Urban Sustainability Planning, Urban Politics, Metropolitan Governance, Urban Planning, Environmental Studies, Environmental Policy, Social Justice, Vacant Land, Green Infrastructure, Urban Agriculture


Christina Rosan has taught at Temple University since 2009. She is particularly interested in how we make cities more sustainable and just. She received her Bachelor’s in History (with Honors) from Williams College. After college, she taught English in Ecuador and worked at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, DC on a research project for USAID. She later attended the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) for her Master’s in City Planning with a focus on International Development. Her Master’s thesis examined the regional politics around the siting of a new airport outside of Mexico City. Rosan was offered an opportunity to continue her studies in a PhD at MIT where she worked on a research project on the politics of air pollution in Mexico City. Her interest in regional planning and sustainability led her to write her dissertation on metropolitan governance and land use planning in Boston, Denver, and Portland.

After graduation, Rosan was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at MIT where she worked on a book project on the history of planning ideas which produced a co-edited book, Planning Ideas that Matter (MIT 2012). The book is the winner of the International Planning History Society’s 2014 best edited book in planning. She was also a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at MIT coordinating the MITPortugal PhD in Sustainable Energy Systems. At Temple, Rosan’s research focuses on urban sustainability. She is particularly interested in the politics of becoming a green city. She was the Co-PI on an EPA STAR research grant, Performance and Effectiveness of Urban Green Infrastructure: Maximizing Benefits at the Subwatershed Scale through Measurement, Modeling, and Community-Based Implementation.

Rosan is the author of Governing the Fragmented Metropolis: Planning for Regional Sustainability (Penn Press 2016) and co-author with Dr. Hamil Pearsall of Growing a Sustainable City? The Question of Urban Agriculture (University of Toronto Press, 2017). Rosan is active in the Philadelphia sustainability community and is eager to use research to inform practice.

Selected Publications

  • Heckert, M. and Christina D. Rosan. “Creating GIS-Based Planning to Promote Equity Through Green Infrastructure.” Frontiers in the Built Environment. May 15, 2018.
  • Rosan, Christina D. and Hamil Pearsall. Growing a Sustainable City?: The Question of Urban Agriculture. Toronto, CA: University of Toronto Press. November 2017.
  • Rosan, Christina D. Governing the Fragmented Metropolis: Planning for Regional Sustainability. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. November 2016.
  • Heckert, M., and Rosan, C. D. (2016). Developing a green infrastructure equity index to promote equity planning. Urban For. Urban Green. 19, 263–270.
  • Sanyal, Bishwapriya, Lawrence Vale, and Christina Rosan, eds. 2012. Planning Ideas that Matter. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. July 2012. Winner 2014, Best Edited Book by International Planning History Society.
  • Sanyal, Bishwapriya, Lawrence Vale, and Christina Rosan. 2012. “Four Conversations in Planning“ in Planning Ideas that Matter edited by Sanyal, Bishwapriya, Lawrence Vale, and Christina Rosan. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Rosan, Richard, Christina Rosan, Lynn Ross, Sandra Robles, Adrienne Schmitz, Theodore Thoerig. Housing America’s Workforce: Case Studies and Lessons from the Experts. Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2012.
  • Rosan, Christina D. 2012. “Can PlaNYC make New York City “greener and greater” for everyone?: sustainability planning and the promise of environmental justice,” Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 17:9, 959-976,
  • Davis, Diane E. and Christina D. Rosan. 2004. “Social Movements in the Mexico City Airport Controversy: Globalization, Democracy, and the Power of Distance.” Mobilization: An International Journal of Research in Social Movements, Protest, and Contentious Politics, 9 (3), 279-293.

Courses Taught

  • Environmental Studies Senior Research Seminar
  • Urban Environment
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Public Policy for Urban Regions
  • Sustainable Environments

Media Mentions

Christina Rosan Featured in Grid Magazine
via Grid on June 08, 2022

Christina Rosan Featured in Grid Magazine

Christina Rosan, GUS Associate Professor and Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Communities, was featured in a Grid article on Disparities in...

Christina Rosan Publishes New Book: Reimagining Sustainable Cities
via University of California Press on February 10, 2022

Christina Rosan Publishes New Book: Reimagining Sustainable Cities

Geography and Urban Studies Associate Professor Christina Rosan, publishes her new book titled ...

Christina Rosan publishes Article in The Philadelphia Inquirer
via The Philadelphia Inquirer on November 19, 2021

Christina Rosan publishes Article in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Associate Professor Christina Rosan, Geography and Urban Studies,  published an article in The...