Directors

photo of Junfeng Jiao

Junfeng Jiao

Assistant Professor

Junfeng Jiao is an assistant professor in the Community and Regional Planning program at UTSOA. He received his PhD in Urban Design and Planning from the University of Washington.  Before coming to UT-Austin, he has taught at the University of Washington and Ball State University. 

His primary interest is built environment and healthy community planning. He wants to understand how people react and reflect the built environments where they live, work, and play. He has investigated how built environments affect people's access to grocery stores , transit facilities, and bicycle infrastructures, and how people reflected urban spaces on Twitter during a Super Bowl week. He also interests in using different techniques to represent and quantify built environment. These techniques include Big Data Analysis, GIS, GPS, 3D Modeling, Social Media, and Statistics.

He has worked on projects funded by the NIH, USDOT, WSDOT, RWJF, and others.  These works have been published in journals like American Journal of Public HealthInternational Journal of Obesity, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Transportation Research Record, and Journal of Public Transportation. He also published four book chapters on urban planning and computer modeling through the Springer Publishing.

 

photo of Robert Paterson

Robert Paterson

Associate Dean for Research and Operations (Interim)

Professor Paterson specializes in land use and environmental planning. He has completed over 50 projects over the past 22 years at UT-Austin (through over $6 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 and Disaster Resilient City Planning, and Plan Implementation. 

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 Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference, National Partners for Smart Growth Conference, and the Association of European Schools of Planning Congress.

Dr. Paterson’s three most recent research projects are focused on better metrics for Scenario Planning for Sustainable Communities, Scenario Planning for Disaster Resilience, and Plan Implementation theory and practice.

 Places Project access at:

http://www.soa.utexas.edu/csd/research/sustainable-places
http://www.envisiontomorrow.org
 

Team

photo of Greg Griffin

Greg Griffin

Graduate Research Assistant

Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning

Greg's research explores crowdsourcing for participatory planning, particularly using cases in sustainable transportation and health. Currently, ​he is a Ph.D. candidate and member of the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture's Urban Information Lab. He also works as a researcher with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, leading projects such as Street Noise Relationship to Vulnerable Road User Safety. His research is published in journals such as Transportation Research Record, Urban Geography, Journal of Transport & Health, and the Journal of Urban Technology.​ Previously, Greg worked as a state park planner and regional transportation planner, and taught Transportation Systems at Texas State University. Greg is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, bicycles whenever possible, and sometimes tweets @gregpgriffin.

photo of Clare Zutz

Clare Zutz

Lecturer

Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning

Clare’s research is focused on local food policy and planning as a lens to create more equitable and sustainable lived experiences among citizens in urban communities. She currently lectures on civic engagement and leadership at UT Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she received her master’s in public affairs. Most recently, she worked as a researcher and program coordinator at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her chickens and Border Collies.

photo of Louis Alcorn

Louis Alcorn

Graduate Research Assistant

Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning

Louis Gerald Alcorn is a graduate student in the Community and Regional Planning (CRP) program at the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a dual degree in Transportation Engineering. Prior to attenidng UT Austin, Mr. Alcorn worked as a transit service planner for Austin's public transit provider, Capital Metro and previously as a financial analyst at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). In his professional experience, he focused on finding creative solutions to enhance coordination efforts across departmental/agency lines through the establishment of partnerships and working groups. He has a passionate drive to improve safe and accessible mobility options through data-driven prioritization of space-efficient travel modes.

Mr. Alcorn's current research within the School of Architecture's Urban Information Lab (UIL) focuses on analyzing origin-destination bicycle-share system data in Austin, Houston and San Antonio with a lens of relating station location popularity with the surrounding built environment and transit density/connectivity.  

Favorite Quote: "A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars...it is where the rich use public transportation." - Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia

Christopher Bischak

Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning

Chris is current Master's of Community Planning student. He received his bachelor's degree from The University of Virginia in 2014 with a double major in Environmental Science and History. His current focus is on transportation planning and research. Chris works in the Urban Information Lab where his work concerns analyzing transportation deserts and gaps in public transportation systems.

Jianwei Chen

Graduate Research Assistant

photo of Nicole McGrath

Nicole McGrath

Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning

Nicole McGrath is a graduate student in the Community and Regional Planning (CRP) program and a Graduate School Mentor Fellow. 

Prior to attending UT Austin, Nicole spent 3 years working as an Air Transportation Specialist based in McMurdo Station, Antarctica, coordinating the movement of cargo between the station and remote polar field camps. In between deployments, she worked for her hometown's planning department in South Florida. Nicole is currently part of UT's Urban Information Lab and her research interests focus on making public transit more equitable and accessible. When she's not working, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and watching Game of Thrones with her husband and 2 cats. 

 

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Alumni

photo of Jackson Archer

Jackson Archer

Jackson received his B.A in Government from UT Austin in 2012. As an undergrad, he worked for the university's bicycle program, and saw it grow into what it is today. Jackson has worked for the Center for Transportation Research (CTR) at UT Austin for the past 3 years, where he has focused on network modeling and traffic simulation. At CTR, he has been a part of numerous applications in the city of Austin, including she SH 45 SW study, the Mobility35 study, and the Drag Transit Relocation study. Jackson is focusing his graduate work on bike and transit mapping applications and data visualization.

photo of Tatum Lau

Tatum Lau

Tatum is interested in the capacity for public space and infrastructure to be tools for political engagement and ecological transformation.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and a Masters in Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources from London Metropolitan University. She has a broad range of experience having worked in architectural research and publishing and the non-profit sector in Johannesburg.  She moved to the UK to focus on affordable housing and taught at the University of Bedfordshire.  Tatum has returned to graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin and is completing a dual degree in Urban Design and Community and Regional Planning in order to pursue a career as an urban practitioner and educator.

photo of Evelyn Mitchell

Evelyn Mitchell

Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning

Evelyn graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in South Africa and researched current programs and policies implemented at South African Universities designed to increase racial and social integration in communal spaces within the student body. After graduation, she joined Teach for America where she taught in Houston for two years, and then continued to teach in Austin for a third year.  Throughout that time, Evelyn noticed that her students’ neighborhoods were designed in ways that negatively impacted their everyday lives: problems ranging from poor transportation, lack of access to healthy food, as well as minimal social spaces for her students to interact and play safely. Evelyn is currently a first year CRP student and a Graduate School Mentor Fellow. She is focusing her graduate work on community development and its effects on youth in low-income neighborhoods. 

photo of Akik Patel

Akik Patel

Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning

Akik received his undergraduate degree in Urban Planning from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University), India. During his undergraduate studies, he interned at various organizations such as an academic institution, transportation consultancy and private firm that dealt with research on topics like transportation and climate change. This set of experiences solidified his interest in the nexus between land-use, transportation and climate change. His bachelors’ thesis was on the study of “Impacts of public transportation on air quality (PM2.5, CO2 and NOX) through the case study of BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit Service) in Ahmedabad. Akik is focusing his graduate studies on integrating transportation and public health using tools like GIS and TransCAD. He wishes to study and support the communities that are facing challenges caused due to transformation of their built environment.

photo of Juan Yunda

Juan Yunda

Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning

Juan is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin in the program Community and Regional Planning. He has an undergraduate degree in architecture from the National University of Colombia and a joint master degree in urban design and planning from Bauhaus-Weimar University and Tongji University in Shanghai. For his M.Sc., he conducted research on the subject of urban redevelopment forms and their social impacts in the city of Xiamen, China. During his time in Europe, he participated in research projects focused on airport regions and urban revitalization, and as practitioner, he worked on urban design and architecture projects in China, Spain, Bulgaria and Germany. In Colombia, he has been conducting research and teaching in architecture and urban design at the Pilot University in Bogota. In addition he has worked as urban planning consultant for both public and private entities on transportation, affordable housing and zoning codes. He has been awarded grants and distinctions for his academic research by the Colombian Ministry of Education, Colombian Science and Technology Department, the Colombian Architects Society, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Institute for European Urban Studies and the Fulbright Commission. Juan's research interests include sustainable urban design, urban morphology, socio-spatial segregation and informal settlements in Latin America.