faculty advisor

Laxmi Ramasubramanian, PhD, AICP

Deputy Director | CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities

Associate Professor | Department of Urban Affairs and Planning | Hunter College, City University of New York

Doctoral Faculty | Earth and Environmental Sciences & Environmental Psychology | The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Laxmi Ramasubramanian (B. Arch., University of Madras, India, M. Arch., Anna University, India; MCP, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), an architect and urban planner by training is an Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design at Hunter College, CUNY and a member of the doctoral faculties in Earth and Environmental Sciences and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.  She directs the newly created Urban Sustainability Extension Service (USES) and has recently been appointed Deputy Director of the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities.  

 Laxmi has an active research program in the area of participatory planning using digital technologies, focusing on engaging a variety of community stakeholders in solving complex problems.  She has recently completed work on a federally funded project about visualizing travel behavior and mobility barriers of low income people.  Her experiences during her field work have prompted her to consider the ethical implications of using volunteered geographic information and theoretical considerations of citizenship and civic engagement.

 Laxmi has published a book, Geographic Information Science and Public Participation, 2010, Springer-Verlag, and has over 20 peer reviewed articles and book chapters in addition to over 20 conference proceedings papers and technical reports.  She has received over $ 2 Million in research funding from federal, city/state agencies and private foundations.

 Laxmi is very active in several professional communities of practice. She is a registered architect in her home country, India, a certified urban planner (AICP) in the United States, a member of the Visualization in Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies (ABJ95), and a member of the editorial board of Transactions in GIS (TGIS) and the Journal of Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA Journal).  Laxmi is also the Immediate Past President of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS), an alliance of over 65 universities, government and industry affiliates focused on advancing research and education in Geographic Information Science.

Laxmi teaches in both graduate programs.  She enjoys teaching the capstone Studio course because it allows for project-based learning in real world settings.  There are also many opportunities for her to advise and mentor students individually because of the nature of the year-long studio curriculum.  Most recently, she served as faculty advisor for Connecting the Points, a studio project in 2014-2015.  This project grappled with the challenges of balancing the needs and interests of the Hunts Point neighborhood, which is the site of the largest food distribution center in the country (serving the region as a whole) but also home to nearly 12,000 people with limited incomes.  In each case, students conducted original field research (designed and administered surveys and interviews, conducted GIS analysis, using participatory planning methods to engage stakeholders in providing input as they shaped their plans and proposals).