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Isard, Walter (1919-)

  • By: Adam Rose
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Walter Isard is the father of the discipline of Regional science. Often characterized as an “economic geographer,” his work is much broader, also encompassing urban and regional planning, operations research, transportation, applied engineering, political science, sociology, and ecology.

The focus of regional science is on space and location, and it treats a region (any subnational entity not necessarily defined by political boundaries) as an organic whole.

Walter Isard was born in Philadelphia in 1919. He graduated from Temple University with honors in 1939 and then studied at Harvard and the University of Chicago. While working for the National Resource Planning Board during World War II, he completed his dissertation on building cycles and transportation development and received his PhD from Harvard in 1945. Isard returned to ...

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