News & Press: University Member News

News from UAlbany’s Department of Geography & Planning

Thursday, April 13, 2017  
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Dr. Melissa Currie joined the Department at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year. With advanced degrees from Cornell University and North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Currie teaches core and electives courses in both the MRP Program and the undergraduate program in Urban Studies and Planning. Some of her most recent publications include: Currie, M. (2017) A design framework for small parks in ultra-urban, metropolitan, suburban and small town settings. Journal of Urban Design, 22(1): 76-95; Howarth, J., Currie, M., Morrell, E., Sorensen, J., & Bengle, T. (2017) Challenges of building community-university partnerships in new poverty landscapes. Community Development, 48(1): 48-66; Sorensen, J., Gamez, J., & Currie, M. (2014). Windy Ridge: A neighborhood built to fail. Applied Geography, 51, 8-25.

Dr. Youqin Huang has been recently appointed Executive Director of the UAlbany Confucius Institute. Under Dr. Huang’s leadership the Confucius Institute has just organized a very successful international conference on the Transformation and Impact of the Chinese Urban Economy in Albany earlier this month. This conference counted with the participation of prominent economist Barry Naughton (University of California San Diego) and sociologist Victor Nee (Cornell University), and a whole array of other invited speakers from MIT, Columbia, Brown, UCLA and universities in HK, China and Canada.

Dr. Carlos Balsas, together with Dr. Johana Londono (UAlbany LACS), has organized a film series entitled "Striving for Diverse Cities: A 2016-17 Documentary Film & Discussion Series". The series was funded by a Diversity Transformation Fund Award from University at Albany's Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Among others, it counted with the participation of Dr. Tom Angotti from CUNY’s Hunter College and Dr. Leonie Sandercock from UBC in Vancouver.

In addition, Dr. Balsas has also organized the II Symposium on Sustainable Urban Regeneration in Japan in early February 2017. The purpose of this symposium was to reflect on the history, culture, civilizational and societal trends, as well as current urban regeneration initiatives in Japan. The Symposium had the participation of scholars from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley (Dr. Joshua Roth) and Harvard University (Mr. Adam Tanaka), in addition to UAlbany faculty (Dr. Akiko Hosler and Dr. Carlos Balsas), administration (Associate Dean Dr. Susanna Fessler), and students (Ms. Hui Lin and Mr. Christopher Burke).

Dr. Balsas latest publications include: Balsas, C. (2017) When markets reset, will we regain? Planning lessons from across the Atlantic ocean. Land Use Policy, 65: 78–92; Balsas, C. (2017) Blending individual tenacity with government’s responsibility in the implementation of US non-motorized transportation planning (NMT). Planning Practice & Research, 32(2): 197-211; Balsas, C. (In press 2017) The world in the Americas – a reflection on the 2016 World Planning Schools Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Planning Theory and Practice; and Balsas, C. (2017) Lemons into Lemonade: Materializing Utopian Planning in Providence, Rhode Island (RI), (pp.141-150). In: Monteiro, M., Kong, M., & Neto, M. (Eds.) PHI Utopia(s) – Worlds and Frontiers of the Imaginary. London: CRC Press.

Dr. Gene Bunnell, emeritus professor in the Department, has just published another book entitled “Transforming Providence: Rebirth of a Post Industrial City”. A meet the Author/book-signing event will take place on Saturday, April 22 at 3 pm in the Book House at Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, New York.

For more information about the Department of Geography and Planning visit:


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.