Dr. Goethert is internationally recognized in physical planning and upgrading of low-income settlements and participatory technique in development. He is driven by the challenges from rapidly growing urban areas, with focus on Third World. He champions policies drawing on the informal energy of the vast unauthorized building which is defining city growth and confronting urban development and control. He explores innovative approaches in the tension between formal world and informal process.
He teaches and directs SIGUS (Special Interest Group in Urban Settlement), cited by the American Institute of Architects Education Honors. Goethert designs ‘site and services’ projects and serves as consultant to international development agencies.
Much of his approach is documented in URBANIZATION PRIMER, with Horacio Caminos (MIT Press, 1978), and MAKING MICRO PLANS: A Community Based Process in Programming and Development (Intermediate Technology Publications, 1988); and ACTION PLANNING FOR CITIES: A PRACTICAL GUIDE, (with Nabeel Hamdi) John Wiley & Sons Press. Web sites and CDs capture his work: UPGRADING URBAN COMMUNITIES: A RESOURCE FOR PRACTITIONERS; a ‘toolkit for water and sanitation in Africa’; and ‘incremental housing’ offers a methodology for analysis and information on the self-help progressive process of the informal sector.
He is Principal Research Associate, School of Architecture and Planning at the MIT: B.Arch. at North Carolina State University, M.Arch. at MIT, and doctorate in city and regional planning at Rheinisch-Westfälische-Technische Hochschule (Dr.-Ing.) Aachen, Germany, earning the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Preis for outstanding thesis on the informal development sector of Cairo. In October 1997, Dr. Goethert was recipient of the United Nations Habitat Scroll of Honour for “outstanding contributions in the development of innovative methodologies, training and field practice in Community Action Planning.”
Current explorations include incremental housing strategies in spatial land development of rapidly growing cities, drones and technology in planning unserved areas, innovative solar updraft energy capture for the coming ‘electric city’ world, and migration from a win-win opportunity perspective.