Dr. Ariel Bierbaum joins NCSG

Urban studies and planning Assistant Professor Dr. Ariel H. Bierbaum was recently appointed as a Faculty Associate at the National Center for Smart Growth.

Dr. Bierbaum’s research examines the links between planning practice, urban politics, and public education. Her research builds understanding of how planning supports or hinders educational equity and racial justice for historically marginalized youth and families, and how public schools play a role in urban planning and governance. She is particularly interested in the ways that policy and planning for neighborhoods and schools – as distinct and intertwined endeavors – have created landscapes that codify race and class hierarchies endemic to the United States’ social, political, and economic structures. Using primarily use qualitative methods – ethnographic observation, interviews, and archival inquiry, Dr. Bierbaum’s recent projects look at the institutional contexts of planning practice, cross-sector collaboration, and policy formation, as well as on-the-ground issues, the experience of being planned, and the consequences of planning interventions. Recent projects have focused on neighborhood and school change, transportation and educational equity, and access to opportunity.

Read Dr. Bierbaum’s full bio on our website.

Recent work: 

“School-Centered Community Development and a Quest for Spatial Justice: Exploring Competing Theories of Action in Baltimore” (Sept. 15, 2022)

“School-centered community development: Lessons from Baltimore’s 21st century school buildings program” (Sept. 12, 2022)

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