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Grengs Appointed Chair of the Urban Planning Program

Monday, March 13, 2017

Grengs Appointed Chair of the Urban Planning Program

Joe Grengs, Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies in Urban and Regional Planning, has been appointed Chair of the Urban Planning Program. His three year term will begin on July 1, 2017.

In his role as chair, Grengs will be responsible for working with the dean and the college's academic leadership to ensure the academic integrity of the program, enhance the research portfolio, and engage with cross-disciplinary initiatives that support the program and college's vision. He will work with faculty on the curriculum and innovative pedagogic developments and collaborate with faculty and staff to manage student recruitment and admission as well as student retention and success. He will also work closely with the new DEI Committee to support college and program diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as the college strives to increase the diversity of our entire community.

He is an associate professor of urban planning, the director of doctoral studies in urban planning, and the coordinator of the transportation planning concentration.  He is a certified planner and a registered professional engineer with work experience in both the private and public sectors.  He teaches courses on transportation planning, spatial analysis, and doctoral research seminars.

In terms of his own research interests, Grengs focuses on transportation planning and how metropolitan land-use patterns contribute to uneven economic development and social disparities. His work argues for improving transportation systems by shifting from mobility to accessibility as the primary criterion by which transportation policy is evaluated.  He focuses on showing how the concept of accessibility offers a more effective evaluation tool for advancing social justice than current planning practices, developing methods for making intermetropolitan comparisons of accessibility, and explaining how accessibility is experienced differently by race, ethnicity, gender, age, and income.

Grengs serves on the Steering Committee and is Treasurer for the progressive planning organization Planners Network, he serves on the college’s Executive Committee and is Treasurer for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, and he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota, and a PhD in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.