Suzanne Lanyi Charles

Suzanne Lanyi Charles's teaching and research examine physical, social, and economic changes in older inner-ring suburban neighborhoods. In particular, her research addresses infill redevelopment and mansionization, the financialization of housing, and single-family rental housing (SFR). Dr. Charles is a recipient of a 2021–2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar award to Belgium to collaborate with the Real Estate Financial Complex research group at KU Leuven on her comparative study of institutional real estate investment in housing and its effects on tenants, neighborhoods, and housing markets in the EU and the U.S. Dr. Charles's research has received grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell, and the President's Council of Cornell Women.

Dr. Charles worked as an architect at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris and as a vice president at Booth Hansen Architects in Chicago, and also as a real estate consultant at the Weitzman Group in New York City. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture. She received her doctorate in urban planning from Harvard University (2011).

Academic Research/Specialty Areas

  • Housing
  • Land use/spatial planning
  • Real estate development
  • Regional science
  • Suburban neighborhoods
  • Sustainability
  • Urbanism
  • Urban design
  • Spatial analytics

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 3850 Special Topics: Demographic Change and the Built EnvironmentThis course addresses pertinent issues relative to the subject of planning. Topics vary each semester.
  • CRP 5560 Creating the Built EnvironmentReal estate professionals and city and regional planners play a vital role in creating the built environment. Understanding the physical form of real estate, and the rules that govern that form, is critically important if one is to meaningfully engage in the practice of real estate development. In this course, we examine in detail the physical form of the built environment, and students gain an understanding of the principles and organizing strategies that underlie it. We examine the following building types in depth: residential, retail, hotel and mixed use. Students exit this course with a deeper understanding of why the built environment takes the shape it does and the opportunities for innovations.
  • CRP 6580 Residential and Commercial DevelopmentExplores the residential and commercial-development process from site acquisition through delivery of the finished product. Topics include market feasibility, land planning and acquisition, product selection and design, project financing and feasibility, schedule and budgetary controls, contracting and construction, marketing, and sales activities. Composition of the development project team is discussed. Classes are supplemented by visiting professionals. The course includes a semester-long project based on an actual property and market opportunity.
  • CRP 6594 Special Topics: Real Estate CompetitionsThis invitation-only case competition requires the analysis of a recent real estate transaction executed by a leading global real estate firm. The student contestants compete against the nineteen other teams from across the country before judges who are senior executives from leading real estate companies, advancing learning, networking, and recruiting.

Publications (Selected)

  • Charles, Suzanne L. "A Latent Profile Analysis of Suburban Single-Family Rental Housing (SFR) Neighborhoods." Housing Policy Debate (2020), 1–23.
  • Charles, Suzanne L. "The financialization of single-family rental housing: An examination of real estate investment trusts’ ownership of single-family houses in the Atlanta metropolitan area." Journal of Urban Affairs (2019), 1–21.
  • Charles, Suzanne L. "Assessing the Effect of Mansionization on Suburban Single-Family House Sales Prices." Journal of Planning Education and Research (2019), 1–13.
  • Charles, Suzanne L. "A quest for status or a desire to fit in? An examination of suburban 'monster homes' as a positional good." Journal of Urban Affairs (2018), 1–16.
  • Charles, Suzanne L. "A Typology of Mansionization in the Inner-Ring Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, 2000–2015." Housing Policy Debate 28, no. 6 (2018), 832–853.
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