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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 2016May 2017 Visiting Scholar, San Jose State University ‐ Department of Urban and Regional Planning
May 2008April 2014 Principal Planner and Research Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, California
August 2012January 2013 Adjunct Faculty Member, San Jose State University ‐ Department of Urban and Regional Planning
June 2007May 2008 Senior Planner, Arup
May 2003June 2007 Asset Manager & Planner, US Coast Guard
August 2001May 2003 Graduate Research Assistant, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
May 2002September 2002 Graduate Planner, Robert Doughty Consultancy

Curriculum Vitae


August 2006December 2011 PhD, PhD, University of California, Berkeley, California
August 2001May 2003 MUP, MUP, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
August 1997June 2001 BA, BA, Ball State University, Muncie, IN

Contact Information

William Riggs PhD, AICP, LEED AP
Assistant Professor
Department of City and Regional Planning
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California
Direct: 805.756.6317
Cell: 510.205.5944


Publications (22)

Working Papers (2)