Janet Smith

Professor of Urban Planning and Policy, Co-Director of the Nathalie P. Voorhees for Neighborhood and Community Improvement


Janet Smith

Janet Smith

For more than two decades, Janet Smith’s teaching, research and community service have focused on equity issues in housing planning and policy.

Her work involves issues that range from the transformation of public housing projects throughout the U.S. and the expansion of housing options for people with disabilities to the relationship between housing and health, and community-driven strategies to keep housing costs affordable.

She has led several large-scale housing research projects in Chicago including a regional homeless needs assessment and a rental market study funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Her co-authored books include “Where are Poor People to Live? Transforming Public Housing Communities” and “Claiming Neighborhood: New Ways of Understanding Urban Change.”

Smith is also the lead researcher for a U.S. Economic Development Administration-backed program to develop a model to promote green economic development in the Chicago region with a focus on manufacturing and workforce development.

Subject areas:

  • Community development
  • Housing
  • Low-income populations
  • Neighborhood change
  • Urban planning
  • Urban policy
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