A note to Neil Smith

September 30, 2012

Dear Neil,

I’m writing this for you to read when you have a moment, after getting settled in whatever the hereafter is. I have to believe that you’re somewhere as all your energy and passion couldn’t just be gone, dissipated, like a massive generator breaking down, could it? For someone who was so deftly critical of many aspects of the contemporary world, you sure loved it and I’m so glad that I got to participate in that love.

Your photo is being circulated around, with a beginning and an end-date. I can hardly look at it and certainly won’t reproduce it here.

The last time I saw you in action was at the AAG in Seattle, where a crowd of what, 400? 500? was captured by your lecture and engaged with your ideas on ideology and discourse. As one voice among many who will dearly miss you, please hear me say “thank you.”

I bought a new Uneven Development, the new printing, so that I would have it all together. What I had previously were sets of photocopies, a mess really, of stapled, curled bits and pieces, and I wanted to have the whole volume (still haven’t completely re-read it yet but still hear your voice whenever I open it).

best wishes from your friend,


About Laura Taylor

I'm an associate professor and graduate planning program coordinator in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. I am a planning consultant, too. This blog is to share my research on the politics of nature and the negotiation of landscape values in the city and city planning, with a keen interest in the urban-rural fringe and exurbia.
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