In addition to my wife Norma, to whom I owe everything, I want to thank my friends Professor Jack Morley and John J. Sullivan Jr of Kansas City, Missouri, for bringing me to the United States. Their lives symbolise for me all that is good about this country, and they have given me moral support and advice in all my endeavours.
It is more than three years since my colleagues at Arizona State University—John Biln, Beverly Brandt, Dick Eribes, Tim McGinty, Frederick (Fritz) Steiner, and Marcus Whiffen—encouraged me to write this book after seeing a brief outline. At that time I was not aware that all the files, illustrations, and drawings relating to the 1968 Londonderry Area Plan had been discarded by ‘Cons arc’, the successors of the James Munce Partnership, the original planners. Fortunately my friend Peter Daniel, a consultant for the plan, had retained a file containing, among other notes, minutes of the meetings of the Londonderry Area Steering Committee, the body statutorily responsible for the plan. I had also in my personal library a copy of the plan and several interim reports. These documents were very useful in helping me recall events as they occurred.
Making the plan made such an impression on me that I carried the memories of the experience around with me for almost thirty years. The tale of how the plan was made could not have been told without the help of members of the original planning team, including Alan Bradshaw, Stanley Cochrane, Peter Daniel, Jim Foster, Michael Murray, and Jack Smyth. This book was begun as a tribute to the planning team, so it was with great regret that I learnt of the death of Mike Murray just months after I interviewed him in Belfast.
A number of people in Derry connected directly and indirectly with the making and implementation of the plan were also of enormous help. They assisted me in filling the gap in history of the development of the city from the seventies to the present. Barely touched on here, this latter period is an important story that others are more qualified to tell. For additional information on this and earlier events I am indebted to Jim Cavalleros, Joe Cowan, Eamonn Deane, James Doherty, Paddy Doherty, Frank Guckian, Gerry Henry, John Hume, Steven McGonagle, and David White. Dr Fritz Steiner was both helpful and encouraging in reading and advising on the early drafts of the book. I am also grateful to Dean John Meunier for making available the resources of the College's Herberger Center for Design Excellence and its enthusiastic Director, Associate Dean Mary Kihl, and Bill Kasson who were responsible for monitoring and organising the distribution of the prospectus. Elizabeth Shaw and Gregory McNamee of Tucson provided editorial services through the Center for the first draft and prospectus. They also provided the necessary encouragement and expertise in helping me find a publisher. Dr Ian McHarg of the University of Pennsylvania was kind enough to risk his international reputation as a landscape architect and planner by writing a foreword to the book. Jocelyn Ross was responsible for organising the illustrations and photographs, Donna Geary for secretarial assistance and Julie Russ of the Herberger Center earns my special thanks for final editing. My thanks also to publisher Robin Bloxsidge of Liverpool University Press for recognising the planning content of the book despite its hybrid character.
(p.xvi) Finally I wish to disassociate everyone I consulted with for the perceptions and opinions expressed in this book. For these and for the accuracy or otherwise of the account, and for any indiscretions or lapse of memory, I take full responsibility.
Arizona State University