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Donovan Finn

Assistant Professor

Faculty Director, EDP

Education:

Ph.D.2009

- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign



Masters 2004 - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Topics:

community-based planning, disaster recovery, resilience policy, urban design and placemaking

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  • Bio/Research

    Bio/Research

    Dr. Finn is currently conducting a national survey of urban planners about the use of climate science in planning, sponsored by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The online survey, using Qualtrics, should take about 12 minutes. Twenty randomly selected participants will receive $25 Visa gift cards. If you work in the field of urban planning, please check out the survey.



    Dr. Kevin Reed and Dr. Donovan Finn are seeking to co-advise a graduate student interested in the use of climate data (including climate model output) to inform public policy, urban planning and infrastructure development. This work combines an understanding of climate science along with an interest in application, in order to explore questions such as:



    • How can we better quantify and visualize the potential effects of a changing climate on human populations?
    • How are uncertainties about climate change dealt with by planners and policymakers?
    • How can scientific data and tools be designed to more effectively respond to the needs of end-users?


    Dr. Finn teaches courses in the Sustainability Studies Program’s Environmental Planning, Policy and Design major. Trained as an urban planner, Dr. Finn has worked as a community planner in East St. Louis, IL with the University of Illinois ESLARP center, and consulted with local governments in Illinois and Missouri on growth management and sustainable development policy while a research associate at the University of Illinois LEAM laboratory.



    His current research focuses primarily on sustainability and resiliency planning in the New York region and the role of public participation in effective planning outcomes. He also works regularly with non-profit organizations and local governments in New York City and Long Island on issues of sustainability, resilience, and public participation.



    Dr. Finn teaches a number of the core courses in the Environmental Planning, Policy and Design major/minor. His classes emphasize critical thinking, teamwork and effective communication. Most of his courses include an applied design or planning project in which students apply material learned in the course to a real-world place or issue. See this Newsday article about one of Dr. Finn’s class projects for an example.



    An advocate for undergraduate research, Dr. Finn works regularly with students interested in pursuing their own directed research and regularly includes undergraduate students in his own research projects.



    Prior to Stony Brook, Dr. Finn taught courses in urban planning, urban policy and sustainable design at Hunter College (City University of New York) and The New School in New York City.

  • Publications

    Publications

    Finn, D. and Brody, J. (Forthcoming, 2014) "Community Design at Middle Age: Idealism and Entrepreneurship Revisited." Journal of Architectural and Planning Research.

    Finn, D. (Forthcoming, 2014) "DIY Urbanism: "Opportunities and Challenges for Planners".

    Journal of Urbanism.

    Finn, D. (2014) "Give residents more say in land use and planning." Op-Ed in The Queens Chronicle. January 30, 2014.

    Finn, D. (2013) "New York Neighborhoods Fight Land Grabs: Public Parks Going to

    Professional Teams." Progressive Planning Magazine. 194: Winter, 4-9.

    Finn, D. and McCormick, L. (2011) "Urban Climate Change Plans: How Holistic?" Local Environment, 16:4, 397-416.

    Finn, D. (2011) "Growing Greener in the City: Open Space Advocacy for Environmental

    Justice in Jackson Heights" Progressive Planning Magazine. 187: Spring, 13-16.

    Kaza, N., Finn, D., and Hopkins, L.D. (2010) "Updating plans: a historiography of decisions

    over time" Journal of Information Technology in Construction, 15, 159-168.

    Finn, D. (2008). PlaNYC2030: Does Greener Really Mean Greater? Hunter College Center

    For Community Planning & Development, "Sustainability Watch" working paper.

    Finn, D., Hopkins, L.D. and Wempe, M. (2007) "The Information System of Plans Approach: Using and Making Plans For Landscape Protection" Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning, 81:1-2, 132-145.

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