Sustainable urbanism in the U.S. and the developing world; environmental justice; environmental behaviors and governance; water and sanitation infrastructure; food systems planning and food security, political economy of poverty reduction and access to basic services; social equity and participatory decision making; public participation GIS and spatial analysis.
- Ph.D. Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
- Master of Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles
- B.A. English/Afro-American Studies, California State University, Northridge
- American Marshall Memorial Fellow
Charisma Acey is an associate professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Her background includes work, research and travel to countries in West Africa, southern Africa and Central America. Her work focuses on local and regional environmental sustainability, with a focus on poverty reduction, urban governance, environmental justice, food justice and access to basic services. Her work relies on both quantitative and qualitative, community-based research approaches. Current and past research projects, teaching and service learning courses have focused on addressing barriers to sustainable development such as human-environment interactions at multiple scales in urban areas around the world, poverty and participation and voice in local governance and development, the financing and sustainability of publicly provided services and utilities such as water and sanitation, sustainability of local and regional food systems, and environmental justice domestically and globally.
Recent and ongoing research includes fieldwork in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda exploring sustainable household scale alternative energy solutions and access to basic services such as water and sanitation. She also has worked on participatory re-zoning for local healthy food systems, urban agriculture, and sustainability planning in the San Francisco East Bay, Columbus, Ohio, and Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Professor Acey was an assistant professor of city and regional planning in the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University, with a joint appointment with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity where she worked on global food justice issues and mapping geographic differences in resources and opportunities at the metropolitan scale. For more than 20 years, Charisma has supported communities, non-profits, local governments, academia and industry develop interventions that improve equitable social and environmental outcomes for vulnerable, marginalized populations. Her background includes six years of international work as a senior manager for relief and development NGOs working in countries in West Africa, southern Africa and Central and South America. She has also served as a U.S. State Department Fellow in Malawi and an American Marshall Memorial Fellow to Europe.
- Courses Taught
CP 251 Environmental Planning and Regulation
CP 254 Sustainable Communities
CP 290: Special Topics: The Human Right to Water
CP 119 Planning for Sustainability
CP 291: Graduate Studio - Infrastructure Imaginaries: Informal Urbanism, Creativity and Ecology in Lagos, Nigeria
CP 291: Graduate Studio - Critical Race Consciousness, Place-Based Storytelling & Research Justice In Community Partnerships
- Awards + Recognition
- Global Urban Humanities Faculty Fellow
- Regents Junior Faculty Fellow
- Hellman Fellow
- Excellence in Faculty Advising, University of California, Berkeley
- Faculty Award for Excellence in Community-Based Scholarship, The Ohio State University Service-Learning Initiative
- Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI) Scholar, University of Wisconsin- Madison/National Institutes of Health
- Julie Roque Environmental Justice Award, UCLA Department of Urban Planning
- Certificate of Recognition, City of Inglewood, California, Cultural Arts Master Plan Task Force
- Selected Publications
Acey, C., Kisiangani, J, Ronoh, P, Delaire, C, Makena, E, Norman, G, Levine, D, Khush, R, and Peletz, R. 2019. Cross-subsidies for improved sanitation in low income settlements: Assessing the willingness to pay of water utility customers in Kenyan cities. World Development 115, 160-177
Acey, C. 2019. Heritage Preservation as Survival: Mediating Social and Ecological Risk and Resilience at the Slave Port of Badagry, Nigeria. In Routledge Companion to Global Heritage Conservation, edited by Vinayak Bharne and Trudi Sandmeier.
Acey, C. 2018. Silence and Voice in Nigeria's Hybrid Urban Water Markets: Implications for Local Governance of Public Goods International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12715
Acey, C. 2018. Rise of the synthetic city: Eko Atlantic and practices of dispossession and repossession in Nigeria. In Disassembled Cities: Social and Spatial Strategies to Reassemble Communities, edited by Elizabeth Sweet.
A Siegner, J Sowerwine, C Acey. 2018. Does Urban Agriculture Improve Food Security? Examining the Nexus of Food Access and Distribution of Urban Produced Foods in the United States: A Systematic Review. Sustainability 10 (9), 2988, pp. 1-27
Joyce Kisiangani, Clara MacLeod, C Acey, D Levine, P Ronoh, E Makena, Guy Norman, Ranjiv Khush, C Delaire, Rachel Peletz. 2018. Are Kenyan water customers willing to pay a pro-poor sanitation surcharge? In Shaw, R.J. (ed). Transformation towards sustainable and resilient WASH services: Proceedings of the 41st WEDC International Conference, Nakuru, Kenya, 9-13 July 2018, Paper 2905, Loughborough University
Managing wickedness in the Niger Delta: Can a new approach to multi-stakeholder governance increase voice and sustainability? Landscape and Urban Planning, April 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.03.014.
Sustainability from the Bottom-Up: Women as Change Agents in the Niger Delta. In Women's emancipation and civil society organisations: Challenging or maintaining the status quo? eds. Schwabenland, C., Lange, C., Onyx, J. and Nakagawa, S. (2016) Bristol: Policy Press.
Nigeria – The Right to Water: The Role of the Private Sector in Urban Water Sector Reform. In International Planning Case Studies (IPCS) project. University of Michigan and University of Colorado Denver. eds. Hoey, L., Rumbach, A., Shake, J. (2016).
Sustainable Futures for Linden Village: A model for increasing social capital and the quality of life in an urban neighborhood. Sustainable Cities and Society, 14, 359-373. 2015. With Chen, Q. and Lara, J. J.
Plan-it Sustainably: Testing APA’s Sustainability Accreditation Criteria on 11 Bay Area cities. Northern News. American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern. July/August 2014. With S. Edmondson.
A Review of “Spatial Literacy: Contemporary Asante Women's Place-Making.” Epifania Akosua Amoo-Adare. (2013). New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan. 173 pages.
Journal of the American Planning Association, Summer 2013 79 (3): 5.
The Challenge to Delivery of Public Goods in Rapidly Expanding Cities in Africa: Financing and Implementing Water and Sanitation Policies in Lagos, Nigeria. Prepared for the 4th European Conference on African Studies, 15-18 June 2011.
Urban Farmscapes: For Communities, Markets and New Ecologies - Precedent Studies for Weinland Park. Edited by: Jones, Kay Bea. Knowlton School of Architecture/Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. 2011. With J. Boswell, K. Bennett, K. Jones, R. Kemper, R. Seyedsadry, and S. Bongiorno.
Revisioning Weinland Park: Volume 2 Design for the Local Food in the Public Realm. Vol. 2. Edited by: Jones, Kay Bea. OSU Knowlton School of Architecture and International Poverty Solutions Collaborative. 2011. With K. Bennett, J. Boswell, K. Jones, R. Kemper, R. Love, J. Orban, M. Sabini, and E. Van Til.
Mitigating unnatural disasters: Transformative change and rebirth after the Haiti earthquake. Race Talk, a Project of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. Jan 22. 2010.
Book Review: Alam, M. (Ed.) Municipal Infrastructure Financing: Innovative Practices from Developing Countries. Commonwealth Secretariat Local Government Reform Series Number 2. London, England: Commonwealth Secretariat. 142 pp. Public Works Management & Policy, 15(2), pp. 137-141. 2010.
Acey, C. 2007. Advocating for Africa’s Urban Poor: Access to Water in Nigerian Cities. The Nigerian Lawyer, September, Fall: pp. 4-5, 23.