Urban Environments

This broad research topic links closely to research interests of many faculty members. Dr. Benton-Short's research on the qualitative analysis of the politics and power relationships on issues such as the protection of open space, urban development, and urban revitalization efforts may generate interest among urban planners, park administrators and citizens' groups in the region. Research in this area has led to two book publications. Cities and Nature was published in 2007, (Routledge) and co-examines contemporary challenges to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

David Rain's research on the Urban Environment investigates the intersection of health and place in urban developing-world contexts.  Using geodemographics, field methods and remote sensing, Dr. Rain measures the vulnerability of urban populations to threats such as flooding. Since 2007 he and Dr. Engstrom have worked on a National Institutes of Health grant in Accra , Ghana , deriving determinants of neighborhood health and environmental quality that will be used to create vulnerability models that can be used in other cities. He has done urban-environmental fieldwork in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Dr. Marie Price and Dr. Elizabeth Chacko have studied the transformation of cities and city spaces due to the processes of globalization and migration.  Their research ranges from the effect of the Bolivian, Asian Indian, and Ethiopian diasporas in the United States on urban landscapes in U.S. cities as well as their home countries, to the connections between urban space and identity.  Dr. Price has written about the effects of transnationalism and remittances by immigrants in the United States on development in Bolivia, while Dr. Chacko has published work on the impact of returning Asian Indians on Indian cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad and the role of the Ethiopian diaspora on development in the home country. 


GEOG 3143: Urban Environmental Issues

Students learn about various issues relating to urban sustainability in this class.  Pictured here, students are doing a project with a community partner, Casey Trees.  The project involved students taking an inventory of trees on the GW campus; measuring trunk diameter and tree canopy. 


GEOG 6244: Seminar in Urban Sustainability

Geography 6244 challenges graduates students to explore both the theory and practice of urban sustainability.