Rae Zimmerman

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Professor of Planning and Public Administration

Rae Zimmerman is Professor of Planning and Public Administration at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and since 1998, Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS), a center, initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative and interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach on infrastructure services. In 2011-2013 she directed Wagner’s Urban Planning Program for the fifth time.

Her teaching and research areas encompass environmental quality, environmental health risk management, and urban infrastructure in the context of the quality of life in cities. Some specific research focuses include social and environmental performance measures for the resiliency of urban infrastructure services in extreme events of both natural and human origins. Her work on these and other topics covers security and global climate change; the ability of institutions to cope with these stresses; public attitudes toward environmental protection; social and economic characteristics of communities facing environmental stresses; social justice; and risk communication in the context of unanticipated events. Courses she has developed and teaches encompass her research, for example, how cities adapt to innovations in energy, transportation and water; environmental impact assessment; environmental planning; and emergency planning. As a principal investigator Professor Zimmerman has directed over three dozen research projects and she has been co-Principal Investigator or senior researcher for over a dozen others with federal funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (through three universities-NYU, the University of Southern California, and Dartmouth College), and various state and local agencies. Professor Zimmerman works closely with NYU-Poly on research and educational programs connected with cyber threats to physical infrastructures.

She is the author of Transport, the Environment and Security (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012), authored Governmental Management of Chemical Risk (Lewis/CRC), co-produced Beyond September 11th (University of Colorado at Boulder), and co-edited Digital Infrastructures (Routledge) and Sustaining Urban Networks (Routledge). Additionally, her publications have appeared in numerous edited books as well as in planning, environmental and public administration journals including, for example, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Climatic Change, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Disaster Management, Energy Policy, the Fordham Urban Law Journal, the International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, Journal of Applied Security Research, the Journal of Extreme Events, the Journal of Risk Research, the Journal of Urban Health, the Journal of Urban Technology,  the Policy Studies Journal, Public Administration Review, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Risk Analysis, Socioeconomic Planning Sciences, and Water Resources Research . She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and past president and Fellow of the international Society for Risk Analysis. Current advisory committee appointments include member of the committee on Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities of the National Research Council, National Academies; the Infrastructure Indicators Technical Team of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, National Climate Assessment; and the Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection, ABE40 (ABR10) of the Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, National Academies. Selected former appointments include the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board Homeland Security Advisory Committee, the 2010 New York City Panel on Climate Change; the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on the Review and Evaluation of the Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program; the U.S. EPA Board of Scientific Counselors (charter member from 1996 - 2003); the U.S. EPA National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC) Working Group on Drinking Water Research; the NAS Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment; working groups for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s sustainability commission; and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Comparative Risk Committee. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Risk Analysis; the Journal of Risk Research; the Journal of Urban Technology; and the International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, and is a reviewer for over a dozen other journals. Education: B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California (Berkeley), a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in planning from Columbia University.

CURRENT AND SELECTED RECENT GRANTS:

2015-2016 Principal Investigator, “Public Transit and Mandatory Evacuations Prior to Extreme Weather Events in New York City,” funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation Region 2 Urban Transportation Research Center.

2014-2016 Co-Principal Investigator, “Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Processes and Systems (RIPS) Type I: A Meta-Network Systems Framework for Resilient Analysis and Design of Modern Interdependent Critical Infrastructures,” funded by the National Science Foundation.

2014-2015 Principal Investigator, “Suburban Poverty, Public Transit, Economic Opportunities, and Social Mobility,” funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Region II Urban Transportation Research Center.

2013-2015 Principal Investigator (NYU-Wagner) and researcher, New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies (NYS RISE), funded by New York State (NYU-Poly and Stony Brook University, leads). 

2013-2014 Principal Investigator, “RAPID/Collaborative Research: Collection of Perishable Hurricane Sandy Data on Weather-Related Damage to Urban Power and Transit Infrastructure,” funded by the National Science Foundation, in collaboration with the U. of Washington (lead) and Louisiana State University.

2012-2014 Principal Investigator, “Promoting Transportation Flexibility in Extreme Events through Multi-Modal Connectivity,” funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Region II University Transportation Research Center.


Rae Zimmerman

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Rae Zimmerman

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Rae Zimmerman

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  • Contact Details


    (212) 998-7432
    295 Lafayette Street, Room 3094
    Office Hours: Fall 2015: Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, and appointment (please email) **Please check this website for office hour changes due to unavoidable meetings and travel.


Rae Zimmerman

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