In Memory of





Obituary for Francois Claude Denis Vigier

Professor François Vigier passed away peacefully in the early hours of Friday, February 7 at his home. We, his colleagues, friends and students, will miss his wisdom, kindness, and intellect. The world is poorer without him, and without his special sense for combining aesthetics with practical aspects of planning to create livable and vibrant cities for the people who live in them.

Francois Vigier’s career spanned 60 years, including 45 years at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he was Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning, Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of the Center for Urban Development Studies. For the last 15 years he was the founding President of the Institute for International Urban Development. Under his leadership I2UD has carried out numerous projects emphasizing capacity building in community planning and self-governance in lower income communities of developing countries as well as path-breaking efforts at cross-border cooperation and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.

He was a gifted teacher and author of numerous studies and publications, demonstrating an extraordinary breadth of intellect and capacity for integrating aesthetic, economic, political and social values in urban and regional planning.

He received his BA in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his MA and PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Harvard University. He was made a decorated Knight of the Order of Merit by France in 1995.

All of us who have known and worked with him will miss him greatly.

A Celebration of His Life will be held on March 13, 2020 from 5-8PM at the Harvard Faculty Club, Harvard University, 20 Quincy St, Cambridge, MA 02138. For directions or to send a message of condolence, please visit