Gene Bunnell’s years of real-world experience as an urban planner, combined with his later distinguished career as an educator and researcher, make him uniquely qualified to convey an understanding of the local actions, planning processes and decisions that contributed to Providence’s recovery.

After earning his Master of City Planning degree, Bunnell became a key member of the planning staff of the Massachusetts Office of Local Assistance (OLA), where he provided locally-focused, professional planning assistance to a dozen Massachusetts cities and towns. While working there, he also researched adaptive reuse projects in Massachusetts, and wrote Built to Last: A Handbook on Recycling Old Buildings, which was published by Preservation Press. A grant application Bunnell subsequently wrote a grant application that secured a $170,000 Innovative Project Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which funded the establishment of a state-level Building Reuse Project, which he directed.

After serving as Director of Planning and Development of the City of Northampton, MA during the 1980s, Bunnell earned a Ph.D. in Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and held faculty appointments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and the University at Albany’s Department of Geography and Planning. In addition to Transforming Providence, he is the author of Making Places Special: Stories of Real Places Made Better by Planning (APA Planners Press 2002).