Shenhao Wang

Shenhao Wang

Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Assistant Professor
ARCH 434

Dr. Shenhao Wang is an AI assistant professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Before coming here, he was a research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Urban Mobility Lab and Human Dynamics Group in Media Lab. He focuses on developing interpretable and ethical deep-learning models to analyze individual decision-making. He synergizes discrete choice models and deep neural networks in travel demand modeling by opening up the “black box” deep learning with economic theory. Currently, he is designing socially-aware urban computing to incorporate unconventional data structures, seeking to generalize computational algorithms for urban studies. Wang completed his interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Computer and Urban Science at MIT in 2020. He received a bachelor’s in Economics from Peking University (2014) and a bachelor’s in architecture and law from Tsinghua University (2011), Master of Science in Transportation, and Master of City Planning from MIT (2017).

Lingqian (Ivy) Hu

Lingqian (Ivy) Hu

Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Chair, Department of Urban and Regional Planning; Associate Director, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning
(352) 294-3060

Lingqian (Ivy) Hu is a professor in Urban and Regional Planning who joined the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning on July 1, 2022. She serves as the chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning as well as the associate director of the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning.

Professor Hu’s work has focused on the interrelationship between transportation and land use, with an emphasis on equity. She has extensive knowledge of real-world planning and policy efforts to promote just and prosperous cities, reduce socio-spatial inequity and enhance environmental justice and public health. Hu has been published extensively in prestigious urban planning and transportation journals, and has led more than $1 million funded research projects supported by the National Science Foundation and other agencies. One example of the impacts of her research is FlexRide Milwaukee, which pilots a new micro-transit service to address a long-term transportation gap in the Milwaukee region.

Before joining UF, Hu was a professor and the chair of the Urban Planning Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received her Ph.D. (of Policy, Planning and Development) and master’s (in Planning) degrees from the University of Southern California and her bachelor’s degree (in Planning) from Nanjing University. She worked as a planner at the Southern California Association of Governments (Los Angeles) and the China Academy of Urban Planning and Design (Shenzhen, China). 

Azza Kamal

Azza Kamal

Sustainability and the Built Environment
Instructional Assistant Professor
ARCH 132

Connect with Dr. Kamal on LinkedIn

PhD in Architecture & Urban Planning, Cairo University
MS in Architecture, Texas A&M University
Graduate Certificate in GIS, Penn State
Graduate Certificate in Geodesign, Penn State
MS in Architecture, Cairo University
BS in Architecture, Cairo University

Environmental and Social Sustainability, Low Impact Development, Affordable Housing Policy, Infill Development, Anti-displacement strategies, equity planning, and homeless programs.

Dr. Kamal joined the DCP Urban & Regional Planning Department on July 1, 2021 and currently teaches in the Sustainability and the Built Environment (SBE) Program. She specializes in housing policy, eviction prevention strategies, equitable and resilient planning and homeless programs. She incorporates location analytics to study low impact development, resources disparities,and housing instability using the nexus of quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods. Prior to her current role, she was the Director of Research at SARAH [The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Continuum of Care Agency in Bexar County/San Antonio, Texas] and an adjunct professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Texas State University.

She is a practicing architect and urban planner. At Cairo-based Shehab Mazhar Architects, she led the design team of Phase-V of the master planned community “El Gouna”, which was awarded the 2014 UN Environment Program Global Human Settlements Award for global human settlement. In her local municipalities experience, she led the City of San Antonio’s 2019 ordinance that allocated $1M Emergency Assistance Program and developed a geospatial equity tool for the $10M budget of Home Repair Programs. As a consultant, she was funded by Edwards Aquifer Authority and San Antonio River Authority, where she and her students created a geospatial intervention toolkit to retrofit engineered water management sites into Low Impact Development community hubs in Bexar county, TX. She was also commissioned by the national nonprofit, NALCAB, to assess HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) in Phoenix, AR and Denver, CO; and led a regional study for the workforce housing demand in six counties impacted by Eagle Ford Shale oil/gas fracking in South Texas.

In April 2022, Dr. Kamal was named to the prestigious Fulbright Specialist Roster for a four-year tenure (2022-2026). She is the recipient of the 2016 University of Texas at San Antonio Faculty Award for Service to Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry. Her research is published in the Journal of Urban Planning and Development, International Journal of Architectural Research, Camino Real Journal, Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM) proceedings, and other international publications. She is currently working on two research; a geospatial application for image extraction to predict the impact of urban growth on climate change in historic neighborhoods, and a program evaluation for permanent supporting housing (PSH) in Bexar County, TX.


Cleary Larkin

Cleary Larkin

Historic Preservation
Acting Director, Historic Preservation // Assistant Scholar, Department of Urban and Regional Planning
(352) 294-1438
ARCH 148

Cleary Larkin is a licensed architect with specialized practice experience in historic preservation and community planning. She holds a professional degree in Architecture from the University of Arkansas, a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Urban Planning from the University of Florida.

She has worked as an architect and a preservation planner at Frazier Associates in Staunton, Virginia; Beyer Blinder Belle in New York City and for the City of Gainesville, Florida. Her practitioner experience includes adaptive re-use, restoration and rehabilitation; design and project management of architectural projects from programming through construction; research and writing for Historic Structure Reports, National Register nominations, rehabilitation tax credits, and design guidelines; design review in historic districts; new design within historic contexts; and use of fiscal incentives for redevelopment.

Dr. Larkin’s dissertation, Expanding the Historic Preservation Narrative: The intersections of planning, preservation and social context in the Vieux Carré Historic District designation, explored the collaboration between architects, preservation activists and planner Harland Bartholomew to create the New Orleans’ first Comprehensive Plan in 1929 and first legislation for the French Quarter historic district in 1925 and 1937, respectively.

Prior to her role as Acting Director of UF’s Historic Preservation program, Dr. Larkin was Program Coordinator for the newly formed Florida Resilient Cities (FRC) program at UF’s Florida Institute for Built Environment Resilience (FIBER). The first FRC project focused on sustainable recovery and growth of Port St. Joe, a historic mill town in the Florida panhandle, damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Dr. Larkin’s research interests include the intersections of architecture, preservation and planning, both in historical and contemporary practice; historic land-use decisions as a source of inequity in communities; and historic preservation as a social justice practice. She currently teaches Intro to History and Theory of Historic Preservation at the Graduate and Undergraduate levels, and two courses in the summer field course at Preservation Institute Nantucket (PIN): World Heritage Research and Stewardship, and Preservation Policy and Current Topics.

Erik Finlay

Erik Finlay

Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Assistant Scholar, GeoPlan Center
ARCH 131

Erik Finlay is an Assistant Scholar at the University of Florida GeoPlan Center. As an experienced geospatial professional, Erik supports research, teaching, and service at the Center. His research focuses on geospatial analysis, data management, and the development of decision-support tools for projects related to public health, transportation, and environmental and urban planning. 

Erik completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Master of Public Health degree at the University of Florida, as well as a Certificate in Spatial Analysis for Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. With his background in GIS and public health, Erik serves as a key team member on health-related geospatial projects at the Center. This work has led to several successful collaborations with UF faculty in the health sciences.

Erik is also an instructor and program advisor for the Online Graduate Certificate in GIS for Urban and Regional Planners at the University of Florida. As lead instructor for URP6278: Web Mapping and Visualization, Erik teaches concepts, techniques, and software for sharing and displaying geographic information on the web. He is also guest instructor for URP6275: Intermediate Planning Information Systems, and earned a “UF 2019 Exemplary Online Award” for his contribution to the course. 

Sam Palmer

Sam Palmer

Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Assistant Scholar, GeoPlan Center
ARCH 131

It is with great pleasure that we introduce Sam Palmer, an Assistant Scholar and full time faculty since 2017, at the University of Florida – GeoPlan Center. Sam joined the Center as a research assistant in 2000, then became a full time employee in 2003. He earned a BS in Environmental Science in 1999 then MA in Urban and Regional Planning in 2003, both degrees from the University of Florida. 

Sam is an experienced geospatial professional that supports research, teaching, and service at the Center. He assists the Center’s Principal Investigators in management of funded research projects using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He works closely with faculty, researchers, project sponsors, and external organizations to identify and assess geospatial problems, develop solutions, and present recommendations for resolution. 

Sam’s work at the Center spans a variety of topics, such as:

  • Geospatial data development, quality assurance/quality control of geospatial data, schema development, optimization of database performance, import and backup of data, and creation of database code to facilitate work flows within the database.
  • Administration and maintenance of enterprise geospatial databases to support funded research projects.
  • Collection, organization, and analysis of demographic data from the United States Census Bureau.
  • Assisting with administration of the ESRI Campus Site License for the University GIS community, including communication with campus GIS users (faculty, staff, and students).
  • Develop curriculum and teach courses for the Online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
  • Coordinate with public health researchers across campus to add demographic and geospatial expertise to their research projects.
  • Serve on the board for Florida Urban and Regional Information Systems (FLURISA) to coordinate and promote GIS activities around the State.

Emre Tepe

Emre Tepe

Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Assistant Professor
ARCH 444

Emre Tepe, Ph.D. has joined the University of Florida School of Landscape Architecture and Planning for the Fall 2019 semester as an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning. Dr. Tepe works on modeling spatio-temporal dynamics of land development. He also builds statistical software and applications for large-scale data processing. His primary academic interests include Spatial Econometrics, Urban Simulation, Spatial Statistics & Analysis, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Optimization, Urban Economics, and Software Development.

After graduated from Istanbul Technical University with a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning and a master’s degree in urban planning. He was awarded a Fulbright Doctoral Scholarship to study at the Ohio State University and he earned his PhD in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. He was also received Patricia Burgess Award for the Best Dissertation upon completion of his doctoral study.

Prior to beginning his position at the University of Florida, he worked as Assistant Professor at Gebze Technical University for almost 2 years, and as Adjunct Faculty in Kadir Has and Cankaya Universities for about a year in Turkey. He has taught courses on statistics, quantitative methods, urban economy, housing and planning practices. Currently, he teaches Quantitative Data Analysis for Planners, Urban Spatial Analysis, Urban Economy and Urban Planning Project courses in the Urban and Regional Planning graduate programs at UF.

Yan Wang

Yan Wang

Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida Institute for Built Environment Resilience (FIBER)
Assistant Professor
(352) 294-3376
ARCH 456

Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Virginia Tech
Master of Accounting, Asset Valuation, Beijing Jiaotong University
Bachelor of Management, Construction Engineering and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University

Areas of Focus:  Sustainability (Built Environment Resilience, Smart Buildings/Cities) building sustainability through resilient built environment research and better infrastructure planning for emerging technologies to reduce GHG emission.

Bio: Dr. Wang’s research concerns resilient, smart, and safe cities. She studies the resilience of humans and the built environment to natural hazards and public health crises. She also develops data-driven intelligent system to enable agility in disaster and emergency response, and to detect small-scale crises for urban safety. Her research also engages evidence-based planning for urban resilience and data-informed infrastructure planning for future cities. Dr. Wang’s expertise includes multimodal data analytics (including natural language processing and computer vision), complex network analysis, spatiotemporal analyses, and real-time geo-visualization. Her interdisciplinary projects have been funded by the National Science Foundation (Awards #2028012, #1951816, #1760645), Natural Hazards Center, DCP Research Initiative SEED Grant and Global Fellow Program Seed Grant.


Founding Faculty, Florida Institute for Built Environment Resilience (FIBER)

Founder, Urban Agility and Resilience Laboratory

Affiliate Faculty, UF Informatics Institute

Affiliate Faculty, UF Transportation Institute

Affiliate Faculty, Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World


University of Florida Excellence Awards for Assistant Professors (2022)

ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering Honorable Mention Award (2021)

University of Florida Research Promotion Initiative Award (2021)

Excellence in Research Award, College of Design, Construction and Planning (2021)

Great Teaching Certificate, UF Center for Teaching Excellence (2021)

Weather Ready Research Fellowships, Natural Hazard Center (NSF &NOAA) (2021)

Mitigation Matters Award, Natural Hazard Center, 2020

Global Research Fellow, by University of Florida, November 8, 2018

Virginia Tech IGEP BioBuild Fellowship, by Virginia Tech, Aug. 2015 – May 2018

Selected Grants

2022-2023 Faculty: GulfSouth Studio
Sponsor: The National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine

2021-2022 PI: SCC-PG: SmartCurb: Building Smart Urban Curb Environments
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (Award #2124858)
Program: Smart and Connected Communities – Planning Grants

2020-2021 PI: RAPID: Dynamic Interactions between Human and Information in Complex Online Environments Responding to SARS-COV-2.
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (Award #2028012)
Program: CMMI-Humans, Disasters and Built Environment

2020-2021 Co-PI: SCC-PG: Coordinated Safety Management Across Smart Communities
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (Award #1951816)
Program: Smart and Connected Communities – Planning Grants

2018-2019 PI (Sub award): RAPID: Discovering Crises within Crises – Real-Time Detection, Tracking and Visualization of Emergent Crises in Hurricanes.
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (Award #1760645)
Program: CISE-Information & Intelligent Systems

2021-2022 PI: Weather Ready Research Fellowship: Assessing the Impact of Geo-Targeted Warning Messages on Residents Evacuation Decisions Before a Hurricane
Sponsor: Natural Hazards Center (flow from NSF and NOAA)

2021-2021 Key Personnel: Upper Suwannee River Resilience Columbia County and The Town of White Springs
Sponsor: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

2021 PI: Assessing Disaster Impact in Real Time (ADIR): A Data-Driven System Integrating Human, Hazards, and the Built Environment
Sponsor: UF Office of the Provost-Research Promotion Initiative Award

2020-2021 PI: Examining Digital Vulnerability to Flooding Among Subsidized Housing Residents in Florida.
Sponsor: Natural Hazards Center-Mitigation Matters Research Program.

Daniel Downing

Daniel Downing

Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Assistant Scholar, GeoPlan Center
ARCH 131

M.A., Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2016
B.S., Liberal Studies, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, 2000

Areas of specialization: GIS Programming Data and GIS web service development

Reginald Pierre-Jean

Reginald Pierre-Jean

Department of Urban and Regional Planning
GeoPlan Center
ARCH 131

M.A., Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2011
B.A., Geography, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2008

Areas of specialization: GIS development Programming and customization Web development

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