Dr. Robert F. Young works as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the fields of urban planning, sustainable economic development, and urban ecology. His research centers on the planning, governance, and financing of metropolitan green infrastructure and on economic development initiatives for sustainable cities and regions. Dr. Young recently co-founded the University of Oregon’s Sustainable Cities Initiative described by the New York Times and Fortune Magazine respectively as “perhaps the most comprehensive effort by a U.S. university to infuse sustainability into its curricula and community outreach” and “addressing and catalyzing change across all issues that impinge upon sustainability.”
As a practitioner Dr. Young served as the Director of Planning of the Philadelphia’s Recycling Office and was appointed by New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman as Director of the New Jersey Commerce Department’s Office of Sustainability. He has also served as an advisor to Governors Ted Kulongoski and John Kitzhaber of Oregon on issues of sustainable economic development. Dr. Young also founded American Soil, Inc., a successful, large-scale New Jersey composting company described in the Wall Street Journal as “the future” of organic resources management. Dr. Young's most recent academic publications include articles in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Landscape and Urban Planning, Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Urban Ecosystems, and a chapter in the book, Garden Cities to Green Cities published by Johns Hopkins University Press.