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Susanna Schaller, Ph.D., AICP

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Susanna Schaller, Ph.D., AICP

Assistant Professor

25 Broadway 7-46
Phone Number: 
212-925-6625 x 207

Susanna Schaller is an Assistant Professor in Urban Studies, Administration and Planning at the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education. She earned her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and is a certified urban planner.  Her research examines the intersection of ethnicity, race and class in urban planning discourses and the construction of “ideologies place.” Her research focuses on the micropolitics of urban governance, specifically business improvement districts and “BID urbanism” (Schaller, forthcoming). She examines processes of urban restructuring and place making through these PPP regimes. Her work focuses on questions of equity, investigating the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in urban restructuring pocesses. Her most recent work focuses on business improvement districts (BIDs) in Washington, DC.  Her book Business Improvement Districts and the Contradictions of Placemaking: BID Urbanism in Washington, D.C. is forthcoming (July 2019) with University of Goergia Press.

Her professional practice has focused on urban governance and economic development as well as small business development and microfinance.  She has served as Senior Planner to the Municipal Art Society in New York to evaluate rezoning plans for New York City neighborhoods, worked with a community development credit union in Upper Manhattan and developed a microenterprise program as well as co-developed a community visioning project for a Latino community development corporation in Washington, DC. 



Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

M.A. and M.C.R.P., Latin American Studies and Community and Regional Planning, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

B.A., English Literature, Barnard College, New York, NY

Courses Taught

Professor Schaller teaches courses in urban policy, public administration, urban governance, as well as the in the MA in the Studies of the Americas.

These include: Urban Sustainability and Neighborhood Transformations; Introduction to Urban Studies and Planning; Gated Cities, Gated Communities, Gated Minds; Gentrification Globalized; Non-profit Management; Urban Politics and Policy


Research Interests

Public private governance regimes, urban restructuring processes, urban design and placemaking, commerical district revitalization and redevelopment politics


Schaller, Susanna. 2018. "Public–private synergies: Reconceiving urban redevelopment in Tübingen, Germany." Journal of Urban Affairs Free download link:

Schaller, Susanna, and Sandra Guinand. 2017. Pop-up landscapes: a new trigger to push up land value? Urban Geography, 39(1), 54–74. Free download link:

Schaller, Susanna and Gabriella Modan. (2017). Business Improvement District. In T. Armborst, D. D’Oca, G. Theodore, & R. Gold (Eds.), The arsenal of exclusion & inclusion (pp. 74–80). New York ; Barcelona: Actar Publishers.

Schaller, Susanna, KC Wagner, and Mildred Warner. 2017. “Creating a City for Workers: Union Strategies on Child Care in NYC.” In Unions and the City: Negotiating Urban Change, edited by Ian McDonald, Chapter 7. Ithaca, NY: Cornell ILR Press. 

Schaller, Susanna. 2016. “Situating Entrepreneurial Place-making in DC: Business Improvement Districts and Urban (Re)development in Washington, DC.” In Capital Dilemma: Growth and Inequality Washington, DC, edited byDerek Hyra and Sabiyha Prince, 139-158. New York: Routledge Press. 

Schaller, Susanna and Johannes Novy. 2011. “New York City’s Waterfronts as Strategic Sites for Analyzing Neoliberalism and its Contestations.” In Fixity and Flow of Urban Waterfronts, ed. Gene Desfor, Jennefer Laidley, Dirk Schubert, and Quentin Stevens. New York: Routledge.

Schaller, Susanna. 2009. “Construyendo sobre lo urbano con distritos de mejoramiento comercial en Washington DC.”  In La ciudad contemporania en Los Estados Unidos: Perspectivas a traves de las sciencias sociales, ed. Lisa M. Hanley, published by FLACSO/OLACCHI Quito, Ecuador

Schaller, Susanna and Gabriela Modan. 2008. “Contesting Public Space and Citizenship: Implications for Neighborhood Business Improvement Districts.” In Business Improvement Districts: Research, Theories, and Controversies, ed. Göktug Morçöl, Lorlene Hoyt, Jack Meek, and Ulf Zimmermann. New York: CRC Press (Taylor and Francis).

Schaller, Susanna with Johannes Novy. 2005. “Gemeinwesenorientierte Stadtteilerneuerung in Washington, DC. (Community-based Neighborhood Revitalization in Washington, DC).” In Handbuch Sozialraum, ed. Fabian Kessel, Christian Reutlinger, Susanne Maurer and Oliver Frey.

Schaller, Susanna and Gabriela Modan. 2005. “Contesting Public Space and Citizenship: Implications for Neighborhood Business Improvement Districts.” Journal of Planning Education and Research. Vol. 24, No. 4, 394-407.

Beneria Lourdes and Susanna Schaller. 2003. “Labor Market Informalization and the Changing Landscape of Cities.” Monopolis: Globalisierung und Stadtforschung, Wien, Sinn-haft, 14/15.


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