EKISTICS    -    The Journal


 

The first issue of the journal, October 1955

The birth of the journal dates back to 1954 when C.A. Doxiadis and Jaqueline Tyrwhitt
met in Delhi in connection with the first U.N. International Symposium on Housing and
Community Planning — Tyrwhitt was its Director and Doxiadis a distinguished
participant. They agreed there was need for a journal directly aimed at keeping architects
and planners in developing countries up to date with relevant professional expertise
elsewhere in the world. The following year they met again in London. Tyrwhitt had
joined the faculty of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design and Doxiadis had
contracted to prepare a five year National Housing Plan for the Government of Iraq. He
said he was prepared to finance a monthly bulletin of information useful to his staff
stationed in forty different locations in the Middle East. Tyrwhitt agreed to produce it
provided it would also be sent to U.N. housing and planning experts working in
developing countries, as she pointed out in a discussion with the current editor of the
Journal in early 1980. Thus Ekistics was born, though for its first two years it was called
Tropical Housing and Planning Monthly Bulletin. Its first number appeared in October
1955, with reprints of articles from other journals, and it gradually evolved into having
mostly original papers.
 

Mary Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, 1905-1983

Professor Mary Jaqueline Tyrwhitt (1905-1983) was the first Editor of the Journal from
its initial issue in October 1955 to June 1969. She became co-editor with Gwen Bell from
July 1969 to December 1972, and on the occasion of her “retirement" to the post of
Consultant Editor in January 1973 she was said by C.A. Doxiadis to have been “an
exacting collaborator and the most suitable I could have selected to be the first editor of
Ekistics.”  After the death of Doxiadis in June 1975 and the subsequent resignation of
Gwen Bell as Editor in December 1977,  Jacky felt the need to be more actively involved
herself with P. Psomopoulos as Acting Editor. He took over the editorship upon her death
in February 1983. The last issue that she worked on was published as May/June 1983.
The Sept./Oct.-Nov./Dec. 1985 double issue was published in her memory, with a
selection from her own writings, and contributions from her friends and colleagues on
her life and work.
 

The first forty years of the journal, 1955-1995

The material concerning Human Settlements - "ekistics," which includes town and
country planning, settlement geography, urban economics, sociology, architecture,
and other disciplines with a bearing on human settlements - was taken primarily from
sources not easily accessible to most planners, i.e. project reports, or articles in
periodicals not commonly read by them. After obtaining clearance from author and
publisher, the articles were reproduced either in full, or in abridged form.

For many years, articles in Ekistics were exclusively “borrowed" ones. But as the
popularity of the journal increased, the house bulletin became a full-scale monthly
periodical sold on subscription.  It started being printed (at Doxiadis' own printing outfit
in Athens), originally with a harder black and white cover, and later with a cover in color.
As the Journal's fame grew, original articles, solicited and unsolicited, were added to the
reprints. Soon, these original pieces, many specially written for Ekistics by experts of
international standing, displaced the older “borrowed” material.  Issues devoted to
special subjects also increased in frequency, and for many years now every issue is
devoted to a special subject.

Today, the journal circulates in 140 countries, in most cases on subscription, but it is also
frequently exchanged with periodicals published by other organizations. For almost all its
life, Ekistics has had to be subsidized - by C.A. Doxiadis himself, by Doxiadis Associates
and by the Athens Center of Ekistics, which has been its owner and publisher since the
early 1960s, and occasionally with the help of grants from third parties such as the Ford
Foundation, or raised through the efforts of distinguished members of the World Society
for Ekistics. In a few cases, guest editors undertook special issues, always in close
collaboration with the editors.

The journal is now regarded internationally as one of the main sources of information
not only on the work of the Athens Center of Ekistics (especially its research effort and
the outcome of its conferences) but on all aspects of human settlements from a wide
spectrum of sources the world over.
 

Source: Ekistics
373 July/August 1995
374 September/October1995
375 November/December 1995

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