Robert W. Burchell, Ph.D.

Robert W. Burchell, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor | Co-Director Emeritus, Center for Urban Policy Research



Email: burchell [at]


B.S.M.E., U.S. Coast Guard Academy; M.C.R.P. and Ph.D., Rutgers University

Robert W. Burchell, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor | Co-Director Emeritus, Center for Urban Policy Research

Robert W. Burchell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Co-Director Emeritus for the Center for Urban Policy Research is the author of 30 books and more than 50 articles. He is an expert on fiscal impact analysis, land-use development and regulation, and housing policy.

Dr. Burchell has served as principal investigator on more than $4 million in research spanning a thirty-year career at Rutgers. One of these efforts included the Impact Assessment of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan, an encompassing study of the growth management program adopted by the New Jersey State Planning Commission in June 1992, an impact assessment done in 1992 and repeated in 2001 (in both cases a requirement for passage of the State Plan). Similar “costs of sprawl” studies have been done for the state of Maryland, the Lexington (KY) Metropolitan Area, the Delaware Estuary, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and the South Carolina Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. Dr. Burchell’s seminal work in the area of development patterns and infrastructure costs is a just completed research project for the National Academy of Sciences and the Transportation Cooperative Research Program resulting in The Costs of Sprawl Revisited and The Costs of Sprawl-2000.

Dr. Burchell, also a licensed professional planner in New Jersey, is in demand as an expert witness nationally, and has served as a consultant to The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Health and Human Resources Administration, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and The Smith Richardson Foundation.

Research Interests
  • Sprawl and Smart Growth
  • Housing and Land-use
  • Development and Regulation
  • Fiscal Impact Analysis
  • Development Impact Analysis
Undergraduate Courses
  • Principles of Real Estate
Graduate Courses
  • Planning Real Estate Analysis
  • Land Development Practice
  • Seminar in Urban Planning
  • Principles of Housing
Selected Publications


  • 2013: Planning Theory; A Search for Future Directions, Transaction Press.

Chapters in Books or Monographs

  • 2012: Burchell, Robert W. “Adaptive Reuse”, Housing Encyclopedia, Routledge Press.