John Norquist photo John Norquist, author of The Wealth of Cities (Addison-Wesley, 1998), was the Mayor of Milwaukee from 1988-2004. Under his leadership, Milwaukee experienced a decline in poverty, saw a boom in new downtown housing and became a leading center of education and welfare reform. He has overseen a revision of the city's zoning code and reoriented development around walkable streets and public amenities such as the city's 3.1-mile Riverwalk. He has drawn widespread recognition for championing the removal of a .8 mile stretch of elevated freeway, clearing the way for an anticipated $350 million in infill development in the heart of Milwaukee.

In naming Milwaukee America’s Most-Underrated City in 2001, the Utne Reader said Norquist "understands what makes cities work as well as anyone in America." Governing magazine named him Public Official of the Year in 1998.

Before he was elected Mayor, Norquist represented Milwaukee in the Wisconsin Legislature.

His work promoting New Urbanism as an alternative to sprawl and antidote to sprawl's social and environmental problems draws on his experience as big-city mayor and prominent participant in national discussions on urban design and school reform.