photo of Ed McMahon

Ed McMahon

Edward McMahon is a nationally renowned authority on sustainable development, land conservation. and urban design. He is currently a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute.

McMahon previously served as director of The Conservation Fund’s “American Greenways Program” and as president of Scenic America, a national non-profit organization devoted to protecting America’s scenic landscapes.

Over the course of 15 years, Ed McMahon authored more than two dozen articles for the Planning Commissioners Journal. They are listed below. Click on the title to read excerpts. PlannersWeb members can download the articles in pdf format as published in the PCJ (click on the title first; you will then see the Download link)


Tourists and traffic In Gatlinburg, Tennessee, an entry point to Smoky Mountains National Park.

Gateway Communities

Many people enjoy visiting national parks and other scenic attractions. A growing number have also decided to pack up and move to the small cities and towns close to these special places.

simple illustration of downtown housing

Smart Growth Trends

What do suburban town centers, green space as a residential amenity, open space systems, downtown housing, and cooperation between developers and environmentalists have in common?

Fast Food Restuarant

All Development Is Not Created Equal

Successful communities understand that when they say no to development that is contrary to the long-term health of their community, they will almost always get better development in its place, argues PCJ columnist Edward McMahon.

Parade of signs along U.S. 50 near Ocean City, Maryland.

On-Premise Sign Regulation

Regulation of on-premise advertising signs is one important means by which a community can assert control over its physical environment. The end result is not just a more visually attractive environment, but one in which businesses can communicate more effectively to their customers.

photo of trees and rays of sunlight

Green Enhances Growth

People care about trees, and not just because they’re pleasant to look at look and provide cooling shade. Trees also increase property values and can help boost a community’s economic development.