Deborah Howe was appointed professor and chair of the Department of Community and Regional Planning in 2006. She was previously a Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in planning and community development.
Prior to joining the PSU faculty in 1985, she was a planner, grants coordinator, and community development director in Dutchess County, New York where she administered over $6 million of Community Development funding.
Her research and professional interests include affordable housing alternatives, community planning for aging, planning with Native American communities, commercial land use patterns, and the Oregon land use system. As a professional planner she was responsible for housing planning and policy at the county level and facilitated the development of low-income housing development and rehabilitation. She has worked with community development corporations in Oregon and New York in developing affordable housing and served on Portland’s Housing Advisory Committee. She has a particular interest in and published papers about the role of accessory apartments in providing housing choices.
In the late 1980s Dr. Howe directed an Administration on Aging grant which involved developing and testing training materials directed to community planners and local policy makers to raise awareness about the importance of planning for an aging society and creating aging sensitive communities. She has been publishing and giving presentations on this topic ever since including the recent completion of two book chapters.
Her interest in Native American communities led to her serving on the business program advisory board for Haskell Indian Nation University in Lawrence, Kansas. She has conducted many workshops on land use planning in Indian Country for tribal officials throughout the US. She has also taught courses on Native American Planning Issues and Tribal Values and Community Development.
Her interests in the Oregon planning system led to co-editing Planning the Oregon Way: A Twenty Year Evaluation (Oregon State University Press, 1994) and papers published in Housing Policy Debate, the Journal of the American Planning Association, and The Portland Edge (C. Ozawa, ed., Island Press, 2004). While in Portland she served as the lead faculty in developing an educational program for Chinese officials on sustainable land use practices.
She is currently conducting research on land use and transportation policy innovations that support the creation of built environments that encourage active, healthy lifestyles through walking, bicycling and other physical activity. This research is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Active Living Research program and the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium.
Dr. Howe has played a leadership role and organized national conferences for the American Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), the primary professional organization for planning educators. She co-founded the Faculty Women's Interest Group and chaired the Global Perspectives Committee for ACSP. She also served as a regional representative on the ACSP Executive Board. She has also chaired and participated on numerous site visit teams for the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), which accredits planning degree programs in the United States and Canada. She has served since 1998 on the Board of Trustees of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.
She has been active with the American Planning Association (APA), serving as President of the Oregon chapter in the mid 1990s. In 2005, she was recognized by the Oregon Chapter of APA for exemplary service in her six year term as the lead co-editor of the Journal of the American Planning Association the premier journal in the field of planning. In 2000, Dr. Howe was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) in recognition of her contributions to planning education.
Dr. Howe holds a BS in Resources Management from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, where she was salutatorian and graduated summa cum laude; an MS in Natural Resources from the Environmental Advocacy Program at the University of Michigan; and a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan.
CRP 1017 Introduction to Community and Regional Planning