Elliott Sclar

Elliott Sclar is Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at GSAPP and the Columbia University Earth Institute. He co-directs the Earth Institute’s Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD), one of ten global centers of excellence in Future Urban Transport established by the Volvo Foundations of Gothenburg, Sweden. He works on issues of socially equitable and environmentally sustainable urban public transportation.

An economist and urban planner, his research and writings explore the impact of finance and governance on the land use-transport connection that determines urban form. Sclar teaches courses on planning history, physical structure of cities, urban sustainability and urban transport economics.

Sclar coordinated the Taskforce on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers, one of the ten task forces established by the UN Millennium Project to aid the implementation of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. He was one of the lead authors of its 2005 report A Home in the City published by Earthscan.

Sclar is a nationally recognized expert on privatization: his book You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For: The Economics of Privatization (Cornell, 2000) won two major academic prizes: the Louis Brownlow Award for the Best Book of 2000 from the National Academy of Public Administration and the 2001 Charles Levine Prize from the International Political Science Association and Governance magazine for a major contribution to public policy literature.

Recent Books:

  • Sclar, Elliott, Bernadette Baid-Zars, Lauren Ames Fischer and Valerie Stahl editors (2020) Zoning: A Guide to 21stCentury Planning, London: Routledge
  • Sclar, Elliott, Mans Lönnroth and Christian Wolmar editors (2016) Improving urban access; new approaches to funding transport investment, London: Routledge
  • Sclar, Elliott, Mans Lönnroth and Christian Wolmar editors (2014) Urban Access for the 21st Century: Finance and governance for transport infrastructure, London: Routledge
  • Sclar, Elliott, Nicole Volavka-Close and Peter Brown editors (2012) The Urban Transformation: Health, Shelter and Climate Change, London: Routledge

Recent Journal Articles:

  • Salon, D. Sclar, E. and Barone, R. (2017) Can Location Value Capture Pay for Transit? Organizational Challenges of Transforming Theory into Practice, Urban Affairs Review, June 2017
  • Sclar, E (2015) The political economics of investment Utopia: public–private partnerships for urban infrastructure finance, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 18:1, 1-15,
  • Rizvi, A. and Sclar, E. (2014) Implementing bus rapid transit: A tale of two Indian cities, Research in Transportation Economicshttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.retrec.2014.09.043 Klopp J., Chanin J., Ngau P. and Sclar E. (2014). “Globalization and the Urban Studio: Evaluating an Inter-University Studio Collaboration in Nairobi” International Development Planning Review 36 (2)
  • Sclar, E. (2013) Looting the Urban Commonwealth: Privatization and the Politics of Austerity, New Labor Forum, 22:3 46-53


Last updated April 1, 2020