Arthur C. Nelson

Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development


  • Real Estate Development
  • School of Landscape Architecture and Planning
  • Urban Planning
Arthur C. Nelson


Areas of Expertise

  • Demographics and the built environment
  • Efficient development patterns
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Urban containment policies and outcomes


  • PhD in Urban Studies, Portland State University, 1984
  • Master of Urban Studies in Public Administration, Portland State University, 1976
  • Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Portland State University, 1972


Professor Chris Nelson joined the University of Arizona College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture in 2014 as professor of urban planning and real estate development. He was formerly presidential professor and director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah (2008-14), professor of urban affairs and planning as well as co-director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech (2002-08) and professor of city planning and public policy as well as coordinator of the land development and urban policy programs at Georgia Tech (1987-2002). As the author of nearly 30 books and more than 400 other scholarly publications and PI/Co-PI of more than $50 million in grants, Nelson is ranked 9th nationally among more than 1,000 planning professors in the quality of published work based on scientific metrics.

News, Research and Projects

Suburban house

PlaceMakers and Strong Towns Turn to Arthur C. Nelson for Insight on How the Shifting 'Boomer Bulge' Impacts America’s Housing Market

Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development Arthur C. Nelson was recently featured in a two-part interview for PlaceMakers and in an article in Strong Towns, both focusing on how there may soon be too many homes for too few buyers and renters across the country.