Equitable and smart cities and regions

The Baltimore region's broadband access. Image: The Brookings Institute,

The Baltimore region's broadband access. Image: The Brookings Institute,

I have worked on several projects to characterize the state of equitable cities and regions in metropolitan areas across the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. Relatedly, I have also been involved in efforts to investigate how smart technologies can best be employed in low-income communities to increase their access to opportunity.

Smart and Equitable Cities

Enterprise has also supported my research on “smart cities.” Smart city technologies such as public wifi and smart transit hubs, offer cities tools to more effectively serve residents. Technology investments, however, often leave disadvantaged communities farther behind, rather than close opportunity gaps. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Enterprise, I have teamed with other researchers, technology providers, and community organizations to investigate how smart city technologies can improve conditions in low-income communities. I have co-led the project’s engagement efforts, including focus groups and surveys with over 200 Baltimore residents. The research has informed Baltimore’s smart city plans, several subsequent research proposals, and attracted significant media attention, including 12 articles in regional and national outlets such as the Baltimore Sun.  

Equitable Cities and Regions in the U.S. and Beyond

I have also contributed to knowledge about equitable cities and regions through work in other U.S. and non-U.S. contexts. For a book on advancing racial and economic integration published by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, a leading national housing policy center, I analyzed strategies to promote neighborhood integration in Washington, DC that build towards regional policies and plans, but recognize the tough polit­ical realities of making regionalism work. I shared this research with policy makers, foundations, and other housing leaders at invited panels for the Harvard Joint Center and Urban Institute. For the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a leading national think tank on land use issues, I currently serve on the editorial team of a project comparing land use strategies that promote equity in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe, and co-authored a case study on Montgomery County, Maryland’s inclusionary zoning program.