(or Bill Fulton
) (born September 26, 1955) is an American author, urban planner, and politician. He currently serves as Mayor of the City of Ventura, California. He is considered a leading advocate of the "Smart Growth" movement in urban planning. In 2009, he was named to Planetizen's list of "Top 100 Urban Thinkers".
Bill Fulton was raised in Auburn, New York, and received journalism degrees from St. Bonaventure University and The American University in Washington, D.C. However, he later earned a master's degree in urban planning at UCLA and is best known as a commentator and expert on urban planning in California. He is the author of several books, including Guide To California Planning
, the standard textbook on urban planning in California. His book The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles
was a Los Angeles Times best-seller upon its publication in 1997. Publishers Weekly
gave the book a starred review, calling it "a surprisingly lively case study of the battles and alliances of politics, business and people that formed -- or deformed -- a great American city." He also co-authored Planning for the End of Sprawl
with architect Peter Calthorpe, a founder of the New Urbanism movement.
From 2000 to 2008, Fulton ran Solimar Research Group, a consulting firm and think tank dealing with land use issues. Among his most prominent Solimar works was "Who Sprawls Most," a 2001 study for the Brookings Institution Center for Urban & Metropolitan Policy (now Metropolitan Policy Program that debunked myths about sprawl in metropolitan areas around the nation. Among other things, "Who Sprawls Most" concluded that the West is growing densely while other parts of the nation have serious sprawl problems. For many years, "Who Sprawls Most?" was among Brookings' most downloaded publications.
In 2008, Solimar was merged into the Berkeley-based planning consulting firm Design, Community & Environment, where Fulton is now a principal.
In addition, Fulton is a Senior Fellow at the School of Planning, Policy, & Development > at the University of Southern California, where he teaches land use policy and smart growth.
He is also the longtime publisher of the periodical ''[[California Planning & Development Report]]'' ([http://www.cp-dr.com]).
Fulton has long been active in local politics. In the 1980s, he was a planning commissioner in the then-new City of West Hollywood, California. In 2003, following his involvement in a campaign to defeat a ballot initiative that would have permitted a large hillside development project, he ran for the City Council in Ventura. In the election, he received more votes than any other candidate. Two years later, the city adopted a smart growth-oriented General Plan. In 2007, Fulton sought re-election as a thoughtful moderate.. After a successful re-election campaign , Fulton was selected Deputy Mayor by his colleagues.In early 2009, Fulton was said to be considering running in 2010 to represent California's 35th State Assembly district, a seat being vacated by the term-limited Pedro Nava.. However, he chose not to run for the Assembly and instead was selected as Mayor by his City Council colleagues in December 2009.