Bruce Stiftel

Professor and Chair, School of City and Regional Planning
(404) 894-2350

View Stiftel's c.v.


Bruce Stiftel's research concerns collaborative governance of environmental/water policy, global movement of planning ideas, and international responses to urbanization. His most recent books are Adaptive Governance and Water Conflict (co-edited with John T. Scholz; Resources for the Future Press), and Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning, volume 2 (co-edited with Vanessa Watson and Henri Ascelrad; Routledge), and he served as consultant to UN-Habitat in production of the World Cities Report 2016.  He regularly teaches courses in planning theory, environmental analysis, and citizen participation.  A graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stiftel is former president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, co-editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research, founding chairperson of the Global Planning Education Association Network, and member of the Planning Accreditation Board.  He is a member of the editorial boards of Planning Theory, International Planning Studies, Journal of the American Planning Association, and Town Planning Review. and represents the Global Planning Education Association Network to UN-Habitat's University Network Initiative.


Educational Background
1986 - Ph.D. (City and Regional Planning), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1981 - M.R.P. (Environmental Planning), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1975 - B.S. (Biology and Environmental Studies), State University of New York at Stony Brook

Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners


  • Planning Theory
  • Citizen Participation/Conflict Resolution
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Planning
  • Planning Responses to Global Urbanization


I work to improve the effectiveness of environmental planners at building consensus among policymakers, publics and agencies.  I have examined citizen participation program design in water quality planning and in hazardous waste site remediation; mediation of disputes in environmental enforcement and in mobile home landland-tenant relations; negotiation of large-scale development permitting; and heuristic uses of environmental impact assessment methods.  I have also done work investigating the institutional positioning of urban planning programs in universities, and global cooperation among planning educators.

Currently, I am assessing changes in urban planning worldwide, post Habitat II, seeking to contribute to the development of the United Nations New Urban Agenda proposed for adoption at the Habitat III conference in Quito in October 2016.  This follows on efforts to understand movement of planning ideas internationally published in Town Planning Review and the 2009 Global Report on Human Settlements, as well as participation in development of UN-Habitat's International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning.

I am also active in research promoting the advancement of planning schools within academe, nationally in the US and internationally, seeking to understand how planning scholarship is transmitted internationally and the ways in which planning schools most effectively promote successful research and teaching among their staffs. 

  • Leigh, N.G., French, S.P., Guhathakurta, S., and Stiftel, B., eds. International Handbook of Planning Education.  New York: Routledge, forthcoming.
  • Scholz, J. & Stiftel, B. (2012). Adaptive Governance and Water Conflict: New Institutions for Collaborative Planning. Resources for the Future Press, 2005. ISBN: 1-933-11518-1 (cloth); 1-933-11519-X (paper).
  • Stiftel, B., Watson, V., & Acselrad, H. (Eds.). (2007). Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning (Vol. 2). London and New York: Routledge, 2007. ISBN: 0-415-40285-9 (cloth); 0-203-96750-X  (e-book).   
  • Bruce Stiftel and Vanessa Watson, eds. Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning 1. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.  ISBN: 0-415-34693-2 (cloth); 0-203-63998-7 (e-book).
  • Eric L. Hyman and Bruce Stiftel. Combining Facts and Values in Environmental Impact Assessment: Theories and Techniques, Social impact assessment series, no. 16. Boulder, CO and London: Westview Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8133-7162-7.
Selected Articles and Chapters
    • Stiftel, B. and Smith, S.M. "A city that plans: reinventing urban planning", in World Cities Report 2016.  Nairobi: UN Human Settlements Programme, 2016.
    • Stiftel, B. "An African voice in the planning schools movement."  Moving On: The Journey of the Association of African Planning Schools. Cape Town: Association of African Planning Schools, 2016.
    • Ross, C., Stiftel, B., Woo, M., and Rao, A. (Fall 2010/Winter 2011). Measuring Regional Transport Sustainability: An Exploration. The Urban Lawyer, Vol. 42(4)/43(1), pp. 67-89.
    • Stiftel, B. (2011). Of what meaning: journal prominence? Journal of Planning Education and Research. 31(1): 103-104.
    • Bruce Stiftel, Juan Demerutis, Andrea Frank, Thomas Harper, Daniel K.B. Inkoom, Lik-Meng Lee, Jose Julio Lima, Ali Memon, Terence Milstead, Izabela Mironowicz, Tumsifu Nnkya, Didier Paris, Hamish Rennie, Christopher Silver, and Neil Sipe. “Planning Education.”  Chapter 10 in Sustainable Cities: Global Report on Human Settlements 2009. Nairobi: United Nations, Human Settlements Programme, 2009. 
    • Stiftel, B. (2009). Planning the Paths of Planning Schools. Australian Planner, 46(1), 38-47
    • Stiftel, B., Forsyth, A., Dalton, L., & Steiner, F. (2009). Multiple Objectives in Planning School Performance Measurement: Can Planners Scholarship be Meaningfully Assessed at the National Level? Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28(3), 323-334. doi:10.1177/0739456X0832517
    • Stiftel, B. (2008). Remarks on Receiving the Jay Chatterjee Award. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28, 265.
    • Stiftel, B. & Watson, V. (2008). Louis Albrechts: building an international community of planning scholars. In Van den Broech, J., Moulaert, F., & Oosterlynck, S. (Eds.), Empowering the Planning Fields: Ethics, Creativity and Action, (pp.211-214). Leuven, Belgium: Uitgeverij Acco.
    • Stiftel, B., & Mukhopadhyay, C. (2007). Thoughts on Anglo-American Hegemony in Planning Scholarship: Do we read each other’s work? Town Planning Review, 78(5), 545-572. doi:10.3828/tpr.78.5.2

    • Stiftel, B., & Mogg, R. (2007). A Planner’s Guide to the Digital Bibliographic Revolution. Journal of the American Planning Association, 73(1), 68-85. doi:10.1080/01944360708976137
  • Martin Meyerson Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 2015.
  • Jay Chatterjee Award for Distinguished Service to Planning Education, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 2008
  • Editorial Board Member: International Planning Studies, Journal of the American Planning Association, Planning Theory, Town Planning Review
  • Member, Planning Accreditation Board, 2009-2015
  • Fellow, American Institute of Certified Planners (inducted 2004).
  • Founding Chairperson (2002-3), Global Planning Education Association Network
  • President (1999-2001), Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
  • Co-editor (1991-6) Journal of Planning Education and Research

Recent Courses

  • CP 6012 | Planning Theory:  Introduction to the various subfields of planning through reading, discussion, and guest lectures by practicing planners. Course also covers professional ethics and career planning and development.
  • CP8200: Seminar in Planning Theory. Advanced seminar on planning theory, including philosophy of sciences, political philosophy, and ethical theory. The course explores the theoretical basis for planning as a social activity.

Dissertations Supervised 

  •  Severine Mayere, PhD (Florida State University) 2007. "The influence of local political coalitions on the effectiveness of urban containment policies: empirical evidence from six U.S. states," available online. Dr. Mayere is Lecturer, School of Urban Development, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Carissa Schively Slotterback, AICP. PhD (Florida State) 2004. "Risk Perception, Uncertainty, and Facility Siting: Lessons from Merchant Power in California," available online.  Dr. Schively is Associate Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
  • Neil G. Sipe. PhD (Florida State) 1996. "Mediating environmental enforcement disputes: an empirical analysis."  Dr. Sipe is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.  
  • Omondi Odhiambo. PhD (Florida State) 1992. "Men and family planning in Kenya: alternative policy intervention strategies for reducing population growth." Dr. Odhiambo is a population and reproductive health consultant in Nairobi, Kenya.

Master’s Applied Research Papers Supervised (recent)

  • Audrey Spiegel, MCRP 2014. “Socioeconomic Implications and Protection Strategies of Flooding in Prague, Czech Republic."  currently: Planner, Atlanta Regional Commission.
  • Maria Roell, MCRP 2012; MS (Civil Engineering) 2012. "The Use of Public Participation in the Design of Effective Internet-Based Advanced Traveler Information Systems." Currently: Project Coordinator, Georgia Forward.
  • Neela Ram, MCRP 2010; MS (Public Policy) 2010. “Impact of Resource Conservation and Development Councils on Local Economies.”  Currently: Senior Environmental Planner, Atlanta Regional Commission.
  • Nathan  Barnett, MCRP 2010; MS (Civil Engineering) 2010.  “One-way couplet facilities in medium-sized cities & their significance on the built environment.” Currently: Associate, Connetics Transportation Group, Atlanta.
  • Jody Norman. MCRP 2010. “Global patterns of nutrient runoff: green infrastructure as a policy option in Georgia.”  Sustainability Consultant, JNN Enterprises, Denver CO
  • Shelley Stevens.  MCRP 2010. “Biofuel sustainability: using the ‘three Es’ of sustainable development to determine the sustainability of biofuel production and consumption.”

Current Advisees

  • Camille Barchers, PhD Candidate, ICT and Citizen Participation.
  • Marcela Moreno, MCRP Student,  US - Mexico border colonia sanitation.