Adjunct Assistant Professor

Barbara Brown Wilson is Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia. Her research and teaching focus on community engaged design, the ethics, theory, and practice of sustainable development, and the history of urban social movements. Her research is change-oriented—she engages with real community partners and collaborates to help seek opportunities for engaged and integrated sustainable development. Brown Wilson holds a PhD in community and regional planning and a masters in architectural history, and this urban historical perspective informs both her teaching and her research. She teaches courses on urban planning history and theory, the ethics of sustainable development, sustainable community design and development, methods of community engagement, and urban social movements.


  • B.A., University of North Carolina, 2002
  • M.A., University of Texas, Austin, 2005
  • Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 2010


Refereed Books

Moore, Steven A. and Barbara B. Wilson, Questioning Architectural Judgment: The Problem of Codes in the United States, Routledge: London, 2013.

 Refereed Journals

Wilson, Barbara B. “Planning Note: Redefining Sustainability: The Gulf Coast Community Design Studio,” under review for special issue on Disaster Recovery with The Journal of the American Planning Association.

Wilson, Barbara B. “Before the ‘Triple Bottom Line’: New Deal Defense Housing as Proto- Sustainability,” in publication with The Journal of Planning History.
Moore, Steven A. and Barbara B. Wilson, "Contested Construction of Green Building Codes in North America: the case of The Alley-Flat Initiative" in Journal of Urban Studies, Volume 46, no. 12, November 2009.
Wilson, Barbara B. “Coding Social Values into the Built Environment,” Planning Forum: Journal of Community and Regional Planning v. 13/14, August 2009.
Wilson, Barbara B. “Learning to Listen: Designing Architectural Education Through University/Community Partnerships,” in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, Spring 2008.

Book Chapters

(Refereed) Wilson, Barbara B. “Social Movements and the City: Codifying Spatial Justice” in Frédéric Dufaux and Pascale Philifert Eds., Justice Spatiale et Politiques Territoriales, collection Espace et Justice, Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, Nanterre, France, 2013.
(Refereed) Moore, Steven A. and Barbara B. Wilson, “Architectural Production and Sociotechnical Codes: A Theoretical Framework,” with Steven Moore in Building Systems: Design, Technology, and Society, Eds. Kiel Moe and Ryan Smith, Routledge, 2012.
Wilson, Barbara B. “The Architectural Bat-Signal: Exploring the Relationship between Justice and Design,” in Bryan Bell, ed., Expanding Architecture, Metropolis Books, 2008.


Chestnut Neighborhood Vitality Report from the Planning Socially Connected Communities Spring Practicum, Austin, TX: Center for Sustainable Development, 2013. 
Central Texas Sustainability Indicators Project Report. Austin, TX: Center for Sustainable Development, 2009, 2013. 
Barbara Brown Wilson, “Sustainable Post‐Disaster Housing: Challenges and Opportunities,” for the Houston-Galveston Area Council regarding the Texas Gulf Coast Rapid Rehousing Demonstration Project, 2012
Barbara Brown Wilson, Conner Bryan, and Jane Winslow, eds. Public Interest Design: Summer Course Series, 2011 & 2012. Austin, TX: Center for Sustainable Development, 2011.               
Public Interest Design Studio: An Action Guide to Greening Austin’s Alleys. Austin, TX: Center for Sustainable Development, 2011.             
St. Elmo and St. John: Community Conditions and Needs, Spring 2011, CRP 388 Affordable Housing Policy, led by Barbara Brown Wilson.                     
Center for Sustainable Development: 2011-2012 Annual Report. Austin, TX: Center for    Sustainable Development, 2012.                                      
Barbara Brown Wilson, ed. The East Austin House Farm: Topics in Sustainable Development 2009 Seminar Report. Austin, TX: Center for Sustainable Development.                           

Awards & Recognition

Environmental Design Research Association Great Places Award for Research on the Green Alley Project, 2014
Tower Outstanding Academic Service-Learning Professor Award, University of Texas at Austin Longhorn Center for Civic Engagement, 2013
Austin Community Design and Development Center, AIA Austin Community Vision Award, 2013
Sustainability and Ethics Curriculum Development Award, University of Texas at Austin, 2013
Cale McDowell Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2012
Local Hero Award, Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, 2010
Alley Flat Initiative, Envision Central Texas Community Stewardship Award for Redevelopment, 2009
Austin Community Design and Development Center, Greenlights Nonprofit Award for Excellence in Collaboration, 2009
Design Corps Award for Outstanding Service to the Underserved, 2008
Association for the Collegiate Schools of Planning, Donald Schön Award for Excellence in Learning from Practice, 2006


Amenity Applewhite  @UTSOA
  • Value-based building regulations
  • methods of community engagement
  • urban social movements
  • history of sustainable development