About William W. Riggs
Dr. William (Billy) Riggs is Assistant Professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo focusing on quantitative community analysis, urban design and planning policies. His key research areas include Transportation, Housing, Economic Development, Sustainable Land Use, Environmental Planning, Emerging Technology and Governance. He is particularly interested in bicycle and pedestrian issues and the role of mobile technology in behavior and governance, and actively seeks to achieve social equity and policy change in his work.
Prior to his academic career, Dr. Riggs worked as an urban designer, environmental land use and transportation planner for the UC Berkeley, the international consulting firm Arup, and the US Coast Guard. He has planning experience in the US and abroad, including work in Europe, Latin America, India and Africa. This work involved strategic portfolio management of real estate assets, complex master planning projects, long range development plans, environmental space studies, facility design projects, economic impact assessments and sustainable community and LEED-ND development projects.
He holds a PhD from UC Berkeley’ s College of Environmental Design, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow and University of California, Transportation Center Fellow. He received his Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Louisville and his bachelor’s degree is from Ball State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and is LEED certified by the US Green Building Council (LEED AP).
Dr. Riggs has served on many for-profit and nonprofit boards and committees. He currently sits on the City of San Luis Obispo, Planning Commission. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, he loves basketball, appreciates good bourbon and enjoys poetry read with a strong southern accent like his grandmother.
|January 2013 ‐ Present||Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo ‐ City and Regional Planning|
|2002 ‐ Present||Principal & Director of Research, Sustinere ‐ Research|
|August 2016 ‐ May 2017||Visiting Scholar, San Jose State University ‐ Department of Urban and Regional Planning|
|May 2008 ‐ April 2014||Principal Planner and Research Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, California|
|August 2012 ‐ January 2013||Adjunct Faculty Member, San Jose State University ‐ Department of Urban and Regional Planning|
|June 2007 ‐ May 2008||Senior Planner, Arup|
|May 2003 ‐ June 2007||Asset Manager & Planner, US Coast Guard|
|August 2001 ‐ May 2003||Graduate Research Assistant, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky|
|May 2002 ‐ September 2002||Graduate Planner, Robert Doughty Consultancy|
|August 2006 ‐ December 2011||PhD, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, California|
|August 2001 ‐ May 2003||MUP, MUP, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky|
|August 1997 ‐ June 2001||BA, BA, Ball State University, Muncie, IN|
William Riggs PhD, AICP, LEED AP
Department of City and Regional Planning
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California
Rapid prototyping a school-based health program in the developing world Development Engineering (2017)
Basic sanitation and hygiene can prevent roughly a million deaths a year. This study examines the rapid prototyping of a pilot school-based handwashing, safe water, and sanitation program in Chennai, India. Our content analysis identified ...
Walkability and the benefits of place-based housing: an examination of Louisville’s HOPE VI neighborhoods Housing & Society (2017)
The Homeownership Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) program has marked a shift from larger development to more neighborhood sensitive projects based on small community development models. These developments are integrated with local neighborhoods and ...
Teaching Methods in Urban Planning Using Planetizen Courses Planetizen (2017)
This paper evaluates a pilot experiment at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to: 1) increase the learning tools available in a quantitative methods course classroom, transitioning to a high-tech, virtual environment and 2) redesign the ...
Painting the fence: Social norms as economic incentives to nonautomotive travel behavior Travel Behaviour and Society (2017)
Research exploring the behavioral economic dimensions that drive travel has shown that social and psychological forces often play a role equal to price and economic levers. Yet, more work is needed to evaluate how financial ...
Think globally, act locally: neighbourhood pollution and the future of the earth Local Environment (2017)
Each year governments and industry around the globe spend billions of dollars in search of treatments and cures for diseases that shorten lives, which often means gadgets, implants, radiation and pills. These “cures”, do not ...
Building More Parking at Major Employment Centers: Can Full-Cost Recovery Parking Charges Fund TDM Programs? Case Studies on Transport Policy (2016)
In dense urban areas, surface parking often poses an opportunity cost, and reuse of the land for urban development with parking relocated to a multi-story structure may be an attractive option. This paper analyzes the ...
The Connection Between Neighborhood Walkability and Life Longevity in a Midsized City Focus (2016)
Riggs and Gilderbloom discuss a study for Louisville, KY that confirms the relationship between walkability and health, offering lessons for similar urban areas. Investigating years of projected life lost as it relates to neighborhood walkability, ...
Cargo bikes as a growth area for bicycle vs. auto trips: Exploring the potential for mode substitution behavior Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour (2016)
Cargo bikes are increasing in availability in the United States. While a large body of research continues to investigate traditional bike transportation, cargo bikes offer the potential to capture trips for those that might otherwise ...
Mobile responsive websites and local planning departments in the US: Opportunities for the future Environment and Planning B (2016)
As use of mobile technology grows rapidly, planning agencies experiment and adopt new policies to accommodate this increase. While a significant body of literature has extolled the growth and opportunity this technological change presents, little ...
Moving From Planning to Action: Exploring Best Practice Policy in the Finance of Local Bicycling and Pedestrian Improvements Case Studies on Transport Policy (2016)
In the face of diminished federal and state transportation funding, cities continue to look for creative local funding mechanisms to pay for and implement their multi-modal goals. To understand the types of local funding being ...
How is mobile technology changing city planning? Developing a taxonomy for the future Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (2015)
The emergence of web technology creates tremendous opportunity to advance good government, through increased information, interaction with the public, and cost-effective, efficient means of conducting public transactions. Some have proposed that e-government tools have two ...
Testing personalized outreach as an effective TDM measure Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice (2015)
Urban college campuses often face challenges providing maximum transportation accessibility. Many believe strategies to ‘push’ and ‘pull’ individuals out of private automobiles will reduce emissions and mitigate the need for parking. This study focuses on ...
Two-Way Street Conversion: Evidence of Increased Livability in Louisville Journal of Planning Education and Research (2015)
While recent policies directed toward multimodal or complete streets have encouraged increased funding for bicycle- and pedestrian-oriented projects, many streets are still plagued by unsafe conditions. This is especially true for one-way streets, which studies ...
The impact of targeted outreach for parking mitigation on the UC Berkeley campus Case Studies in Transport Policy (2015)
Universities with urban campuses and constrained budgets such as the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) often find that repurposing parking facilities is more cost effective than obtaining new land for expansion. In spring ...
Does walkability matter? An examination of walkability’s impact on housing values, foreclosures and crime Cities (2015)
In this study, researchers examined 170 neighborhoods in a medium-sized city to see whether walkability influences neighborhood sustainability. Until 2008, there had not been a reliable measure of the social, health, and economic impact of ...
Inclusively walkable: exploring the equity of walkable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area Local Environment (2014)
This study evaluates the inclusiveness of walkable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Using a series of regression models that control for an array of factors, this study finds that blacks are more likely ...
Dealing with Parking Issues on an Urban Campus: The Case of UC Berkeley Case Studies on Transport Policy (2014)
Many transportation planning studies focus on mode-of-transportation as a static variable, not accounting for a range of user decisions such as miles traveled or (if driving) the duration of time between departure and arrival. Existing ...
How brownfield sites kill places and people: an examination of neighborhood housing values, foreclosures, and lifespan Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability (2014)
This study examines the effects of Environmental Protection Agency brownfield sites on housing values, foreclosures, and premature deaths in Louisville, Kentucky, between 2000 and 2008. While previous research has focused on the impacts of brownfield ...
Metrics to monitor the status of fishing communities: An Alaska state of the state retrospective 1980–2010 Ocean & Coastal Management (2013)
We outline a suite of 11 quantitative metrics which provide information on the economic and demographic status of fishing communities, presenting data from 324 Alaskan communities over 1980–2010. These metrics provide an initial data set ...
Steps toward validity in active living research: Research design that limits accusations of physical determinism Health & Place (2013)
“Active living research” has been accused of being overly “physically deterministic” and this article argues that urban planners must continue to evolve research and address biases in this area. The article first provides background on ...
Nourishing urbanism: a case for a new urban paradigm International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2010)
True sustainability demands that we seek to more than ‘prop up’ traditional approaches to our environment; rather, it requires that we redress current shortcomings in the planning and design of our urban environment at both ...
Working Papers (2)
Painting the Fence: Social Norms as Incentives To Non-Automotive Travel Behavior (2016)
Research exploring the behavioral dimensions that drive travel (Carrel, Ekambaram, Gaker, Sengupta, & Walker, 2012; Dugundji & Walker, 2005; Jariyasunant et al., 2015) has shown that social and psychological forces often play a role equal ...
Revisiting Location Efficiency: Strategies to Graduate Thinking on Mortgage Policy (2016)
In recent mortgage credit has become scarce, especially for low-to-middle income LMI individuals, including the working class and minorities. This has limited the ability for many of these individuals to purchase in sustainable, transportation accessible ...
Popular Press (36)
Designing for people in an era of self-driving cars Northern News: A Publication of the Northern Section of the California Chapter of APA (2017)
There has been much dialogue of late on the role self-driving, autonomous vehicles will play in shaping the future of our cities. At the heart of this dialogue, planning and design professionals are trying to ...