Visiting professors in City & Regional Planning bring expertise in data science, global urbanism, restorative justice, and sustainable economic development
CED’s Department of City & Regional Planning will be abuzz in 2024 with four visiting professors teaching classes, mentoring students, and contributing to intellectual exchanges on the future of just and resilient cities worldwide.
“We are excited to welcome a diverse and interesting group of visiting faculty who are funded by special endowments,” said Dan Chatman, chair of the Department of City & Regional Planning. “Their contributions will enliven our department and provide opportunities that would not otherwise be possible to both our undergraduates in urban studies and our Master of City Planning students.”
Lifchez Professors of Practice in Social Justice
Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah and Nader Afzalan will serve as Lifchez Professors of Practice in Social Justice. The visiting professorship was endowed by Professor Emeritus Ray Lifchez (1932–2023; MCP 1972) to support community-engaged teaching and design education around disability and other civil rights. In addition to teaching, Lifchez Professors of Practice serve as mentors, connecting students to capstone project opportunities and advising students in the area of social justice.
Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah is associate professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University at Buffalo and is an affiliated faculty member of its Community for Global Health Equity. He holds a PhD in urban and public affairs from the University of Louisville. At Berkeley this spring, Boamah will teach the graduate course Topics in City and Metropolitan Planning: The Political Economy of Sustainable Development and Urbanism.
Boamah is an interdisciplinary scholar and practitioner focused on urban and regional planning, institutional economics, and sustainable global urbanism. He seeks to understand and reform planning processes and institutional structures that “weaponize” planning interventions against historically marginalized communities. His work also investigates the social determinants of health, especially those experienced disproportionally by low-income and historically marginalized communities of color.
Boamah has published extensively in leading planning and cross-disciplinary journals, including Planning Theory, Urban Studies, Planning Theory and Practice, and Land Use Policy, and advises the World Health Organization’s Urban Health Unit.
Nader Afzalan, who currently serves as senior advisor at the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, has more than 20 years’ experience as a policy maker, project manager, and community leader. His work brings together data analytics and innovative stakeholder engagement with urban and regional planning for resilience and climate change.
In 2020–2021, as manager of the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, Afzalan launched the first statewide data warehouse on homelessness in California. As a consultant on urban projects in the Middle East, China, and elsewhere, he has promoted resilience and economic development for marginalized communities. Afzalan holds an MS in urban and regional planning from the University of Tehran and a PhD in urban planning and design from the University of Colorado Denver.
This spring, Afzalan will teach the undergraduate seminar Data Science: Urban Transitions to Carbon Neutrality. His term as Lifchez Professor of Practice extends through the fall 2024 semester.
Theodore B. and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning
Marisa Turesky will join the department as the Theodore B. and Doris Shoong Lee Chair in Real Estate Law and Urban Planning for the coming spring and fall terms. Turesky is a community-engaged practitioner, researcher, and educator with a background in union organizing and restorative justice. Her work examines how identity — gender, race, and age — shapes housing and urban service needs.
Turesky received her master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University and her PhD in urban planning and development from the University of Southern California with the dissertation Locating Lesbian Lives: How Identity and Emotions Shape Aging-in-Place. She has published in leading journals, including the Journal of the American Planning Association and the Journal of Planning Literature.
In her teaching and research, Turesky employs knowledge and methods from the intersection of community planning, social movements, and gerontology. This spring, she’ll teach the undergraduate course Restorative Justice in Urban Planning and Policy: Towards Racial Healing and Justice in Planning.
The Lee Chair is supported by an endowment from Ted Lee (1932–2021) and Doris Shoong Lee (1919–2018), founders of the real estate investment firm Urban Land Company. Holders of the Lee Chair teach a joint course between real estate law and urban planning.
Robert S. Cornish Chair
Internationally known expert in regional planning and sustainable economic development Marc A. Weiss will serve as Robert S. Cornish Chair from January through December. Weiss, who received both his MCP and PhD from Berkeley, is chairman and CEO of Global Urban Development (GUD), an international policy organization and professional network of more than 700 leaders and experts in 60 countries, as well as a lead partner of the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign.
The Cornish Chair honors Robert S. Cornish, FAICP (1925–2013; BA Architecture 1951, MCP 1958), who, as principal planner for the Tahoe Regional Plan and the Association of Bay Area Governments, emphasized regions as a framework for managing growth and promoting sustainable futures.
Weiss has served as senior adviser on metropolitan economic strategy, sustainable innovation, and inclusive prosperity for countless regions throughout the world, from Australia to the Virgin Islands. He is the author of The Rise of the Community Builders: The American Real Estate Industry and Urban Land Planning and co-author of the textbook Real Estate Development Principles and Process, among many other papers and reports.
At Berkeley, Weiss will teach Regional Economic Development Studio: Strategic Planning and Organizing for a Sustainable Innovation Zone in Oakland in the spring 2024 semester.
We look forward to a rewarding year ahead as these visiting scholars and practitioners share their expertise and experiences with our students and faculty.