Message from the Director

Welcome to the new Urban Studies Institute

The creation of the Urban Studies Institute marks an important moment in the development of Georgia State University as an urban university and in Atlanta’s transformation into a major, diverse, international urban region. It is a privilege to be leading the Institute in the coming years.

The building of the Institute has only just begun, and our new and evolving web site reflects its incipient structure. We are presently appointing two supporting staff of the Institute to manage its internal and external relations. We also started a search for three faculty (open rank), beginning August 2017. One postdoctoral position will be filled before the end of 2016, with another two to follow in 2017. Six Ph.D. slots will be filled for next academic year. Outstanding affiliate faculty from across the University, specialized in various associated fields of urban studies (e.g., economics, geography, public health, sociology, planning, law, etc.), will join the Institute as well, allowing for an exciting, ambitious, synergistic, environment. The new faculty will play a vital part in the future direction of the Institute, and plans include additional faculty hires in the near future.

The Institute’s goals are to conduct top-level urban research from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives; develop an innovative and specialized interdisciplinary curriculum; and engage with stakeholders in metropolitan Atlanta. It will seek close collaborative relations with other academic institutions in the Atlanta region. The research agenda will range from local to global scales, from urban theory to policy research, and will be particularly geared to comparative urban approaches. Thematically, it will emphasize questions of urban resilience and urban inclusive development. This includes questions of urbanization and development, urban sustainability, diversity, inequality, life-chances, social/spatial integration, access to public goods, urban health disparities, etc.

A Unique Opportunity in Atlanta

With a metro population of nearly six million, Atlanta is among the 10 biggest urban regions in the country. Its civil rights history is unique and it has in the more recent past transformed into a large, diverse, international metropolis. As such, the Atlanta region provides a compelling environment for urban research.

The creation of the Urban Studies Institute provides an exciting opportunity for a dedicated group of scholars, staff, and students to build a new academic program with national and international visibility, and with social relevance to the local community.  The Institute is housed in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, one of the leading public policy schools in the nation, with extensive research networks in Atlanta and cities around the world.

If you are interested in the Institute’s programs, please contact us at urban@gsu.edu.


Jan Nijman, Director, Urban Studies Institute, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies