Housing Policy, Design and Development


The specialty in housing policy, design, and development includes studies of U.S., State or Local Housing Policy, the demand for mixed use and specialized housing (i.e. live/work creative communities, integrated urban agriculture, and aging populations), the integration of housing with land use and transportation policy, the provision of fair and equitable housing, the finance and demand for energy efficient buildings, the role of the financial crises and financial booms on the housing market, and comparative housing policies abroad, such as Korea and China are subjects that have been explored and studied. Students and faculty in this specialization come from the fields of real estate, urban planning, architecture, economics, and sociology.

Living Legacy of Housing Landmarks and Planned Communities

A resident of Greenbelt Architecture Professor Isabelle Gournay researches the living legacy of planned residential developments and teaches a graduate seminar on "Affordable Housing: Form and Reform" (see student papers below). Her work emphasizes the crosscurrents in European and American housing, such as the work of Levitt near Paris. With Mary Corbin Sies , a UMD American Studies professor and Australian colleague Robert Freestone, she is editing an international anthology on the Heritage of Iconic Planned Communities, from New Lanark to Seaside.

Housing Strategies Group at the National Center for Smart Growth

A 2011 study by Planning Professor Casey Dawkins recently analyzed the spatial distribution of low-income housing tax credit properties for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. See the Publications sections for further information.


Other ongoing research initiatives can be found at the National Center for Smart Growth

Sustainability Assessments of HOPE VI Redevelopments

HOPE VI supports demolishing large, dilapidated public housing and replacing it with smaller-scale, more appealing properties. What makes this feasible also creates conditions that challenge and can undermine long-term sustainability. Real Estate Development Professor Margaret McFarland researched the assessment need to assist private owners and public agencies in sustaining this valuable resource.

Aging-in-Place: The New Canaan Project


In the next 20 years, nearly 80 million Baby Boomers will enter retirement. The overwhelming desire and challenge for this population to successfully Age-in-Place. Commissioned by an internationally- leading development firm, 12 graduate students from the University of Maryland’s Architecture program investigated what it means to successfully age-in-place and designed solutions that would make this desired way of life more possible. Working on a site in New Canaan Connecticut, the team of students, faculty and the firm Gensler developed innovative, award-winning housing prototypes that mixes adaptable products and spaces with the comforts of home and community.


Associate Professor
Affiliated Faculty - Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of American Studies
Associate Professor
Lecturer - Director, Real Estate Development Program
Professor Emeritus
Associate Professor
McFarland, Margaret, Martin D. Abravanel, and Diane K. Levy The Uncharted, Uncertain Future Of HOPE VI Redevelopments. The Urban Institute, 2009.