Master of Science in Urban Planning Faculty

Our world-class urban planning faculty has extensive training, education, and experience in planning practice and research. Our forward-looking, solution-oriented, and engaged approach to urban planning education, research, and mentorship is helping push the field in new and exciting directions. 

Arlie Adkins, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, researches health and safety disparities related to urban transportation systems. He also has an appointment in the College of Public Health. He recently completed a five-year CDC grant on physical activity and health is currently the co-PI of the University of Arizona’s portion of the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). He teaches Urban Transportation Planning and the capstone planning projects course.

Kristina Currans, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, focuses her research on transportation and land use integration, economic impacts of transportation investment, and improving data and analytical methods for site level transportation impact analysis. She was recently awarded a two-year grant to operationalize the link between parking supply and vehicle use in California. Her courses include Planning Methods and Transportation & Land Use.

Nicole Iroz-Elardo, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Urban Planning, works at the intersection of built environment, health, and transportation. Her research focuses on health equity and monetizing the health impacts and transport and built environment interventions. 

Ladd Keith, PhD, Assistant Professor of Planning and Chair of Sustainable Built Environments, researches the intersection between urban planning and climate change and explores how climate action planning can make more sustainable and resilient cities. He has worked with diverse cities across the U.S. on climate action planning across a range of plans, policies, and regulations. He teaches Public Participation and Planning for Urban Resilience.

Shujuan Li, PhD, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning, has research efforts in the integration of spatial analysis and modeling with GIS for urban and environmental studies. Her research interests include landscape ecology, ecological planning, spatial data science, and ecosystem services. She teaches Land Use Planning Analysis, Geodesign Studio, and GIS courses.

Arthur C. Nelson, PhD, FAcSS, FAICP, Professor of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development, has made significant contributions in the areas of real estate analysis, smart growth, infrastructure financing, transportation and economic development outcomes, and metropolitan development patterns. Dr. Nelson is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences as well as the American Institute of Certified Planners. He teaches courses in Real Estate Development and Urban Planning.

Gary Pivo, PhD, Professor of Planning, works in the areas of responsible property investing, urban form, and sustainable cities. He holds professorships in the Planning Degree Program and the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona where he teaches courses on the land development process and sustainable cities. Pivo’s research has been cited by scholars in many different fields including urban studies, transportation, environmental studies, planning, public health, engineering, geography, economics, and more.

Drew Sanderford, PhD, Associate Professor of Real Estate Development & Urban Planning, studies innovation and sustainability in the property markets and urban development process. He collaborates with financial economists, hydrologists, ecologists, and public policy scholars across an array of funded projects. His case oriented teaching frequently engages practitioners to help students process, understand, and practice with decision-making. Dr. Sanderford teaches Real Estate Finance and Planning Theory and Practice.

Philip Stoker, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture, researches water sustainability and the connections between land use planning and water management. He has conducted research internationally, working on projects with the World Health Organization, Parks Canada, the National Park Service, and the Whistler 2010 Olympics. His research has been featured in the Journal of the American Planning Association and Landscape and Urban Planning among other academic publications. Dr. Stoker teaches Introduction to GIS and Sustainable Urban Development and Design.

To see the complete listing of all CAPLA faculty and staff, visit the directory page.

From The Studio
Online teaching graphic

CAPLA Faculty Lead Efforts to Move Design and Studio Courses Online

With all Arizona courses being taught fully online for the remainder of the semester, some faculty members are preparing for a first-time venture. CAPLA faculty quickly came up with a plan to give colleagues a virtual hand.

Ariel Fry

Making Public Spaces Matter | Ariel Fry ’20 MS Urban Planning

Ariel Fry ’20 MS Urban Planning recalls walking in downtown Tucson one day seven years ago, thinking about how unfriendly the landscape was. Not the Sonoran Desert landscape—being from the small town of Ajo, Arizona, she was familiar with the rugged and beautiful desert.

Coverdell Fellow Profile | Lena Porell '20 MS Urban Planning

Lena Porell served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia before joining CAPLA's Master of Urban Planning program.

Chris Nelson speaks from behind a podium in the Sundt Gallery

Planning Professor’s Efforts on Leaving a Legacy Showcased by the APA Foundation

Arthur C. Nelson, professor of planning and real estate development, is featured in the American Planning Association Foundation’s 2019 Year in Review for his work on two endeavors: FutureShape and scholarship endowments.

Ladd Keith and Doug Parsons talk during America Adapts Podcast

Planning Professor Ladd Keith Discusses Extreme Heat and Climate Change on America Adapts Podcast

Assistant Professor of Planning Ladd Keith was featured on America Adapts: The Climate Change Podcast.

Coverdell Fellow Profile | Julian Griffee

Julian Griffee served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania before joining CAPLA's Master of Urban Planning program.