Urban Research at Georgia State University

Urban scholarship at Georgia State University reaches across its schools and colleges; it ranges from the humanities to environmental, social, and behavioral sciences, public health, law, and policy studies.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, scholars in the departments of Sociology, History, Geosciences, African American Studies, Anthropology, Psychology, and the Global Studies Institute examine a wide range of critical urban issues such as the social dimensions of housing, neighborhood change, social and racial inequalities, the science of the urban environment, public history, and urban political processes.  Faculty members in the College serve on editorial boards of international urban studies journals and have been supported by a range of funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Fulbright Program, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Urban research in Arts and Sciences involves in-depth studies of the Atlanta region and also international comparative work.

Urban health and the urban environment, in Atlanta and internationally, are two primary foci for the School of Public Health’s research, teaching and service programs.  The School has a center for excellence in health disparities research focusing on variation in health outcomes in disadvantaged neighborhoods; specific current projects focus on the efforts of African American churches to provide services for persons with HIV and geographic disparities in breast cancer screening among Medicaid-eligible women. The School’s Division of Environmental Health currently manages projects on urban air pollution, water sanitation and water quality, and microbiologic evaluation of raw produce. The School has developed a metric, the Urban Health Index, for assessing small area distributions of risks, determinants, and health conditions.

The Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth in the College of Law advances interdisciplinary dialogue and research on urban growth and management issues. Expertise in the College is concentrated on infrastructure finance and land use law, historic preservation law, and urban revitalization and resilient cities.  The Center’s flagship professional development opportunity is a week-long international workshop called Study Space, which brings together scholars, government representatives and private sector professionals to develop solutions to legal, social and policy challenges in the host city.

The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies approaches urban research, course work, and degree programs from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The School’s four departments (Criminal Justice & Criminology; Economics; Public Management & Policy; and Social Work) offer undergraduate and graduate courses, concentrations, and certificates that address critical urban issues including education, crime, disasters, poverty, transportation, housing, finance, aging, governance and community partnerships in the U.S. and around the globe.

The School houses several research centers in areas of importance to cities including public policy, health policy, intergovernmental finance, public management, and law enforcement. AYSPS is engaged in these efforts in urban areas around the globe, with faculty and students working and making a difference in urban areas from Atlanta to Johannesburg to Jakarta and beyond.