"A professor of sociology at the LSE, musician, novelist and unapologetic pipe-smoker, he has for 40-odd years been writing learned, lucid books about society: what's wrong with it, and how to make it better. He concentrates on cities and how we live in them; and so, how we live with other people. His writing is like his ideal city: not too formal, approachable, and a pleasant jumble rather than an austere and imposing procession of made-for-purpose edifices. He is the go-to prof when you want someone who can make a jargon-free case against, say, soullessness in urban planning."
Try as I might, it's hard to describe Richard Sennett much better than the Guardian's Nicholas Lezard did in early 2013.