A journalist, writer and commentator, Alex Marshall is the author of three books: The Surprising Design of Market Economies (Texas 2012); Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities (Perseus 2006); and How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl and the Roads Not Taken (Texas 2000). He writes a regular column for Governing Magazine and is a contributor to Bloomberg View, Atlantic Cities, Metropolis Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe and many other publications. He is a Senior Fellow at Regional Plan Association, the seminal urban planning organization in New York City, and Citistates, a group of speakers and writers on urban affairs.
Born in Norfolk, Marshall worked after graduating from Columbia Journalism School in 1988 for The Virginian-Pilot, his hometown newspaper. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy and Spanish from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and studied Spanish at the University of Salamanca. In 1999-2000, Marshall was awarded a Loeb Fellowship to at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In 1994, he won the German-Marshall Fund European Community Journalism Fellowship, which funded a 10-week study of the European city and suburb.
Marshall has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including the Daily Circuit show on Minneapolis Public Radio in St. Paul, the Steve Scher show in Seattle, the Brian Lehrer show and Leonard Lopate show on WNYC in New York. He has lectured at Harvard, The University of Michigan, The Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Minneapolis, the Eastern Economic Association, Columbia University, Stonybrook University, the German Consulate in New York City, The Rice Museum in Houston, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, The World Affairs Council in Richmond, The Korea Transport Institute in Seoul, and events in Sydney, Brisbane and Dessau. He has won awards from the Virginia Press Association and the American Institute of Architects.
In addition to his journalism, Marshall conceived and organized the conference in 2014, Learning from Korea: Lessons in High Speed Rail, sponsored by the Korea Transport Institute and the Regional Plan Association at The US-Asia Institute in Washington DC. He also served as a consultant on the redesign of Moynihan Station in New York. From 2007 to 2010, Marshall conceived and helped lead Brooklyn Cohousing, an effort to organize and develop a cooperative living arrangement in the borough.
“Reading Alex Marshall and rereading Jane Jacobs in quick succession leaves a similarly bracing feeling: Their books amount to a cold bath of common sense whose implications an urban cheerleader might just as soon avoid, but whose logic is ultimately difficult to escape.” — Alan Ehrenhalt, in Governing Magazine