top of page
About Bill Fulton

With decades of experience, Bill Fulton is one of America’s major thought leaders on land use, economic development, and urban development. During his career he has worked on hundreds of projects for dozens of clients with a focus on rigorous analysis, accessible work products, and action-oriented outcomes. He was named one of Planetizen’s Top 100 Urban Thinkers. 

In California, Mr. Fulton has served as Mayor of Ventura, California, and Director of Planning and Economic Development for the City of San Diego.

He also founded the think tank and consulting firm Solimar Research Group and served as a Principal, Shareholder, and Board Member of the California consulting firm now known as Placeworks. He currently serves as a Fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley and a Senior Advisor to PFM Management and Budget Consulting. He also serves as editor and publisher of California Planning & Development Report, a publication and web site focused on land-use planning in California.


In Washington, D.C., Mr. Fulton served as Vice President of Policy and Implementation at Smart Growth America. In Texas, he was Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University for eight years. He is also the author of eight books, including The Regional City: Planning for the End of Sprawl (with Peter Calthorpe) and Guide to California Planning, the standard urban planning textbook in California (sixth edition to be published in 2022). His new book of essays, Place and Prosperity: How Cities Help Us Connect And Innovate, will be published by Island Press in 2022.


Mr. Fulton has led an active civic life. He has served as Chair of the West Hollywood Planning Commission, Founding Board Chair of Metro Lab Network, and Chair of Ventura’s Community Vision Committee. He was a founding board member of the Ventura County Civic Alliance and LINK Houston, a transit equity group, and served as board member and chair of the Ventura County Transportation Commission, Gold Coast Transit, and the Ventura County Library Commission. He is currently a board member of the Midtown Management District in Houston.


Mr. Fulton served for 10 years as a Senior Scholar and Professor of Practice at the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and previously taught land-use planning at Cal Poly Pomona, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis Extension. He holds master’s degrees in Mass Communication from The American University and urban planning from UCLA. He is also a trained meeting and process facilitator.

bottom of page