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UB Launches PhD Program in Urban and Regional Planning

Program to offer exciting, varied research opportunities for students from the U.S. and abroad

Release Date: May 31, 2012

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Samina Raja, PhD, program director of the new PhD in Urban and Regional Planning, at UB's School of Architecture and Planning

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has announced that it will launch a new doctoral program in Urban and Regional Planning in its School of Architecture and Planning.

The program will begin in September and will be the only such program in the State University of New York system. UB is particularly interested in recruiting students from the U.S., Europe, China, Korea and South Asia.

The new program will emphasize research and learning in areas in which the UB school and its planning faculty have garnered international distinction: assisting declining cities and distressed urban communities; health, food systems, human abilities and the environment; built environments and environmental change; land use and transportation; disasters and extreme events; advanced technology, information systems and methods in planning; and regional governance.

Additional information about the program is available at: http://www.ap.buffalo.edu/planning/degrees/phd.asp.

Applicants also can contact Program Director Samina Raja, PhD, at sraja@buffalo.edu or at 716-829-5881.

According to Raja, applicants may be considered for competitive financial awards available through funded research projects. For example, two of the school's research centers, the UB Regional Institute and Urban Design Project, are leading a $1.8 million, multi-year U.S. Department of Housing and the Urban Development Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, which will include community-based planning in food systems, climate action and housing for Erie and Niagara Counties.

Robert G. Shibley, professor and dean of the UB School of Architecture and Planning, said the PhD program will create the potential for dual-degrees and collaborative research pursuits through the school's recently created Master of Science in Architecture.

"This PhD program presents unique opportunities to advance the pursuit of scholarship and new knowledge in planning with an interdisciplinary lens that engages not only architecture and design, but fields as diverse as law, sociology, the sciences and even visual studies," Shibley said. "We're excited as a school for the opportunity to take our scholarship to the next level."

Ernest Sternberg, professor and chair of the UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning, citing the school's nationally ranked Master of Urban Planning program, said the new PhD program "builds on our school's distinguished reputation for pursuing cutting-edge research on issues central to the social, environmental and aesthetic well-being of our local and global communities."

The school offers a vast infrastructure for sponsored research and public scholarship through its research centers and labs, including the recently aligned UB Regional Institute, Urban Design Project, and the Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab headed by Raja, and the internationally-regarded Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access.

"These research centers and labs will connect students of this program to faculty members with similar research interests, creating new opportunities for advanced scholarship and applied research across the disciplines of our school and university," said Raja, an internationally recognized expert in food systems planning.

Raja noted such opportunities are already in place in the Buffalo-Niagara metropolitan region and the Buffalo-Toronto conurbation, with the UB school actively engaging with nonprofits, governments and other organizations throughout the region and beyond.

"Although many of our faculty members are involved in community-based research in Buffalo, many also study planning issues and conduct research elsewhere in the United States, as well as overseas," Raja said.

The school's research sponsors include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as many local, regional and state agencies.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
News Content Manager, Arts and Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu