New Faculty: Ellen Bassett
Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning
Specializing in land use planning, urban redevelopment, social equity, and community decision-making, Ellen Bassett comes to U.Va. from Portland State University (PSU), where she has taught for five years at the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and is known for her hands-on, community-engaged teaching style. She previously taught at Michigan State University’s School of Planning, Design, and Construction, and in 2004–05 was a Planning and Development Fellow of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Bassett’s background in history and experience overseas help her understand the many angles of the land use debate—and the consequences to how it is framed for the voting public. She often crosses disciplinary lines to help communities worldwide address land use, resource, and decision-making issues. She spent time in Kenya creating and updating local development plans as a member of the Peace Corps, and later serving as a technical advisor for local planning authorities; and in Uganda, where she advised on natural resource management and planning. Bassett has also conducted research and made presentations on land use planning in Oregon and Michigan, climate action, and eco-development in Vietnam. Another project of Bassett’s is evaluating the living conditions in slums and informal settlements of Nairobi and Dakar—through which she hopes to offer greater explanations for divergent living conditions.
Bassett holds three degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison: a PhD and MS in urban and regional planning, and an MA in history (European focus). She earned a BA with distinction from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor.