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Research Faculty and Staff

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Ian Caine

Director, Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research

Associate Professor, Registered Architect
SMARchS, Architecture + Urbanism, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MArch, Washington University
BA, Pol Sci, Washington University

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Ian Caine is an associate professor of Architecture and Director of the UTSA Center for Urban and Regional Planning Research. A registered architect, he holds a SMArchS degree in Architecture and Urbanism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also earned a B.A. in Political Science and M.Arch from Washington University, where he received the AIA School Medal & Certificate of Merit.

Caine is a dedicated educator, having received the  2017 ACSA/AIAS New Faculty Teaching Award, 2017 UT Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award, 2016 UTSA President’s Distinguished Teaching Award and  2017 CACP Outstanding Teaching Award, as well as selection for the  Architecture 2030 Pilot Curriculum Project, which highlighted a curriculum developed with Dr. Rahman Azari as one of seven nationwide that “transform the culture of sustainable design education.” In 2018 Caine was visiting faculty in urban design at Washington University.

Caine’s research explores the form, processes, and impacts of metropolitan and megaregional expansion. The work appears in  Log, MONU, Scenario, Housing Studies, Sustainability, The Architect’s Newspaper, Arqa,and  Competitions and has received coverage in popular press outlets such as  The Discovery Channel, NYTimes.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Metropolis P/O/V, and  Texas Public Radio. Caine is also a Researcher at the Spatial History Project at Stanford University, where he is leading an effort to create an interactive timeline of suburban expansion for San Antonio.

Caine’s urban designs with colleague Derek Hoeferlin received an honorable mention in the  Dry Futures competition, were selected as a finalist in the  Build-a-Better-Burb competition, and were awarded one of six winning entries in the Rising Tides competition. At the architectural scale, Caine has received multiple AIA awards for built and unbuilt projects. His drawings and designs have been exhibited in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Toronto, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.


Greg Griffin

Assistant Professor

Dr. Greg P. Griffin is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, focusing on transportation, public participation, and health. He has over a decade of experience as a planner in Texas.

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Dr. Greg P. Griffin is an Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, focusing on transportation, public participation, and health. He has over a decade of experience as a planner in Texas. A Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellow, his doctoral program was in Community and Regional Planning at The University of Texas at Austin. He is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, continuously since 2005.

His research involves how planners and publics work together with technology through three related topics of crowdsourcing, urban sensing, and co-production. First, he evaluates the impact of crowdsourcing in urban planning, such as whether online public suggestions for bike share stations influenced their eventual placement. Second, he explores new approaches in urban sensing, including the role of street noise in traffic safety. Finally, his work contributes to co-productive planning theory, re-thinking public participation that emphasizes action. Dr. Griffin’s recent work is published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Transportation Research Record, and in popular outlets including the Chicago Tribune.

Dr. Griffin’s teaching fosters inclusive excellence for tomorrow’s planning leaders with diverse theoretical perspectives and emerging planning techniques. He orients classwork toward pragmatic sustainability and justice, and values learning new perspectives from students and graduate advisees.


Albert Han

Albert Han

Assistant Professor

Dr. Albert Han’s research and teaching backgrounds encompass the fields of land use, urban growth management, environmental planning, and data mining for planning practice and research.

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Dr. Albert Han’s research and teaching backgrounds encompass the fields of land use, urban growth management, environmental planning, and data mining for planning practice and research. His research interests include the following three areas: (1) evaluating regional growth management and local land use policies for urban sprawl mitigation and land preservation (2) analyzing the effectiveness of environmental policies (e.g., building energy disclosure policies, waste management policies) for air pollution and climate change mitigation, and (3) enhancing public participation in decision-making process with data mining and online platforms. Dr. Han’s research was published in high impact academic journals including Land Use Policy, Energy, Journal of Planning Education and Research, and Journal of Urban Affairs. He has taught Smart Growth in Urban Development, Analytic Methods in Planning, and a project-based capstone course at the University of Calgary, recitation class on Planning Theory at Penn, and an undergraduate-level GIS course at the University of Iowa.

Prior to joining the faculty of UTSA, Dr. Han was a postdoctoral research fellow and a lecturer at the University of Calgary in Canada. Dr. Han holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, and a B.S. in Life Science and Biotechnology from Korea University.


Ryan James

Ryan James, Ph.D.

Associate Professor; URP Program Coordinator Urban and Regional Planning

Dr. Ryan James is a broadly trained regional development scholar, holding graduate degrees in Geography and City and Regional Planning. The insights and approaches from both disciplines shape his research, teaching and service.

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Dr. Ryan James is a broadly trained regional development scholar, holding graduate degrees in Geography and City and Regional Planning. The insights and approaches from both disciplines shape his research, teaching and service. As a geographer, he is interested in understanding how regions grow and interact in the spatial economy, the identification of factors leading to spatial economic disequilibrium, and understanding how place and process influence regional economic development. As a planner, he engages the community, and brings those scholarly insights to locally focused research to help inform local development policy. His current scholarly research utilizes spatially explicit models and GIS to capture multiple theories of development, while accounting for local context and policy action, in a larger effort to understand the patterns and processes behind spatial inequality. His engaged work utilizes GIS and analytic methods to help inform the planning process with local governments. These research areas translate into the classroom where he instructs courses and advises students in areas including regional economic development planning, spatial econometric analysis, rural underdevelopment, planning applications of GIS, and service learning in planning education.