Featured Faculty: Justin Hollander
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Justin Hollander

Justin Hollander, PhD, AICP is an Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. He has worked in land use and environmental planning at the local, regional, and federal levels, most recently for the Public Buildings Service of the U.S. General Services Administration as a Presidential Management Fellow. His research examines the role of planning and public policy in managing land use and environmental changes, with a focus on urban design, shrinking cities, and Big Data. He directs the Urban Attitudes Lab at Tufts.

Dr. Hollander has written over 50 publications on these topics including five books: Polluted and Dangerous: America's Worst Abandoned Properties and What Can Be Done About Them (University of Vermont Press), Principles of brownfields regeneration: Clean-up, design, and re-use of blighted land (Island Press with Niall Kirkwood and Julia Gold), Sunburnt cities: The Great Recession, depopulation and urban planning in the American Sunbelt (Routledge), Cognitive architecture: Designing for how we respond to the built environment (Routledge), and Urban Social Listening: Potential and pitfalls of using microblogging data in studying cities (Palgrave).

He received his Ph.D. from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. While at Rutgers, he conducted research at the National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Redevelopment. Dr. Hollander’s research has been supported through grants from the Urban Land Institute, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Government of Canada, Government of Quebec, City of New York, Abell Foundation, and the Appraisers Research Foundation. He is regularly called upon as an expert for a variety of media sources on urban issues, including The New York Times, TIME Magazine, USA Today, NPR, and C-SPAN. He also hosts an iTunes podcast, "Cognitive Urbanism".

Dr. Hollander received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Tufts University and a Master's Degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners as well as the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

Here’s more on our conversation with Dr. Hollander:

Q: How long have you been a member of ACSP?
A: More than 10 years.

Q: Are you involved on the ACSP Board or an ACSP Committee?
A: Yes, PAB Advisory Committee

Q: Have you won any awards?
A: Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) 2016 Research Award, and numerous AICP and APA project awards.

Q: What's your favorite project you’ve worked on?
A: Measuring brain wave activity as pedestrians experience different urban environments. 

Q: What future goals do you have in your field?
A: I would like to help the field of planning better embrace the insights available in social media data through an approach I've developed called Urban Social Listening. 

Q: How has planning school changed your daily habits?
A: Planning school helped me understand power, who has it, how they wield it, and how planners can be effective agents of change. 

Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: An urban planner!

Q: How many different cities have you lived in and which was your favorite?
A: 10-12, my favorite was Brookline, Massachusetts. 

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
A: Antarctica: I'm fascinated by the untrampled and undeveloped quality of the place.

Q: What is the title of the last book you read? What did you learn from it?
A: Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. I learned all about the perils of human settlement of the Red Planet. 

Q: What’s your favorite color and how would you creatively incorporate it into a planning project?
A: Orange: I use it in the reports I make for planning projects. 


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.


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