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William Alonso (1933–1999)—architect, regional scientist, urban planner, demographer, and regional policy analyst—developed the first and enduring model of metropolitan land use decision making and urban rent determination and went on to a distinguished career as an urban theorist, demographer, and policy advisor. Alonso came to the United States from Argentina in 1941 at the age of 14 when his distinguished philologist father fled the repression of the Perón regime to take up a position at Harvard University.

Early on, Alonso was a theorist relying upon deductive reasoning and empirical analysis to explore urban spatial form. He was the first PhD graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's pioneering regional science department and a founding member of the Regional Science Association. As a young professor in city and ...

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