Harley Etienne is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning He teaches in the areas of urban community development, inner-city revitalization, neighborhood change, urban poverty, and qualitative research issues in planning. Etienne's research focuses primarily on the intersection of social institutions and their relationship to processes of urban neighborhood change. He is keenly interested in the role that colleges and universities play in contributing to neighborhood-level change and regional economic development. In 2012, he released, Pushing Back the Gates: Neighborhood Perspectives on University-Driven Change in West Philadelphia on Temple University Press. After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, he worked on several projects examining the role of land tenure policy and land rights in the post-earthquake recovery of Port-au-Prince. In 2014, he co-edited a volume, Planning Atlanta which surveys the history, challenges and successes of planning in that city from its earliest beginnings to the present day.
His current projects include quantitative and qualitative studies of the adaptation and survival strategies of community development corporations (CDCs) in Baltimore, Cleveland and Detroit. He is also expanding on his work in West Philadelphia with studies that evaluate the long-term impact of college students on housing affordability and displacement in college and university-adjacent neighborhoods.
Prior to pursuing a Ph.D., Etienne worked in Philadelphia in the public policy and economic development sectors for Greater Philadelphia First (now merged with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce) and the Pennsylvania Economy League and the 21st Century League where he worked on various policy issues including university-industry partnerships, K-12 school reform, health care access, and welfare policy. Before coming to the University of Michigan, Etienne taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of City and Regional Planning and the School of Public Policy. He earned a B.A. in sociology from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a M.A. in Urban Studies from Temple University and a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.