Research that matters

At ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, our distinguished research faculty members are focused on the world’s most-pressing environmental and societal issues, including climate policy, water resource management, disaster relief, housing and community development, renewable energy and sustainable growth.

We offer research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and collaborate with other departments within the University and beyond to develop new approaches and ideas. Our school is also home to several labs and research centers, including the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science, Spatial Analysis Research Center and the Urban Climate Research Center.

Our areas of research

Computational Spatial Science

Unified by a common theme of computational spatial science, our research faculty provide expertise in the development, implementation and application of state-of-the-art methods of geospatial analysis to social, economic and environmental problems where the role of place, space and interaction is central. Learn more

Place, Identities and Culture

Geography faculty explore the interconnections among people, place and landscape through a range of research themes including urbanism, landscape, mobility, social justice, ethnicity and representation. Learn more

Earth Systems and Climate Science

Our strengths in climate science and in earth surface and vegetation dynamics lie within the rich research tradition of physical geography. Earth systems and climate science research is conducted on a variety of spatial and temporal scales, from investigations of modern urban climate systems to the long-term climatic variability driving landscape changes. Learn more

Sustainability Science and Studies

Our researchers explore human-environment relationships, landschaft, landscape morphology and natural hazards as they are reconfigured into contemporary themes of sustainability such as political ecology and land change science. Learn more

Community Development for Social Equity

Community development deals with issues of affordable housing, place-making and revitalization, neighborhood-based planning, rebuilding communities after disasters and more. Learn more

Spatial and Economic Analysis

Faculty involved in spatial and economic analysis study the spatial structure of settlements and its influence on the type and variation of socioeconomic activities. Learn more

Transportation Planning and Policy

Researchers are exploring the transition to sustainable transportation, emphasizing innovations in planning and policy to reduce the need for travel within cities; shifting travel to non-automobile modes such as walking, cycling and public transit; and low-carbon transportation fuels and propulsion technologies. Learn more

Urban Design and Sustainable Cities

Faculty working in the area of urban design and sustainable cities are involved in the task of balancing the three “E”s: environment, economy and equity. Learn more