George Homsy

George Homsy

Assistant professor

Office Location: University Downtown Center, Room 343
Tel: 607-777-9184

Curriculum Vitae

George's research centers on sustainability and local government policymaking. He explores the drivers of sustainability policy change and the results of implementation. His interest lies in small- to medium-size cities and towns. He is the co-principal investigator (with Dr. Mildred Warner of Cornell University) on a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture examining the ways that rural communities implement and balance the environmental, economic, and equity dimensions of sustainability. With Dr. Siobhan Hart (Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University), George is exploring the nexus of heritage and sustainability, especially at the neighborhood level. George frequently links his academic research to practice through collaborations with the International City/County Management Association and the American Planning Association.

Before returning to Cornell University for his PhD, George was a planning consultant helping small- and medium-sized municipalities create environmentally and economically sustainable communities. He began his investigation of local governments and sustainability as a journalist with the public radio newsmagazine Living on Earth, which he co-founded and co-produced. Subsequently, as a freelance journalist, he wrote for Planning and Tomorrow magazines as well as National Public Radio, CBS Radio's Osgood Files, and The Boston Globe.

Research interests

• Sustainable communities and regions
• Heritage and neighborhood sustainability [project website]
• Land use and economic development planning
• Community planning across generations
• Citizen participation in local government policymaking


• PAFF 510 – Research Design and Methods
• PAFF 569 / ENVI 481B – Sustainable Communities: Theory and Practice
• PAFF 582 / ENVI 481A – Planning Sustainable Cities and Regions

Peer-reviewed publications

(Contact Dr. Homsy for copies of articles and book chapters.)

Homsy, G.C. (2015) Powering Sustainability: Municipal Utilities and Local Government Policymaking. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. Online first.  [abstract]

Warner, M.E. & Homsy, G.C. (forthcoming 2016) Multigenerational Planning: Integrating the Needs of Children and Elders in International Perspectives on Age Friendly Cities, Frank Caro and Kelly Fitzgerald (eds). New York: Routledge.

Homsy, G.C. & Warner, M. E. (2015). Cities and Sustainability: Polycentric Action and Multilevel Governance. Urban Affairs Review, 51 (1) 46-73. [abstract]

Homsy, G.C. & Warner, M.E. (2013) Climate Change and the Co-Production of Knowledge and Policy in Rural US Communities. Sociologia Ruralis, 54 (3) 291-310. [abstract]

Homsy, G.C. (2005). The Land Use Planning Impacts of Moving "Partial Takings" from Political Theory to Legal Reality, The Urban Lawyer, 37 (2) 269-298. [abstract]

Professional publications (selected)

Homsy, G.C., Abrams G., & Monastra, V. (2015). Incentive Zoning: Understanding a Market-based Planning Tool. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Shared Services Project.[issue brief]

Homsy, G.C & Warner, M.E. (2014). Intermunicipal Cooperation: The Growing Reform in Municipal Year Book 2014. Washington, DC: ICMA Press.

Homsy, G., Qian, B., Wang, Y., & Warner, M. (2013). Shared Services in New York State: A Reform that Works. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Shared Services Project. [issue brief]

Homsy, G.C. & Warner, M.E. (2013) Defying the Odds: Sustainability in Small and Rural Places. Briefing paper. Washington, DC: International City County Management Association. [issue brief]

Homsy, G.C., & Warner, M.E. (2012). Off the Beaten Path: Sustainability Activities in Small Towns and Rural Municipalities in Municipal Year Book 2012 (pp. 29–37). Washington, DC: ICMA Press.

Ghazaleh, R.A., Greenhouse, E., Homsy, G.C. & Warner, M. (2011) Using Smart Growth and Universal Design to Link the Needs of Children and the Aging Population Briefing Paper. Chicago: American Planning Association. [issue brief]

Warner, M.E., Homsy. G.C., & Greenhouse, E. (2010) Multi-generational community planning: linking the needs of children and elders. Issue Brief. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.  [issue brief]

Class projects

My students at Binghamton University have completed the following projects for communities and organizations in the region.

Public Transit Ridership Survey for the Binghamton Metropolitan Transit Study and Broome County Transit (2014) [report]

Town of Triangle, New York Comprehensive Plan Survey and Report [report]

Last Updated: 9/15/15