Bruce Stiftel, FAICP

Bruce Stiftel, FAICP

Professor of City and Regional Planning

Chairperson, School of City and Regional Planning

bruce [dot] stiftel [at] gatech [dot] edu
Phone: (404) 894-2350Fax: (404) 894-1628Office location: 245 4th Street NW, Room 204-C

View Stiftel's C.V.


Bruce Stiftel's research concerns collaborative governance of environmental policy, water planning, and planning school advancement. His most recent books are Adaptive Governance and Water Conflict (co-edited with John T. Scholz; Resources for the Future Press), and Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning, volume 2 (co-edited with Vanessa Watson and Henri Ascelrad; Routledge). He regularly teaches courses in planning theory, environmental analysis, and citizen participation planning.  A graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stiftel is former president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, co-editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research, and founding chairperson of the Global Planning Education Association Network. He is a member of the Planning Accreditation Board, serves as Reviews Editor of Planning Theory and as a member of the editorial boards of International Planning Studies, Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal for Education in the Built Environment, and Town Planning Review


Educational Background
1986 - Ph.D. (City and Regional Planning), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1981 - M.R.P. (Environmental Planning), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1975 - B.S. (Biology and Environmental Studies), State University of New York at Stony Brook

Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners


  • Planning Theory
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • Citizen Participation
  • Natural Resources and Environmental Planning
  • Planning School Advancement

I work to improve the effectiveness of environmental planners at building consensus among policymakers, publics and agencies.  I have examined citizen participation program design in water quality planning and in hazardous waste site remediation; mediation of disputes in environmental enforcement and in mobile home landland-tenant relations; negotiation of large-scale development permitting; and heuristic uses of environmental impact assessment methods.  I have also done work investigating the institutional positioning of urban planning programs in universities, and global cooperation among planning educators.

Currently, I seek to understand the processes by which government agencies bargain with private sector actors.  Observing that governments are often ineffective at multi-lateral bargaining in such diverse situations as environmental permitting and enforcement, land acquisition, industrial location "tournaments," and negotiations with sports franchises, I want to understand and document these reasons and to chart directions to overcome the problems.

I am also active in research promoting the advancement of planning schools within academe, nationally in the US and internationally, seeking to understand how planning scholarship is transmitted internationally and the ways in which planning schools most effectively promote successful research and teaching among their staffs. 

  • Scholz, J. & Stiftel, B. (2012). Adaptive Governance and Water Conflict: New Institutions for Collaborative Planning. Resources for the Future Press, 2005. ISBN: 1-933-11518-1 (cloth); 1-933-11519-X (paper).
  • Stiftel, B., Watson, V., & Acselrad, H. (Eds.). (2007). Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning (Vol. 2). London and New York: Routledge, 2007. ISBN: 0-415-40285-9 (cloth); 0-203-96750-X  (e-book).   
  • Bruce Stiftel and Vanessa Watson, eds. Dialogues in Urban and Regional Planning 1. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.  ISBN: 0-415-34693-2 (cloth); 0-203-63998-7 (e-book).
  • Eric L. Hyman and Bruce Stiftel. Combining Facts and Values in Environmental Impact Assessment: Theories and Techniques, Social impact assessment series, no. 16. Boulder, CO and London: Westview Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8133-7162-7.
Selected Articles and Chapters
  • Jay Chatterjee Award for Distinguished Service to Planning Education, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 2008
  • Reviews Editor, Planning Theory
  • Editorial Board Member: International Planning Studies, Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal for Education in the Built Environment, Town Planning Review
  • Member, Planning Accreditation Board
  • Fellow, American Institute of Certified Planners (inducted 2004).
  • Founding Chairperson (2002-3), Global Planning Education Association Network
  • President (1999-2001), Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
  • Co-editor (1991-6) Journal of Planning Education and Research

Recent Courses

  • CP 6012 | Planning Theory:  Introduction to the various subfields of planning through reading, discussion, and guest lectures by practicing planners. Course also covers professional ethics and career planning and development.
  • COA 8520: Seminar in Planning Theory. Advanced seminar on planning theory, including philosophy of sciences, political philosophy, and ethical theory. The course explores the theoretical basis for planning as a social activity.

Dissertations Supervised 

  •  Severine Mayere, PhD (Florida State University) 2007. "The influence of local political coalitions on the effectiveness of urban containment policies: empirical evidence from six U.S. states," available online. Dr. Mayere is Lecturer, School of Urban Development, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Carissa Schively Slotterback, AICP. PhD (Florida State) 2004. "Risk Perception, Uncertainty, and Facility Siting: Lessons from Merchant Power in California," available online.  Dr. Schively is Assistant Professor, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
  • Neil G. Sipe. PhD (Florida State) 1996. "Mediating environmental enforcement disputes: an empirical analysis."  Dr. Sipe is Head of Discipline, Urban and Environmental Planning, Griffith School of Environment. Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.  
  • Omondi Odhiambo. PhD (Florida State) 1992. "Men and family planning in Kenya: alternative policy intervention strategies for reducing population growth." Dr. Odhiambo is a population and reproductive health consultant in Nairobi, Kenya.

Master’s Applied Research Papers Supervised (recent)

  • Nathan  Barnett, MCRP 2010; MS (Civil Engineering) 2010.  “One-way couplet facilities in medium-sized cities & their significance on the built environment.” Now Associate, Connetics Transportation Group, Atlanta.
  • Jody Norman. MCRP 2010. “Global patterns of nutrient runoff: green infrastructure as a policy option in Georgia.” Research Intern,  Studio Urbanista, Denver CO
  • Shelley Stevens.  MCRP 2010. “Biofuel sustainability: using the ‘three Es’ of sustainable development to determine the sustainability of biofuel production and consumption.”
  • Katherine Bailey. MSP 2008 (Florida State). Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon. 
  • Marybeth Groff. MSP 2008 (Florida State). Environmental Planner, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.Middleton, CT .

Current Master’s Advisees

  • Catherine York.  Thesis topic: Water planning.