The Classic Planning Institute

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, NYC

Have we lost our urban balance?

Classic town-and-country planning was abandoned by Modernist planning―not for reasons of traffic, population growth, or other practical hurdles. Its humane forms were rejected on purely stylistic grounds.

Nearly everything we treasure in the world’s most beautiful cities was built over a century ago. Cities like Prague, Paris, and Lisbon draw millions of visitors from around the world because of their exquisite architecture, walkable neighborhoods, human scale, and successful city planning. Diagnose what’s wrong with your town or city.

The errors of urban design over the last century are too great not to question. Without holistic Classic Planning®, so called “functional” city planning came to focus on solving traffic and density problems and segregating people and “uses” into separate reservations.

The solutions being offered today―sustainability, walkability, smart and green technologies―hint at what has been lost. But they remain piecemeal and superficial. “Problem-solving” focuses on problems defined in the past which is like walking into the future backwards. Classic Planning is aspirational and forward looking. It is why the most beautiful places have survived as long as they have. It is why, livable Paris is so dense

Dr. Buras visited 100 cities to write his book, The Art of Classic Planning

Led by recognized architect and urban design professional Dr. Nir Buras, the Classic Planning team is the leading world experts in holistic planning. The team’s proven ability to quickly analyze key project issues, develop strategies to grow designs, and to work well within stakeholder, institutional, industry, and town-and-country dynamics is based on both deep classical knowhow and experience in large, complex projects.

Inspired by venerable Kyoto, Vienna, and Venice, and by the successes of L’Enfant, Haussmann, and Burnham, Classic Planning combines thought and experience to arrive at clear guidelines for today’s best practices. Classic Planning applies the enduring principles of urban design and invites us to return to reclaiming beauty.

Uniquely, the Classic Planning Institute Classroom offers free classes and training in Classic Planning as well as basic courses in Architectural Literacy and the Classical Orders.

CEUs may be available upon request and group discounts available. Find out more in our free 1-hour introductory courses or for more information contact us here.

The Classic Planning Community is open to anyone over age 10 who loves beauty in the built environment. Are you an Aficionado, Professional, or Patron of timeless traditional architecture, dissatisfied with the urban dystopias currently proposed?

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The City as an Opportunity

The benefits of being prepared for the many challenges of the 21st century far outweigh the cost of recovering from them later. Classic Planning, how we built cities before planning ruined them, is a key to creating supportive and enabling environments for urban health and for the wellbeing and success of the citizenry. .

Given that planning for the long term is more cost effective than pursuing short term “patches,” cities can uniquely make use of their being a single authority to build resilient systems and step away from relying on short-term “patches” alone .


Balancing Town and Country

Classic Planning is a paradoxically old but “radically new” way of thinking about our built environments.  Balancing town and country and reflecting the magic of place to create a legacy of beautiful places, Classic Planning is the humane alternative to the dystopias projected by today’s media and planners.

It brings to the table the citizens, leaders, professionals, and caretakers around a method that everyone intuitively understands. Driven by community aspiration, and sustained by durable construction, it uses the shapes and proportions best suited to human biometrics, perception, and comfort, and ultimate functionality.


A Holistic Approach with a Long View

Classic Planning is a genuine holistic approach, “Problem Solving by Problem Avoidance,” a method that has worked well for 5,000 years, less the last 100 years when it we haven’t applied it. Together with you and your select group of forward-looking policy makers, we can help move your community towards its prosperous and equitable aspirational goals.

For a fraction of what it will cost to adopt a backward-looking problem solving approach, we will help you devise strong tools and provide a roadmap in a facilitated process, applying the most up-to-date, sophisticated diagnostic, biometric, and holistic planning methods available.


The Art of Classic Planning

“The Art of Classic Planning is truly the mother of all urban planning books.”   —Léon Krier, author of The Architecture of Community

“A veritable Bible of urbanism, Nir Buras’ The Art of Classic Planning challenges modernist teaching with classical principles.”   —Hillel Schocken, Former Dean, Azrieli School of Architecture, Tel Aviv University

“We urgently need to relearn the art of building beautiful and enduring communities, as set out in Nir Buras’ The Art of Classic Planning.”   —Ben Bolgar, The Prince’s Foundation

“The Art of Classic Planning is a new template for a human habitat with a plausible future that presents a much-needed and heroic corrective to the American wilderness of free parking, anxiety, and ennui.”   —James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency

The Art of Classic Planning documents and illustrates with hundreds of full-color illustrations and photographs the time-tested and holistic practices that held sway before the reign of Modernism.



Dr. Nir Buras, Principal

A recognized architect and urban design professional, Nir Buras is among a handful of architects and planners that have both classical knowledge and the experience in large, complex projects. He visited 100 cities to write the book.

Nir Buras is an architect and planner based in Washington, DC, with over 30 years of specialized experience in large, complex, and sensitive projects, strategic planning, architecture and transportation design, as well as teaching and lecturing. Projects include East Side Access at Grand Central Terminal, New York; International Terminal D, Dallas-Fort-Worth; the Washington DC Dulles Metro line; work on the US Capitol and the Senate and House Office Buildings in Washington.

Buras learned his first lesson in urbanism while planning in the Negev Desert in Israel – that modernist planning didn’t work. Mid-career he had the opportunity to study “why things look the way they do,” and while writing a PhD on modernism, he came out a classicist. Engaged in numerous projects since then, he has researched first-hand how architecture impacts urban planning.

Working in the 2000s on large urban projects, Buras’s breakthrough came in 2005 when he directed the Anacostia Plan at the open studio of the Washington Mid Atlantic Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Arts which he founded. After ten years of applying in practice what he learned, he now presents the urban design and planning method of Classic Planning with the hope of reintroducing beauty to cities.

Dr. Nir Buras brings to the table diverse expertise in civic, aviation, rail, and  commercial architecture and planning. Buras has the proven ability to quickly analyze key project issues, develop strategies to grow designs, and to work well within institutional, stakeholder and industry dynamics. His goal is to continue serving the cities of the world by helping their residents to understand better their cities and to help them overcome the challenges of the 21st Century by helping them develop consensual, 100-year classic plans.

Planning Lead Jaydean Boldt RPP, CIP

Jaydean Boldt is a registered Urban Planner, Urban Designer, and Building Designer with over 20 years and 87,000+ acres of new development experience. He specializes in Visioning, Master Planning and Project Management for large mixed use development projects.  With many numerous successful planning approvals under his belt, Jaydean has also project managed notable Resort and Urban Development projects ranging up to $2.0Billion. Having grown up in central Germany, Jaydean’s creative approach to the design of new places is often inspired by the picturesque aesthetics of European towns. In addition he has been published in the Canadian Institute of Planners Digest, is a Guest lecturer for the Graduate faculty of Environmental Studies, final project Jury member and Keynote speaker.

Studio Lead Julio Cesar Perez Hernandez, Associate professor, University of Notre Dame

An international seasoned planner, architect, and lecturer Julio Cesar Perez-Hernandez is an accomplished leader, visionary, scholar, historian and published author. Since 2007 he has led numerous international urban planning and design charrettes on and he has designed and built award winning projects in the United States, Cuba, Spain, and Panama. The author of the comprehensive “A Master Plan for 21st Century Havana” Julio has been a Harvard University Loeb Fellow since 2002, and he was the 2012-2013 Wilbur Marvin Visiting Scholar. Julio has taught extensively in the most prestigious US, Canadian, and European institutions, and is currently an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture.

CMO Mark Addison, Chairman and CEO, Rocket Science

DISTINCTIONS: 5 client IPOs; recognized by Harvard Business Review for ‘the most successful [strategy] in history’ (2018); speaker at Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet conference (2016); Board Director; multiple client exits to Private Equity and strategic acquisitions.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT The Classic Planning Institute: I love growing organizations! I love working with super-smart founders and senior management; working globally and appreciating that perspective; matching my International connections to create business development alliances; conceiving ‘big idea’ growth strategies; innovating with digital marketing; shaping technologies and companies into Brands that stand for something meaningful and lasting; helping entrepreneurs exit their companies via M&A; possibly making a small dent in the Universe.


Advisory Board

Erran Carmel, fmr. Dean, Kogod School of Business, American University, Washington DC
Eliza Hall, Strategic Counsel and Intellectual Property
Daniel Silva, Principal, DMS International
Seth Weine, Classical Architecture Mentor
Patrick Webb, Building Arts Master
Ishani Agarwal, Social Media

Partial funding for the Classic Planning World Tour was provided by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.



CLASSIC PLANNING® is how we built cities before planning ruined them.

IT IS THE HUMANE ALTERNATIVE to the dystopias projected by todays media and planners.

IT BALANCES TOWN AND COUNTRY to reflect the magic of place and create a legacy of beautiful places.

DRIVEN BY COMMUNITY ASPIRATION, and sustained by durable construction, Classic Planning uses the shapes and proportions best suited to human biometrics, perception, and comfort.

THERE IS NO GOOD URBANISM WITHOUT GOOD ARCHITECTURE; and traditional and classical buildings make the best streets and places.

PLANNING FOR THE LONG TERM is more cost effective than pursuing short term solutions.

PROBLEM SOLVING focuses on problems defined in the past. It is like walking into the future backwards. Classic Planning is uniquely aspirational. It is forward looking.

OUR PURPOSE is to help people understand better their cities and help communities overcome the expected challenges of the 21st century.



Washington DC

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