Peter is a bestselling author and urbanist who writes and speaks about emotional engagement with our places. For over a decade now he has been making the case for why it is a good thing for more people to fall in love with their places. Since publication of the first book, For the Love of Cities in 2011, Peter has given hundreds of presentations and has traveled all over the US and around the world as the so-called “Pied Piper of City Love.”
That’s his day job, but if you ask him he will say that he is the product of a good liberal arts education. Born in Akron, Ohio, he studied Political Science and Japanese at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He notes it was not “The” Ohio State University back then, just Ohio State. He found time to play in a decent alternative rock band and became a member of the University Dance Company after taking up modern dance in his sophomore year. He went to law school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He practiced law for a couple of years but kind of hated it. He started a web development firm with his best friend from college and worked at an ad agency as their Interactive Marketing Director. Good liberal arts education.
Peter is the son of a Nisei man from San Francisco and a red-headed Irishwoman from Ohio. The story he tells of Kats and Molly in Hunters Point is fiction but the challenges and issues facing an interracial couple in that time period were very real. There are many other elements drawn from his family history and you can learn more about those in the Behind the Story section.
Today Peter lives in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife Lisa Wannemacher and their dog, Dobby (yes, he is a Harry Potter fan). Lisa is an award-winning architect and also did the interior illustrations for the book. In his spare time he loves to play board games (Terraforming Mars and Viticulture are favorites) and he is a huge comic book geek as well.
Favorite Book(s) – The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit started me down a path at an early age that I remain enamored with to this day.
At Hobbiton in MataMata, New Zealand. That’s Bag End!
U2 is the band of my youth that I have grown into maturity with as well. Also love Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and The Clash.
Favorite Movies (i.e. movies I can watch over and over!):
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Snatch, Pulp Fiction, and I love Grease!
Star Wars or Star Trek? Trek by a long shot.