Professor of Planning and Real Estate Development Arthur C. Nelson

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


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

The APA Foundation’s FutureShape initiative is a “first-ever research agenda for the planning profession,” according to the article. The agenda will “guide researchers and funders to develop the planning techniques and practices needed to meet emerging challenges,” says Nelson.

In encouraging fellow planners to give back, Nelson also created a new APA scholarship, the Arthur C. Nelson Fellowship, to support women, people of color and indigenous descent, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community currently enrolled in Planning Accreditation Board-approved programs, such as the Master of Science in Urban Planning at CAPLA. Nelson’s APA Fellowship is in addition to the student fellowship at CAPLA he endowed, which begins fall 2020.

“The legacy options are many but the need is clear,” says Nelson. “We need to commit ourselves to supporting the next generation of planners who will advance the public interest.”

Nelson joined CAPLA in 2014 after serving as presidential professor and director of the Metropolitan Research Center at the University of Utah. As the author of nearly 30 books and more than 400 other scholarly publications and principle investigator or co-principle investigator 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.

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