Heumann, Leonard F. | University of Illinois Archives
Leonard F. Heumann, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Emeritus Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, is a pioneering researcher in the field of housing policy and community development, with a particular interest in the housing needs of minority groups, the elderly, disabled, and low income populations. He is recognized for his domestic and international research in urban and regional planning policy, including the development of better housing for low income and functionally disabled elderly, studies on how stable interracial neighborhoods evolve, and the improvement of analytical tools for low-income housing problems.
Leonard F. Heumann was born July 31, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois to Jewish parents who had managed to escape from Leverkusen, Germany, in 1937 and thus escaped the Holocaust. They eventually moved to San Diego, and Heumann attended San Diego State University and then University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a degree in Architecture in 1965. He completed his Masters in City Planning at U.C. Berkeley in 1967, and in 1973 received a Ph.D. in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
He served as Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Psychology (1970- ); coordinator for the Ph.D. Program in Regional Planning at University of Illinois (1984-1996); visiting instructor for the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (1969); as an instructor in the Graduate Department of City Planning at Columbia University (1969); and as a urban planning consultant for several firms and organizations in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Dr. Heumann is a founding member and former vice-president of the Homestead Corporation, a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing and rehabilitates deteriorating existing housing for homeless and low-income families in Champaign, Illinois. He has served as a Strategic Coordinator focusing on Community Vitality and Economic Initiative for Partnership Illinois, a partnership that uses the research and service of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty, students, and staff, local government, and private organizations to provide 1-3 year seed and sustainable grants to organizations that improve the education of children and families, create public art, or help provide cleaner water, air, and food. In addition to his service at the Homestead Corporation and Partnership Illinois, Heumann has also served as president of the Sinai Temple, president of the Board of Family Services of Champaign County, as chair of the Planning Commission in the City of Champaign, and has developed a model for the University of Illinois to help the needs of low income families in the Urbana-Champaign communities.
Professor Heumann is nationally and internationally recognized for his research on all aspects of community development and planning, especially those that address the needs of the disadvantaged. Some of this research focuses on how to develop housing and supportive services for the elderly. This includes advanced gerontological housing problems in: Great Britain, West Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Israel, Australia, and the United States. He has served as a member of the Steering Committee at the International SYSTED Conference on "Systems Sciences in Health and Social Services in the 21st Century." He was a speaker at 8Ã??Ã? conferences from 1983-2011 in the following cities: Montreal, Canada, Perth, Australia, Bologna, Italy, Barcelona, Spain, Geneva, Switzerland, Grenoble, France, Tokyo, Japan, and organized the conference in Chicago, Illinois. In 1986, he was awarded a Fulbright grant for his research on aging support in Israel, which further connected him with others doing similar research worldwide. Finally in 2003, Heumann was awarded the Gerontological Society of America Fellowship for the gerontology and urban planning research that he has completed throughout the world.
In the United States during the 1960s-70s, Heumann concentrated on racial segregation and integration of housing in Philadelphia, PA. These studies were groundbreaking and indicative of his tremendous personal engagement. This research was supported by his desire to help minority families get housing loans. He and his wife provided financial assistance, co-signed loans, and forged loan applications by changing the 'race' category.
Professor Heumann has received many honors for his research and service including the founding of the Leonard F. Heumann Endowment for Social Equality Issues that supports activities that address the needs of the disadvantage, especially in the areas of housing, social planning and community development; American Institute of Certificated Planner National Award for instructor of best student project (1983); the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Campus Award for Excellence in Public Service (2001); amongst many others.
Leonard Heumann died September 13 2016.