Arthur C. Nelson

Presidential Professor

Biographical Sketch
Dr. Arthur C. (Christian “Chris”) Nelson, FAICP, is Presidential Professor of City & Metropolitan Planning in the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah where he is also Executive Director of the Metropolitan Research Center. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor of Finance in the David Eccles School of Business where he is Co-Director of the Master of Real Estate Development Program.

For the past thirty years, Dr. Nelson has conducted pioneering research in smart growth, public facility finance, economic development, and metropolitan development patterns. He has written more than 20 books and more than 300 other works, and has made nearly 300 scholarly and professional presentations.

Numerous organizations have sponsored Dr. Nelson’s research such as the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Fannie Mae, American Planning Association, National Association of Realtors, Urban Land Institute, and The Brookings Institution. He has generated more than $10 million in development, planning, and policy research.

Prior to academia, Dr. Nelson managed his own West Coast consultancy in planning and management, and continues to provide professional planning services. In 2000, his professional planning, education, and research accomplishments were recognized with election to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. In 2000-01, he served HUD as an expert on smart growth for the Clinton and Bush Administrations. In this capacity, he helped expand HUD’s university scholarship programs and create HUD’s doctoral fellowship program.

Dr. Nelson has served in various editorial capacities for the Journal of the American Planning Association, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Planning Education and Research, and the Journal of Planning Literature.

Dr. Nelson has earned scholarship honors at Virginia Tech, several teaching honors and recognitions at Georgia Tech, and researcher of the year honors at the University of New Orleans. His books have shaped the fields of infrastructure finance, smart growth, and land use planning. Dr. Nelson’s writings have won national awards and international distinction. His students have won numerous national awards including the national student project of the year award given by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Dr. Nelson’s current work focuses on how demographic and economic forces along with shifts in housing preferences will reshape America’s metropolitan areas for the rest of this century.

Metropolitan development policy and patterns
Smart growth/growth management/urban containment
Public facility planning and finance
Real estate development trends
Metropolitan governance
Urban redevelopment methods