Grady Clay

About Grady Clay

Grady Clay, NF ’49, an urban affairs specialist who was a reporter and editor for The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal and editor of Landscape Architecture Quarterly, died on March 17, 2013. He was 96. Clay was best known for his association with the “New Urbanism” movement. In fact, he is widely credited with coining the term in a 1959 article for Horizon magazine in which he criticized the trend toward decentralization in American cities. The new interstate highway system of the 1950s, he argued in that piece, had shifted the seat of power away from its traditional hub downtown toward smaller suburban communities as a new commuter class emerged. At the Nieman Foundation’s 25th anni- versary reunion in June 1964, Clay gave a lecture—published in Nieman Reports that year under the title “Our Cities and the Press”—that identified and explained this trend and its impact on journalism. He would later expand these ideas in a 1970 Nieman Reports article, “The Death of Centrality.”