Associate Professor

Dr. Oden's teaching and research areas include local and regional economic development, regional growth dynamics and regional governance challenges, and program evaluation methodologies. For the past several years Oden has been involved in evaluating technologies and planning interventions to mitigate climate change and other environmental hazards. Prior to joining the Community and Regional Planning (CRP) program he worked at the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at Rutgers University, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris and as the senior economist on the Appropriations Committee of the Michigan State Senate.

In the CRP program, Dr. Oden is currently serving as Associate Dean for Operations and Research for the School of Architecture and Director of the CRP program. While serving as Associate Dean and Director, Dr. Oden is teaching a core CRP course, Financing Public Services (CRP 381). Dr Oden has won a number of teaching and community service awards during his time at CRP.

Professor Oden's current research interests include the development of a comprehensive evaluation tool for alternative land use, transportation and housing affordability development models; the potential of environmental industry growth for regional local economic development strategies, and the role of artistic and cultural industries in urban economies. His funded research projects typically involve and support Master's and Ph.D. students.

Over the last decade, Dr. Oden has published a number of reports and articles on economic development, program evaluation, and sustainable development topics. Recent publications he has authored and co-authored include: Benedikt, M. and M. Oden "Better is Better than More: Complexity, Economic Progress, and Qualitative Growth", (Center for Sustainable Development.2011); "Equity the Forgotten E," in Steven Moore (ed.), Pragmatic Sustainability: Theoretical and Practical Tools, (New York: Routledge, 2009); Oden, Michael "From Assembly to Innovation: Austin’s Economic Development", for Congress for the New Urbanism, 2008; Oden, Michael. Building a More Sustainable Economy: Economic Development Strategy and Public Investment in Austin, Austin: Liveable Cities, June, 2008; and Oden, Michael "When the Movie’s Over: The Post-Cold War Restructuring of Los Angeles." in Jeffrey Engel (ed.) Local Consequences of the Global Cold War, (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2008)


  • B.A. University of Texas at Austin, 1976
  • Ph.D., New School for Social Research, New York, 1992
photo of Michael Oden
  • Economic Development Planning
  • Regional Growth and Governance
  • Applied Planning Methods
  • Sustainable Urban Systems.
SUT 3.102A
(512) 471-0121