Jennifer Minner

Jennifer Minner, Ph.D., is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. She directs the Just Places Lab, a platform for research and creative action centered on community memory, imagination, and the just care of places. Her research and teaching focus on equitable land use planning and climate action through the reuse and adaptation of buildings and landscapes. Minner serves on the Expert Advisory Committee to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.  She is one of the founders of the Circularity, Reuse, and Zero Waste Development (CR0WD) network and is the faculty mentor to the Cornell Undergrad Research to Action-Youth student organization. Minner's research investigates urban change, city planning, and preservation in a variety of contexts and media: from research on building a circular economy in New York state; to the spatial footprints and social legacies of World Expos; to the use of future land use scenarios and spatial analytics; to the reflections of the city in art.


Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Adaptive reuse
  • Circular economies
  • Cities
  • Community-based planning and development
  • Historic preservation planning
  • Land use/spatial planning
  • Participatory and collaborative planning
  • Planning history
  • Social justice and equity
  • Sustainability
  • Urbanism

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 5530 Land Use and Spatial Planning MethodsThis course provides an introduction to land use planning methods, especially those that are employed by local and regional governments. The course surveys analytical and participatory methods to shape urban form and the built environment in order to achieve more equitable and sustainable communities. Methods include the application scenario planning tools and methods, drafting and applying zoning regulations; creation of comprehensive plans, neighborhood, district and corridor plans; conducting inventories of natural and cultural resources, vacant and buildable lands, and community greenhouse gas; and conducting suitable and susceptibility to change analysis, among other methods. The course incorporates methods of community engagement, as well as methods of analysis. Methods are presented in the context of learning about topics to contemporary spatial planning.
  • CRP 8100 Seminar in Advanced Planning TheoryThis doctorial level seminar creates an academic space for in-depth inquiry into what work planning theories do and how they give shape and depth to advanced social sciences-based scholarship in planning and urban studies. The seminar focuses on critical exploration of intellectual traditions and debates in planning theory including the epistemological and ontological implications of an array of theories of knowledge, society, urban space, and rationality that serve as frameworks and undercurrents in urban studies and planning literature. The aim of this seminar is to help students gain an awareness of their own positionality relative to a wide spectrum of theories and to scaffold intellectual growth and increase the theoretical depth of their own scholarship.
  • Other classes include a wide range of special topics classes, including preservation, place, and community memory; social justice and equity; arts, media, technology, and the city.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Climate Neutral Cities Alliance. Jennifer Minner, Jocelyn Poe, Felix Heisel, Gretchen Worth. "Embodied Carbon and Embodied Justice: An initial framework". 2023–2024.
  • Atkinson Center for Sustainability, Cornell University. 2030 [Fast Grant. Building a NYS Circular Construction Economy: A Policy Action Plan]. Felix Heisel, Jennifer Minner, Lori Lenard, Denise Ramzy. November 2023–December 2024.
  • [U.S. Department of the Interior, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, grant]. Principal Investigators: Jennifer Minner and Farzin Lotfi-Jam. Preservation within a Full Spectrum of Reuse: Scenario Planning using Agent-based Modeling and 3D Visualization to Explore Options to Conserve Embodied Carbon and Preserve History. August 2023–August 2025.
  • Mui Ho Center for Cities. Scaling New York State Circular Construction: Leads: Felix Heisel and Jennifer Minner. [Policy Design Accelerator Phase I. 2023 Research grant.]
  • 2022 Best Poster Award. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. "Shiny Objects, Galaxies, and Bodies of Planning Theory: Diagrams of Positionality and the Field by Emerging Scholars." Yu Wang, Jennifer Minner, Courtney Bower, Natassia Bravo, Soojung Han, Laura Leddy, Yousuf Mahid, Antonio Moya-Latorre, Carlos Lopez Ortiz, Gina Yeonkyeong Park, Yating Ru, Andrea Urbina, Zoe Zhuojun Wang.

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Waste(d) Imagination Tour. (2023) A Walking Tour created by Just Places Lab and Historic Ithaca.
  • Deconstructing Demolition. (2022: May 11–September 3). Exhibition at the Tompkins Center for History and Culture. Cocurated by Circular Construction Lab (directed by Felix Heisel), Just Places Lab (directed by Jennifer Minner), Historic Ithaca, and Susan Christopherson Center for Circularity, Reuse, and Zero Waste Development network.
  • Freshkills: Photographs by Jade Doskow. (2022: October 10–November 4). Organized by Minner and the Just Places Lab. Hartell Gallery, Cornell University.
  • Minner, Jennifer. (2022). Toward Cities that Waste Nothing: the Community Unbuilding Efforts of the Circularity, Reuse and Zero Waste Development (CR0WD) network in New York State. Association for Preservation Technology International. Detroit, Michigan.
  • Minner, Jennifer, Rangarajan, Shriya, Wang, Yu, and Heisel, Felix. (2022). Patterns of Demolition and the Potential of Deconstruction: Understanding the determinants of demolition to inform salvage and deconstruction supportive policies in Ithaca, New York. Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Toronto, Canada.

Publications (Selected)

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