city parks and urban open space, an outgrowth of work she did as part of the recently completed Outdoor Resources Review Group, which examined a range of outdoor recreation and conservation issues (www.rff.org/orrg). She is widely published on these topics in such publications as Journal of Urban Economics, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Land Economics, and Review of Economics and Statistics, among others.

Walls received her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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Founded in 1952, Resources for the Future is an independent, nonprofit research organization that conducts policy analysis – rooted primarily in economics and other social sciences – on environmental, energy, and natural resource issues.

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