Associate Professor

Professor Paterson specializes in land use and environmental planning. He has completed over 50 projects over the past 21 years at UT-Austin (through over $4 million in sponsored research grants, contracts and awards), and was a recipient of a Faculty Fellow in Social Science Research Applied to Hazards and Disasters award through the National Science Foundation. Recent and on-going research projects include grants and contracts with Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Meadows Foundation. Professor Paterson teaches graduate level courses in Sustainable Land Use Planning, Environmental Impact Assessment, Sustainable Brownfield Redevelopment, Natural Hazard Mitigation, Doctoral Research Design.

Dr. Paterson is active in professional planning practice within Texas, providing multiple opportunities for professional development seminars and conferences for Texas APA planners. He has served on numerous state and regional planning advisory boards and task forces, the Texas APA Board as Awards Chair and Education Foundation member. He has been the recipient of the School of Architecture’s Outstanding Lecturer and Community Service awards.

Presentations at academic and professional conferences in the past three years include: The National Conference of the American Planning Association,  the UT Sustainability Summit, National Partners for Smart Growth conference, the Association of European Schools of Planning Congress, Urban Environmental Pollution, and the International Social Science Conference. Dr. Paterson’s three most recent research projects are focused on better metrics for Sustainable Brownfield Redevelopment, an analysis of local regulation of hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale region, and development of sustainability analysis software for scenario-based planning.

Sustainable Places Project access at:


  • B.A., Criminal Justice, Florida Atlantic University, 1984
  • M.P.A., Growth Management, Florida Atlantic University, 1985
  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993
photo of Robert Paterson
  • Environmental planning
  • growth management
  • sustainable community development
  • public policy dispute resolution
  • and community consensus building
SUT 3.130C
(512) 471-1922
(512) 471-0734