Charles Mulford Robinson (1869–1917) was a journalist and a writer who became famous as a pioneering urban planning theorist. He was the first Professor for Civic Design at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which was only one of two universities offering courses in urban planning at the time, the other being Harvard.
Robinson wrote The Fair of Spectacle in 1893, an illustrated description of Chicago's World Columbian Exposition, a watershed event for the City Beautiful Movement, and went on to write the first guide to city planning in 1901, titled The Improvement of Towns and Cities.
In 1909, he developed the original plans for the Fort Wayne Park and Boulevard System in Fort Wayne, Indiana.:5-6 He was hired in 1910 to review the city design and planning of St. Joseph, Missouri. Fully half of his report dealt with the need for park space in the city, leading to the design of the National Register of Historic Places-listed St. Joseph Park and Parkway System.