Associate Professor

Program Director for Community and Regional Planning PhD

Gian Claudia Sciara is Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning and Fellow of the Hampton K. and Margaret Frye Snell Endowed Chair in Transportation.  She researches and writes about transportation planning, policy, and decisionmaking, particularly as relates to transportation finance and to connections between transportation and land use.  Regional transportation institutions are a longstanding focus of her work. 

Dr. Sciara’s current research assesses the extent to which metropolitan planning organizations represent broad modal interests, including regional airports and transit operators, and to what extent these regional organizations pursue integrated land use and transportation planning to reduce reliance on cars and decrease GHG emissions.  Her complementary work examines state practices for allocating transportation revenues and concludes that such practices fail to reflect regional smart growth and climate action objectives.  Dr. Sciara recently led an interdisciplinary team researching innovative organizational practices and routines for advance environmental mitigation.  This study, involving ecologists, economists, and transportation planners, was selected by the California Association of Environmental Professionals for its 2018 Outstanding Resource Document award.  The study has also informed the California legislature in its recent decision to dedicate $120 million over four years for a revolving fund that supports advance mitigation. 
Dr. Sciara teaches classes in urban public finance, transportation policy, land use and transportation, and bicycle and pedestrian planning.  She earned a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA, and a B.A. from Columbia University.  She is an AICP certified city planner who served in the private, public and non-profit sectors prior to pursuing the PhD.  Before joining The University of Texas at Austin, she held a research appointment at the University of California-Davis Institute of Transportation Studies.


  • PhD, City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
  • MA, Urban Planning, UCLA
  • BA, Columbia University
photo of Gian Claudia Sciara
  • Transportation governance and finance
  • Regional transportation and land use planning
  • Active transportation
SUT 3.144
(512) 471-8110