George Homsy

George Homsy

Assistant professor

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

Curriculum Vitae

I focus on sustainable communities and regions in my teaching and in my research. My definition of sustainability is broad encompassing issues of the environment, economy, and social equity – especially considering all of them together. I am both interested in the motivations of local government policymaking and the results of policy implementation as well as the role of elected officials, staff, and the public. In particular, I examine planning issues and the ways the people impact their built environment in response to change.

Before returning to Cornell University for my PhD, I spent five years as a planning consultant helping small- and medium-sized municipalities create environmentally and economically sustainable communities. One of my most recent projects was in Troy, New York where I managed a master planning and zoning revision to reweave 16 vacant acres into the fabric of the city's downtown.

I began my investigation of local governments and sustainability as a journalist with the public radio newsmagazine Living on Earth, which I co-founded and co-produced. Over the years, I have reported on a wide rang of issues, such as the challenges facing African-American residents in Louisiana's petrochemical corridor, the power of nature in downtown Philadelphia, the makeover of Rio de Janeiro slums before the first Earth Summit, and deforestation on Vancouver Island. Subsequently, as a freelance journalist, I wrote for Planning and Tomorrow magazines as well as National Public Radio, CBS Radio's Osgood Files, and The Boston Globe. I also served as executive producer for the public radio program The Cultivated Gardener with host Michael Weishan.

Courses Most Recently Taught

  • PAFF582 – Sustainable cities and regions, Fall 2013

Current Research Interests

  • Sustainable communities and regions
  • Local government service delivery
  • Land use and economic development planning
  • Community planning across generations
  • Citizen participation

Recent publications

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.

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

Last Updated: 7/24/14