I’m Chuck Wolfe, a photographer, writer, and consultant.
I’m based in London and was a practicing land use and environmental lawyer in the United States for 34 years. The images displayed here reflect themes examined in my three books, with emphasis on photographs excerpted from the pending Sustaining a City’s Culture and Character: Principles and Best Practices (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020). They show a wide range of common issues that impact large cities and smaller urban settlements around the world
As I described in my second book, Seeing the Better City (Island Press, 2017), “what–and how–we see defines the context of our daily lives”. My intent is always to explore places in context, and highlight the blends and juxtapositions of their settings, both built and natural. I also encourage others to do the same, particularly in a time when the concept of place has renewed meaning.
I have attempted to pass on my thoughts to those entering professional practice during my time as a Guest Affiliate Scholar at the Centre for the Future of Places at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and a long-time affiliate associate professor in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington in Seattle. During summer 2018, my methods of urban observation framed work as a Fulbright Specialist under the auspices of the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, based at the Cairns and Townsville campuses of James Cook University.
Seeing the Better City was a finalist for a 2018 UK National Urban Design Award) and my first book, Urbanism Without Effort (Island Press, 2013, 2019 rev. ed.) was recently termed “one of the best-kept secrets of current planning literature” in a review in the Journal of the American Planning Association. In addition to my photo-centric books, I have contributed regularly on urban development topics to several publications, including CityLab, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, CityMetric, Governing, and Planetizen.
See more at my professional website that describes the work of the Seeing Better Cities Group.