Robert Juster

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Robert John Juster (born August 17, 1927 in London, England; died October 24, 2012 in Auburn) was a city planner and professor at Auburn University.

Born in London, Juster experienced the bombing of his home city during World War II and joined the Royal Army in 1946, serving two years in occupied Germany. He earned an undergraduate degree in architecture and a master's in regional planning and worked as a planner in Essex and London.

Juster moved to the United States in 1954 and became a citizen in 1959. He completed a master's in public administration at Harvard University, a master's in business administration at Samford University, and another MA and PhD at Vanderbilt University.

As a professional planner, Juster was a lifelong member of the American Planning Association and a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He was an association member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Town Planning Institute for the City of London. In addition to private consulting practice, Juster served as Director of Planning for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Planning Commission and Planning Director for the City of Mobile, Alabama. He was also the first director of the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission, and he served as a professor and director of research for the UAB Center for Urban Affairs. Juster also taught at the University of Mississippi from 1979 to 1986 and at Auburn from 1990 to 2002. From 1990 to 1996 and from 2002 to 2005 he was employed as City Planner for the City of Auburn. He was also a member of the Auburn and Lee County Planning Commissions.

In addition to numerous articles and chapters in professional and academic publications, Justor wrote Municipal Planning in Alabama: A Manual for Members of Planning Commissions and Boards of Adjustments. He was principal instructor in the Alabama Planning Institute's certification program for local officials beginning in 1987. He also served as a professional arbitrator and mediator, certified by the National Panel of Consumer Arbitrators of the Better Business Bureau and active in the Lee County Judicial Volunteer Program.

In his spare time, Juster was an accomplished poet, pianist, and artist. He composed orchestral music, and created crossword puzzles for a newspaper in London.

Juster died in October 2012. He was survived by his wife, Karen; four children and nine grandchildren.


  • "Dr. Robert John Lester" obituary (October 25, 2012) Opelika-Auburn News