Joseph Schilling is the Interim Director of the Metropolitan Institute. He leads the Institute’s Sustainable Communities Initiative that explores the intersection of design, planning and collaboration in the development of sustainable regions, communities and neighborhoods. His field work serves as a living laboratory for research, service learning, and policy change by extracting and disseminating model programs and practices. Through case studies, policy roundtables and planning studios Professor Schilling’s research and technical assistance activities cover diverse topics, such as sustainability planning, vacant property reclamation, urban regeneration, smart growth, active living and zoning code reform. He is also an accomplished public policy facilitator having organized dozens of research, policy, and community forums.
Professor Schilling’s extensive field and research experiences have led to a similarly diverse body of academic output. His work has been published in the Albany Government Law Review, the Journal of the American Planning Association, theJournal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law, the Thomson West’s Real Estate Review, along with policy reports and case studies for the Department of Defense, theEnvironmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields and Smart Growth Offices , and theRobert Wood Johnson Foundation. Professor Schilling regularly presents at numerous national conferences and regional workshops, such as the New Partners for Smart Growth, American Planning Association, Active Living Research, and for the Federal Reserve Banks.
Schilling’s outreach and community engagement work illustrates his philosophy of linking policy and practice. From 2007-2009 he led the Eco City Studio to devise an Eco-City Charter and Environmental Action Plan for the Institute’s home town of Alexandria, Virginia. For the 2009-10 academic year he launched Virginia Tech’s Shrinking Cities Studio by leading students on a three day study tour Cleveland and a two day study tour of Baltimore that examined the plight of these “cities in transition” and the promise of a more sustainable future. The next studio is slated for spring 2011.
Professor Schilling teaches courses in Negotiations and Community Involvement, Land Use Law and Policy, Zoning Administration and Code Enforcement, Redevelopment of Vacant Properties, Greyfields and Brownfields, Public Health and Planning, and Environmental Policy and Sustainability Planning. In addition to teaching at Virginia Tech, Professor Schilling also teaches Sustainable Regional Growth and Local Government Law for George Washington University Law School. He holds a Masters of Environmental Law (LL.M.) from George Washington University and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
Jessica Hanff is the Research Manager for the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. With nearly 15 years of program management experience, Jessica is the department level research administrator for the Metropolitan Institute and the School of Public and International Affairs. Jessica provides program support on the Sustainability Planning Lab, the Smart Cities, Smart Communities project and the Vacant Properties Research Initiative. A quick-study, she has contributed to countless of white papers, prospectus, and grant proposals, on topics cross-cutting disciplines and research areas.
She served three years as the Managing Editor of Housing Policy Debate and previously, Ms. Hanff served as the Managing Editor of Opolis, the first academic journal devoted to suburban studies and as an editorial assistant on the JAPA Book Review. Additionally, Jessica’s professional experience includes several years working in the non-profit sector on campus sustainable operations. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and received a Master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Virginia Tech.