John Trelawney Hoal, PhD, is a professor of architecture and urban design. Hoal was the chair of urban design (2007-2019), directing the Master of Urban Design program, and was the founding director of the Doctor of Sustainable Urbanism degree (2015-2019). Hoal is a faculty fellow at the University’s Institute for Public Health.
His teaching and research focuses on the practice of urban design as activism; research-through-evidence-based practice for performative urbanism; urban morphology and metabolism of the contemporary city; the theory and practice of public space design, activation, and livability; and sustainable urbanism for the development of healthy, equitable, and ecological-based cities. With colleagues, Hoal has conducted a multiyear interdisciplinary international team-based research program, “Living with the Great Rivers—Climate Adaptation Strategies in the Midwest River Basins.”
Prior to joining Washington University in a full-time capacity, Hoal co-founded the City of St. Louis’ first urban design department and was the director of urban design for seven years. In 2000 he founded the design and research firm H3 Studio Inc., a national and international planning, design, and research firm based in St. Louis, Missouri, with offices in Johannesburg, South Africa. Hoal lectures nationally and internationally on the design and development sustainable and livable cities. Currently Hoal serves as an invited Urban Design member for a three-year term on the Selection Committee for the Northwest Arkansans Design Excellence Program funded by the Walton Family Foundation, with the purpose of preserving a sense of place by encouraging the quality design of public spaces for livability and inclusion.
Hoal has completed numerous public space, arts and culture, urban design, and landscape master plans, as well as sustainability and climate adaption and resiliency plans for cities for which he has received over 60 national, regional, and local awards. H3 Studio was one of five firms selected to complete the Unified New Orleans Plan, the only formally adopted post-Katrina recovery plan, and Hoal continues to work on the rebuilding of New Orleans. More recently, Hoal led a winning team for the international Changing Course Design Competition to develop ideas for creating a sustainable, ecologically performative, and socially just lower Mississippi River Delta. Recent international work includes projects in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Brisbane, Australia; and Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa.
In 2017 Hoal was invited to present a paper on the critical need for sustainable cities at the Workshop on Biological Extinction of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican, Rome, Italy. He has served on the international review team for the Development of the Hangzhou Central Business District, Hangzhou, China, and as an invited expert technical reviewer for Land and Livability National Innovation Challenge by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore (URA), Singapore.