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headshot of George Homsy

George Homsy

Director of Environmental Studies; Associate Professor

Environmental Studies Program; CCPA Public Administration and Policy


George Homsy's research centers on sustainability and local government policymaking. He explores the drivers of sustainability policy change and the results of implementation. His interest lies in small- to medium-size cities and towns. He is the co-principal investigator (with Dr. Mildred Warner, Cornell University) on a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture examining the ways that rural communities implement and balance the environmental, economic and equity dimensions of sustainability. With Siobhan Hart (Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University), Homsy is exploring the nexus of heritage and sustainability, especially at the neighborhood level. He frequently links his academic research to practice through collaborations with the International City/County Management Association and the American Planning Association.

Before returning to Cornell University for his PhD, Homsy was a planning consultant helping small- and medium-sized municipalities create environmentally and economically sustainable communities. He began his investigation of local governments and sustainability as a journalist with the public radio newsmagazine Living on Earth, which he co-founded and co-produced. Subsequently, as a freelance journalist, he wrote for Planning and Tomorrow magazines as well as National Public Radio, CBS Radio's Osgood Files and The Boston Globe.


  • PhD, Cornell University
  • MRP, Cornell University
  • BS, Tufts University

Research Interests

  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable communities and regions
  • Heritage and neighborhood sustainability
  • Community planning across generations
  • Land use and economic development planning
  • Citizen participation in local government policymaking

Research Profile