Linda Shi

Linda Shi is an assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Her research concerns how to plan for urban climate adaptation in ways that improve environmental sustainability and social justice. She studies how aspects of urban land governance — including the fiscalization of land use, property rights regimes, and metropolitan regional institutions — shape climate vulnerability and adaptation responses. An urban environmental planner by training, Shi has worked for AECOM, the Institute for International Urban Development, and the Rocky Mountain Institute, and consulted for the World Bank and American Institute of Architects on projects and research in the U.S., Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Shi received a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning, a master's in urban planning from Harvard GSD, and a bachelor's and master's in environmental management from Yale University.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Infrastructure planning
  • International studies in planning
  • Land use/spatial planning
  • Participatory and collaborative planning
  • Sustainability
  • Urban and regional governance
  • Urban resilience and hazard mitigation
  • Environmental policy and planning

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 3850/5850 Urban Adaptation to Climate Change This course addresses pertinent issues relative to planning. Topics vary each semester.
  • CRP 3072/5072 Environmental and Land Use Planning Workshop Land Use and Environmental Planning workshop courses focus on the forces and actions that directly affect the physical character, transformation, rehabilitation, and preservation of natural landscapes, cities, and regions. Participants provide technical assistance to communities, and have the opportunity to work with communities in resolving critical planning issues. Topics may include development of land use and natural conservation plans, community redevelopment plans, design and analysis of public spaces, and strategies for making communities more environmentally and economically sustainable.
  • CRP 3201/6201 Qualitative Research and Design Methods The course explores theoretical and practical dimensions of research design and qualitative methods, particularly as they apply to research in urban settings. Students learn how different paradigms of knowledge construction have shaped urban research and practice. Students also learn elements of research design, qualitative data collection methods, qualitative data analysis and research ethics and evaluation.  The course asks students to apply these concepts by developing pieces of a research proposal throughout the course, culminating in a full proposal. It is therefore ideally suited to students preparing to undertake a thesis, capstone, and other research project. 
  • CRP 5130 Introduction to Planning Practice and History This graduate lecture course provides a foundation on the theory and history of how cities are planned, developed, and governed. The first half explores why cities exist and how their economic, political, and imperial functions have shaped planning interventions, spatial and social inequality, and environmental outcomes. The second examines the major levers that governments can use to shape the urban condition, including land policy, social policy, infrastructure and natural resource policy, and planning processes. The course connects U.S. experiences with relational and comparative perspectives from around the world. Assignments emphasize training in reading, writing, and communication skills. 
  • CRP 3900/7850 Colloquium / CRP 8300 Research Seminar This colloquium brings domestic and international experts to Cornell to talk about research and practice aimed at shaping the future of communities and regions. It includes an array of topics that span urban policy, planning practice and research, design, and applied research on technology and society. Course can be repeated for credit.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • APA National Student Project Award, faculty advisor (2020)
  • Cornell Center for Social Sciences Faculty Fellows Program (2020–2021)
  • Cornell Einaudi Center Global Public Voices Fellowship (2020–2021)
  • Atkinson Center for Sustainable Futures and The Nature Conservancy Applied Research Grant (2019–2021)
  • Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences Small Grant (2018–2021)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • "A New National Architecture of Land for a Just Climate Transition?" (panelist). University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Planning for Climate Justice Lecture Series, March 4, 2021.
  • "What Land Policies for Equitable Managed Retreat?" (panelist). A Gathering Wave: Emerging Legal and Policy Implications of Climate Migration, a Temple Law Review Symposium, Feb. 26, 2021.
  • "Beyond Green Infrastructure for Flood Risk Reduction." Public lecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Sept. 10, 2020.

Publications (Selected)

  • Shi, Linda, & Moser, S.C. "Transformative Climate Adaptation in the United States: Trends and Prospects." Science, First Release (2021) 
  • Shi, Linda. "Beyond Flood Risk Reduction: How Can Green Infrastructure Advance Both Social Justice and Regional Impact?" Socio-Ecological Practice Research 2, no. 4 311–20 (2020)
  • Shi, Linda. "From Progressive Cities to Resilient Cities: Lessons from History for New Debates in Equitable Adaptation to Climate Change." Urban Affairs Review online first 1–38 (2020)
  • Shi, Linda, and Andrew M. Varuzzo. "Surging Seas, Rising Fiscal Stress: Exploring Municipal Fiscal Vulnerability to Climate Change." Cities 100 102658 (2020)
  • Shi, Linda. "Promise and Paradox of Metropolitan Regional Climate Adaptation." Environmental Science & Policy 92  262–74 (2019)
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