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Seymour Gold

Professor of Environmental Horticulture and Environmental Planning and Management





Professor Seymour (Sy) Gold passed away in March 2002 after a lengthy illness. Dr. Gold served as a University of California professor for 30 years in the departments of Environmental Horticulture and Environmental Planning and Management at UC Davis. Sy taught classes in urban and regional planning and recreation planning, authored over 250 journal articles in his research field of environmental planning, and wrote two books, Recreation Planning and Design and Urban Recreation Planning. As a national and world-renowned authority on park and recreation planning and management, Sy contributed his expertise to many professional groups and recreation agencies. He was also deeply involved over the years in issues and projects at the community level in Davis and beyond.

Dr. Gold earned graduate degrees from Michigan State University in park administration and from Detroit's Wayne State University in urban planning. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in urban and regional planning and joined the faculty at UC Davis in 1969. His research interests included park and recreation management, playground safety, the phenomenon of non-use of neighborhood parks, open space preservation and community development.

In 1981, Sy helped develop playground safety standards for the US Consumer Products Safety Commission and served as a consultant for this group on many other issues. He was a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, a Regent of the Pacific Risk Management School and a member of the Recreational Safety Committee of the National Safety Council. In 1995, Sy received the Professional Honor Award from the National Recreation and Park Association for "outstanding contributions to the park and recreation movement in America". In that same year, he was recognized by the University of California with the Distinguished Public Service Award. Sy served as a consultant on California's Playground Safety Law (SB2733) that was implemented in 1996 and was the first bill of its kind in the nation. He also participated as technical advisor in the production of several instructional videos on playground hazards and inspection made for younger audiences.


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Linda Dodge