Rae Zimmerman

Research Professor

Rae Zimmerman is Research Professor and Professor Emerita of Planning and Public Administration at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Prior to that she was on the full-time faculty as Professor of Planning and Public Administration. Since 1998, she has held the role of Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS), a multi-university center initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative and interdisciplinary research, education, and outreach on infrastructure services. In 2011-2013 she directed Wagner’s Urban Planning Program for the fifth time.

She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, past president and Fellow of the international Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), and recipient of the SRA 2015 Outstanding Service Award and SRA 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Her teaching and research encompass environmental quality, environmental health risk management, and urban infrastructure in the context of the quality of life in cities. Some specific research and past teaching areas include social and environmental performance measures for the resiliency of urban infrastructure services in extreme events of both natural and human origins. Her work on these and other topics covers security and global climate change; complexities posed by interconnected infrastructures; the ability of institutions to cope with these stresses; public attitudes toward environmental protection; social and economic characteristics of communities facing environmental stresses; social justice; and risk communication in the context of unanticipated events. Courses she has developed and taught have covered how cities adapt to innovations in energy, transportation, and water; climate change and extreme events; environmental impact assessment; environmental planning; and emergency and disaster planning. Professor Zimmerman has directed over three dozen research projects as a principal investigator and a dozen others as co-Principal Investigator or senior researcher with federal funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (in collaboration with other universities), and various state and local agencies. Professor Zimmerman works closely with NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering on research and educational programs connected with infrastructure interdependencies and cyber threats to physical infrastructures.

C2SMART Projects