Lu Liao

Lu Liao is a visiting lecturer in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. Based on a U.S. national survey of 1,899 local governments, she studies local government decision-making and implementation of plans and policies, with a focus on sustainability and climate change. She tries to explore the role of planning in helping local governments implement and balance the economic, environmental, and equity dimensions of sustainability. Liao is also interested in the coordination and collaboration of different levels of governments in mitigating climate change.

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Participatory and collaborative planning
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Planning
  • Multilevel Governance
  • Climate Change

Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 5080 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Planners This course is designed to provide students with a conceptual understanding of geographic information systems (GIS) and sciences, practical hands on experience with GIS software, and understanding of how GIS can be applied to planning practice and research. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts, structures, and functions of GIS as well as their applications and limitations. By the end of this course students should be familiar with a range of available tools and methods to address planning related problems and issues, and be able to conceive of and manage a GIS project. This involves a) identifying a planning analysis/research problem that requires GIS data and spatial analysis to address/analyze the problem; and b) collecting, processing, and analyzing spatial data to interpret the findings.

Publications (Selected)

  • Liao, L., Warner, M. E., and Homsy, G. C. "When Do Plans Matter? Tracking Changes in Local Government Sustainability Actions from 2010 to 2015," Journal of the American Planning Association. 86(1), 60-74. (2020)
  • Liao, L., Warner, M. E., and Homsy, G. C. "Sustainability's Forgotten Third E: What Influences Local Government Actions on Social Equity?" Local Environment. 24(12), 1197-1208. (2019)
  • Homsy, G. C., Liao, L., & Warner, M. E. "Sustainability and Disaster Planning: What are the Connections?" Rural Sociology. 84(3), 516-540.  (2019)
  • Gradus, R., Homsy, G. C., Liao, L., and Warner, M. E. "Which US Municipalities Adopt Pay-As-You-Throw and Curbside Recycling?" Resources, Conservation & Recycling. 143, 173-183. (2019)
  • Liu, Z., Liao, L., and Mei, C., "Not-in-my-backyard but Let's Talk: Explaining Public Opposition to Facility Siting in Urban China." Land Use Policy.  77, 471-478. (2018)
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