Arlie Adkins

Associate Professor of Urban Planning
Program Chair, MS Urban Planning Program


  • School of Landscape Architecture and Planning
  • Urban Planning
Arlie Adkins

Canon Douglass House

Areas of Expertise

  • Affordable housing
  • Health and safety disparities
  • Transportation
  • Walkability


Arlie Adkins is an associate professor with appointments in CAPLA's School of Landscape Architecture and Planning and the Health Promotion Sciences Department within the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. His research focuses on understanding the interconnectedness of transportation equity, affordable housing, and various health and safety disparities related to urban transportation systems. He teaches transportation planning, planning theory, and the planning master's capstone studio. He was co-PI of the CDC-funded Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN+) collaborating center at UA. He has a PhD from Portland State University and a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley. Dr. Adkins previously worked in the planning department at TriMet (the transit agency for the Portland, Oregon region) and for Flexcar, a pioneer of carsharing in North America.

Research topics include:

  • Addressing transportation system health and safety disparities
  • Applicability of standard measures of walkability in different socioeconomic and sociocultural contexts
  • The role of affordable housing in providing access to neighborhoods that support access to opportunities and physical activity

His research has been funded by the Federal Highway Administration, National Institute for Transportation and Communities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Selected publications:

COMING SOON: Measuring Perceptions of Social Environments for Walking: a Scoping Review of Walkability Surveys. Health and Place

Another Look at Location Affordability: Understanding the Detailed Effects of Income and Urban Form on Housing and Transportation Expenditures. Housing Policy Debate, 1-23.

Health disparities, transportation equity and Complete Streets: a case study of a policy development process through the lens of critical race theory. Journal of urban health, 1-11.

Differences in social and physical dimensions of perceived walkability in Mexican American and non-hispanic white walking environments in Tucson, Arizona. Journal of Transport & Health14, 100585.

“A little bit happy”: How performance metrics shortchange pedestrian infrastructure funding. Research in Transportation Business & Management29, 144-156.

Contextualizing walkability: do relationships between built environments and walking vary by socioeconomic context?. Journal of the American Planning Association83(3), 296-314.

Sociocultural perceptions of walkability in Mexican American neighborhoods: implications for policy and practice. Journal of Transport & Health7.

How location efficient is LIHTC? Measuring and explaining state-level achievement. Housing Policy Debate27(3), 335-355.

Racial bias in driver yielding behavior at crosswalks. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 33, 1–6.

Unpacking Walkability: Testing the Influence of Urban Design Features on Perceptions of Walking Environment Attractiveness. Journal of Urban Design 17, no. 4 (2012): 499-510.

News, Research and Projects

Tucson at night

Tucson Mayor Cites Research by CAPLA Urban Planning Professor in Editorial on Tucson’s Transportation Future

An editorial by Tucson Mayor Regina Romero published in Arizona Daily Star on January 16, 2022, addresses fair representation in the Regional Transportation Authority, referencing research by Associate Professor of Urban Planning Arlie Adkins, who notes that "voting structures with one vote per jurisdiction can disenfranchise urban residents and people of color."