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 Climate Action Planning.

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
Sprinklers on lawn

Architecture and Planning Faculty Quoted in Salt Lake Tribune Article on 'Water Shaming'

Courtney Crosson, assistant professor of architecture, and Ladd Keith, assistant professor of planning and sustainable built environments, were quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune's July 12, 2021 story, "Neighbor wasting water? Is 'water shaming' the answer?"

Hot sun over city

CAPLA-led Research Team Awarded $150K NOAA Grant to Help American Communities Better Plan for Heat Mitigation

To help bridge government disparate efforts, Ladd Keith is leading an effort called Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard for Heat, or PIRSH, that has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the NOAA Climate Program Office, under its Extreme Heat Risk Initiative.

Sun over residential tiled roof

Keeping Homes and Cities Cool in Extreme Heat

Planning and Sustainable Built Environments Assistant Professor Ladd Keith, an expert on urban planning and climate change, offers tips to keep your home cool during a heat wave, and discusses how and why cities across the country are doing more to become heat resilient.

Desert sunset silhouette

Tucson CBS Affiliate Turns to Sustainable Built Environments Professor for Insight on the Dangers of Hiking in Southern Arizona Heat

In a series covering "Monsoon 2021" broadcast June 14, Tucson CBS affiliate TV station KOLD News 13 interviewed Ladd Keith, assistant professor of planning and sustainable built environments, on how "hiking in heat can have deadly repercussions in Southern Arizona."

Tucson skyline

Planning Professor Arlie Adkins on Equitable Regionalism for Tucson’s Regional Transportation Authority

In an op-ed in the June 11, 2021 edition of the Arizona Daily Star, Arlie Adkins calls out the ongoing discussion about regional coordination in the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), an independent taxing district within Pima County that manages multimodal transportation projects.

Heat and smog in Los Angeles

Planning and Sustainable Built Environments Professor Ladd Keith Discusses Heat’s Inequitable Impact on Low-Income and Communities of Color in The Washington Post

“Heat is the number-one weather-related killer,” says Ladd Keith in The Washington Post article, “Heat and Smog Hit Low-Income Communities and People of Color Hardest, Scientists Say,” published on May 25, 2021.