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April 16, 1998

Posvar named president of World Society for Ekistics

Former Chancellor Wesley W. Posvar has been named 15th president of the World Society for Ekistics, a nonpolitical, nonreligious group that studies human patterns of living and their physical expression in the past, present and future.

The society, based in Athens, is an international nongovernmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations. Posvar's term runs through Jan. 1, 2000.

The objectives of the society include promoting knowledge and ideas concerning human settlements through research, publications and conferences; influencing public opinion toward stimulating worldwide cooperation; recognizing the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to human settlements, and promoting and emphasizing such an approach.

"Ekistics is a world-wide enterprise, but it has local urban and neighborhood applications," said Posvar, who believes that Pittsburgh needs a more metropolitan government. "We can benefit here from regional and even interstate planning," he said. "We will either plan in a coherent way, or there will be an irrational and heterogeneous mass of congestion.

"Our own Institute of Politics generates planning discussions and initiatives across regional counties, towns and cities, and the Center for Social and Urban Research here was founded with my earlier Athens experiences in mind," Posvar pointed out. "With the challenges facing major metropolitan areas in America in the future, universities and 'think tanks' will have vital new roles to play in sociological and economic analysis. In mass transportation, this country is far behind its needs in high-speed rail services, in air traffic coordination and its infrastructure development." Posvar, professor of international politics, served as chancellor/president from 1967 to 1991. His expertise includes national security policy, foreign affairs, urban planning, civil aviation, and national emergency preparedness.

Posvar succeeds former World Society of Ekistics presidents Lord Llewelyn-Davies (U.K.), Margaret Mead (U.S.A.), Jean Gottmann (France), Eiichi Isomura (Japan), Sir Robert Matthew (U.K.), R. Buckminster Fuller (U.S.A.), Felipe Herrera (Chile), T.A. Lambo (Nigeria), Earl Finbar Murphy (U.S.A.), Charles M. Haar (U.S.A.), Gerald B. Dix (U.K.), John G. Papaioannou (Greece), Wu Liangyong (P.R.C.) and Charles M. Correa (India).

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