Rachel Weber

Professor of Urban Planning

Rachel Weber is a professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). She is an urban planner, political economist, and economic geographer who researches the relationship between finance and the built environment. She explores the ways in which cities’ deepening relationships with financial markets have brought about changes in the ways they budget, fund infrastructure, and manage their assets.

Her latest book, From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2016) won the Best Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning, a compilation of 40 essays by leading urban scholars. She is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous book chapters and published policy reports. She has served as an advisor to planning agencies and community organizations on issues related to property taxes, project finance, capital planning, and economic development. She was appointed to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama´s Urban Policy Committee in 2008 and by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the Tax Increment Financing Reform Task Force in 2011.

Before moving to Harvard, Weber was a professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department at the University of Illinois Chicago where she taught classes in the history and theory of urban planning, development finance, economic development, and plan making. She received her M.R.P and Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and her B.A. in development studies from Brown University. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Kolkata, India.