Austin Troy

Austin Troy PhD

Professor Director of Presidential Initiative on Urban & Placed-Based Research
  • Urban and Regional Planning Department


Primary Phone:303-315-1006

Austin Troy, PhD is Director of the CU Denver Presidential Initiative on Urban and Place-Based Research, as well as a Professor at CU Denver’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning. His research addresses issues at the intersection of urban planning and environmental sustainability, with a particular focus on the role of green infrastructure in cities. He has published over 50 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and is author of The Very Hungry City (Yale University Press, 2012), which looks at how cities consume energy and what makes some cities more efficient than other. 

He has received over $2.7 million in grant funding as Principal Investigator from more than a dozen different funding sources, and is currently a NASA grant recipient.  Before coming to Colorado, he worked for twelve years as a faculty member in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at University of Vermont, where he also directed UVM’s federally-funded Transportation Research Center. 

He is an editorial board member for the journals Landscape and Urban Planning and Remote Sensing and formerly served on the Governing Board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. He also served for four years as a planning commissioner for the city of Burlington VT.  In addition to his university work, he is Principal and Co-founder of Spatial Informatics Group, LLC, a consulting company based in California that works on complex environmental management challenges for dozens of clients.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale College, his Master of Forestry degree from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and his PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California Berkeley.

Areas of Expertise

Land use policy, environmental planning, green infrastructure planning, sustainable urban water use, urban forestry, urban ecosystem services, GIS, spatial analysis, remote sensing, environmental justice.

Education, Licensure & Certifications


  • PhD, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. Dissertation Title: Natural Hazard Policy and the Land Market: An Assessment of the Effects of the California Natural Hazard Disclosure Law.
  • Master of Forestry, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. 
  • BA, Anthropology, Yale University.





NASA. A. Troy, Principal Investigator. 2018-2021. $354,613. Earth Observation for US Ecosystem Accounting, National Science Foundation, A.Troy, Co-Principal Investigator (Carrie Makarewicz, Lead PI). 2021. $49,889. Undesigning the redline and reimagining mobility investments to equitably link jobs,affordable housing, and service, National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council. A. Troy, Principal Investigator. 2018-2020. $142,219.Deploying Sensors on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to Aid in Urban Forest Inventory, Species Identification and Health Monitoring, Babbitt Center/LincolnInstitute/ Water Research Foundation, A. Troy, Principal Investigator, 2018-2020. $52,000 (services contract). Modeling Irrigation from Urban Growth in aSemi-Arid Metropolitan Area, USDA Forest Service. A. Troy, Principal Investigator. 2016-2018. $30,000. Research and Development for an UrbanEcological Field Station in the Greater Denver Region, Design Workshop (as contractor to City of Denver), A. Troy, Lead, 2020-2021, $10,000. DenverUrban Forest Rules and Regulations Rewrite. Fee for services contract.Q22.Q22.  

College of Architecture and Planning

CU Denver

CU Denver Building

1250 14th Street


Denver, CO 80202


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