Elliott Sclar, Director

Elliott Sclar is the director of CSUD and Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He is a member of the senior faculty of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

A professional economist, Professor Sclar has written extensively about the strengths and limitations of markets as mechanisms for effective public policy implementation. Sclar’s book You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For: The Economics of Privatization (2000), a critique of overreliance on market mechanisms, has won two major academic prizes: the Louis Brownlow Award for the Best Book of 2000 from the National Academy of Public Administration and the 2001 Charles Levine Prize from the International Political Science Association for a major contribution to public policy literature. An earlier book, Access for All: Transportation and Urban Growth, co-authored with K.H. Schaeffer is considered seminal in transforming the discussion of urban transport from a discussion about mobility to one about access.

Sclar is an international expert on urban development. He was co-coordinator of the Taskforce on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, one of the ten taskforces set up by the UN Millennium Project to help guide the implementation of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. The Taskforce Report, A Home in the City (2005, Earthscan), of which he was one of the three lead authors, is now a standard reference on the challenge of transforming the informal urban settlements of the rapidly urbanizing world into healthy and vibrant homes. In November 2007 he received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the International Society for Urban Health in recognition of his taskforce work. Dr. Sclar was a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Research Network on Human Settlements (HS-NET), UN-HABITAT and of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Urban Management.

In recent years Sclar has been a leading figure in a scholarly movement to reconnect the work of population health experts and urban planners in creating healthier cities. One of the main challenges he sees is the need to begin to develop more precise measurements of built environment impacts on population health.

Sclar is presently drafting the chapter on the economics of sustainable urban transport for UN-Habitat’s 2013 Global Report on Human Settlements which is dedicated to the challenge of sustainable urban transport. He is one of the three co-authors of the forthcoming World Bank study Making Connections: Putting Social Policy at the Heart of Infrastructure Development.


Jacqueline Klopp, Associate Research Scholar

Jacqueline Klopp’s work focuses on the political processes around land and land-use, transportation, violence, displacement and planning in African cities. Klopp is the author of articles for Africa Today, African Studies Review, African Studies, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Comparative Politics, Forced Migration Review, Urban Forum, World Policy Review among others. Recently, she has been experimenting with creative urban mapping projects for both analysis and advocacy and is a founding member of the DigitalMatatus consortium which has produced the first open transit data and public transit map for Nairobi’s quasi-formal “matatu” transit system which won the award at the Media Architecture Biennale 2014. She helped start the blogs CairofromBelow and to provide more grounded and open urban information to citizens. Klopp is also a founder and Board member of the Internal Displacement Policy and Advocacy Center (IDPAC) based in Nakuru, Kenya. She is currently writing a book on the politics of planning in Nairobi.

Klopp received her B.A. from Harvard University where she studied Physics and her Ph.D. in Political Science is from McGill University. Prior to joining CSUD Jacqueline Klopp was an Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).


Anna Rubbo, Adjunct Senior Scholar

Anna Rubbo,  B.Arch (Melbourne), D. Arch (Michigan)  joined CSUD in 2012. Prior to this she was Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney.  A member of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers (2002-04) she went on to lead the Global Studio, an action research project to assist urban professionals to work effectively with the urban poor. Working with academic partners, local government and NGOs, since 2005 the program has attracted over 600 students, academics and professionals from 66 universities, over 30 countries and 10 disciplines to its conferences and programs in Istanbul (2005), Vancouver (2006), Johannesburg (2007-09), and Bhopal (2012).


Global Studio was included in the 2009 International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and the 2011 Cooper Hewitt exhibition ‘Design with the other 90%’ at the UN. With CSUD and Global Studio colleagues she developed the traveling exhibition ‘People Building Better Cities: Participation and Inclusive Urbanization’ (link to , available in six languages . Shown in 16 cities and 9 countries since February 2013, PBBC has encouraged dialogue and debate on inclusive urbanization in communities, universities, professional organizations and NGOs. In 2014 she partnered with UIA Durban on ‘ Addressing Poverty and Informality through Design Education and Practice, to which she invited township residents to dialogue with professionals. Global Studio is an associate partner in UN Habitat’s World Urban Campaign and participated at the 2014 World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia, on Equity in Urban Development.

A co-founder and editor (1996-2010) of the journal Architectural Theory Review, Rubbo has published widely on US architect Marion Mahony Griffin, on design education and development challenges, women and development in Colombia, and housing . She is co-author of Esclavitud y Libertad en el Valle del Rio Cauca (UniAndes 2011).

Recognition includes the 2014 UIA Vassilis Sgoutas Prize mention for humanitarian work in education, the Australian national Neville Quarry Education Award (2011), the 2009 Skandalaris Award for Entrepreneurship in Design at the University of Washington and the RAIA Marion Mahony Griffin award (2006). She was made a Life Fellow of the AIA in 2010.

Jeffrey Paller, Earth Institute Post Doctoral Fellow

Paller Photo

Jeffrey Paller’s research examines the practice of democracy and accountability in urban African slums. He has conducted fieldwork in Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Prior to joining the Earth Institute, he was a visiting lecturer of politics at Bates College where he taught courses on cities, slums and democracy; African politics and development; and democratization in the world. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the department of political science in 2014. His research interests include African politics, sustainable urban development, democratic theory, and field research methods. His scholarship has been published by Polity and African Studies Review. He served as a Research Associate at the Center for Democratic Development in Ghana, and has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, National Science Foundation, and the University of Wisconsin. Prior to graduate school, he received his B.A. from Northwestern University and served as a Program Coordinator for the Illinois Education Foundation.

Joyce Klein-Rosenthal, Adjunct Research Scientist


Joyce Klein-Rosenthal’s research evaluates the social equity and public health dimensions of urban planning and design for adapting to environmental change and reducing risk in urban settlements, and examines the shared strategies, goals, and histories of the disciplines of urban planning and public health in the creation of the healthy city. Her new research initiative, the Urban Brain Project, seeks to foster collaboration between planners, designers and public health practitioners and scholars to address solutions to the widespread lead poisoning in cities. Klein-Rosenthal received her PhD (2010) in Environmental Planning, MS in Urban Planning (2000) and MPH (2001) in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University.  She was visiting faculty of Urban Planning at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) in 2016, following five years as faculty at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  At Harvard University, Klein-Rosenthal created and co-directed a new masters’ degree track in Risk and Resilience in 2010, with Professor Christian Werthmann (Landscape Architecture, Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany) for the GSD’s Advanced Studies Program.  Prior to graduate study, she worked twenty years in environmental planning, research and management.  She is also a research scholar with the non-profit environmental organization BioCities in New York City, and member of the International Association of Urban Climate, the American Planning Association, the American Public Health Association and the American Geophysical Union.