University of Vermont

Austin Troy

Austin Troy

Adjunct Professor/ Associate Professor at UC Denver

Phone: 303-315-1006

Areas of Interest

Land use policy and planning, urban environmental planning, Geographic Information Systems, quantitative spatial analysis, land use change analysis, ecosystem service assessment and valuation, natural hazards planning and policy

Austin is currently working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Planning and Design at CU Denver, within the College of Architecture and Planning. The main program of his department is the Master's of Urban and Regional Planning degree, which has around 120 students. He currently teaches a course on environmental management for planners and landscape architects. The focus of the course is on wildfire management in the urban-wildland interface zone along Colorado's Front Range, and the class involves a number of field trips to post-wildfire recovery areas in the Front Range. He also teaches a course called "the built and natural environments," which is about the development of cities and their environmental impacts, as well as a spatial statistics class.

He is taking a lead role in developing a new research and teaching initiative in the department called Regional Sustainability, focusing on sustainable management of the environment in urban and regional systems. He is also on the committee that runs UC Denver's GIS lab, known as the FAST Lab, and is in charge of his department's GIS certificate program. He's in the process of building up a number of new research projects related to issues such as fire-safe zoning in the urban interface, assessment of the benefits of urban tree canopy in the Denver area, fuels treatment prioritization methods, and watershed management for municipal water supply in fire prone ecosystems.

One of his most recent areas of interest is studying the determinants of energy use in cities, which resulted in publication of his book, The Very Hungry City (Yale University Press), in early 2012. His other research projects have addressed topics such as urban growth model development for land use policy simulation, analysis of the environmental determinants of property values, analysis of the property market effects of hazard zone designation, characterization of forest fragmentation in exurban areas, analysis of the relationship between crime and vegetation in urban areas, and analysis of the socio-economic determinants of urban tree cover, among many others.

He is principal and co-founder of Spatial Informatics Group, LLC, an environmental consulting firm in operation since 1998. Dr. Troy is also a fellow of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics and co-principal investigator of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, one of the National Science Foundation's two urban Long-Term Ecological Research projects. He served for four years as a planning commissioner for the city of Burlington, VT. In addition to his book, he has published dozens of articles and book chapters and edited one book.


Ph.D. 2001 Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley. Dissertation Title: Natural Hazard Policy and the Land Market: An Assessment of the Effects of the California Natural Hazard Disclosure Law

Master of Forestry 1995 Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

B.A. 1992 Anthropology, Yale University

Selected Publications

A. Troy. The Very Hungry City. 2012. Yale University Press. 384 pp.

A. Troy and J.M. Grove. 2008. Property Values, parks, and crime: a hedonic analysis in Baltimore, MD. Landscape and Urban Planning 87:233-245.

W. Zhou, and A. Troy. 2008. An Object-oriented Approach for analyzing and characterizing urban landscape at the parcel level. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 29 (11):3119-3135.

A. Troy, J.M. Grove, J. O'Neil-Dunne, M. Cadenasso, and S. Pickett. 2007. Predicting opportunities for greening and patterns of vegetation on private urban lands. Environmental Management 40(3): 394-412.

A. Troy and R. Kennedy, editors. 2007. Living on the Edge: Economic, Institutional and Management Perspectives on Wildfire Hazard in the Urban Interface. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.

A. Troy and M. Wilson. 2006. Mapping ecosystem services values: Practical challenges and opportunities in bridging GIS and value transfer. Ecological Economics 60: 435-449.

Additional Links

The Very Hungry City website