Joshua Newell, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

2008 Ph.D., Geography, Urban Ecology Certificate  University of Washington
2003 M.A., Geography  University of Washington
1991 B.A., History Brown University

Josh Newell joined SNRE in Fall 2010. His research grapples with how to define, measure, model, and assess urban sustainability, particularly from the context of resource consumption.  This research emphasis stems from the conviction that to mitigate (and adapt to) climate change and to address global ecological crises, we need to fundamentally reshape and redesign our urban areas--where more than half of the world’s population already lives, works, and consumes. He will teach courses on integrated assessment, sustainable cities and communities, and sustainability science and society. 

Newell's research can be divided into two primary areas of interest. The first, Metabolisms of Urban Infrastructure and Form, focuses on structural features of the urban form (e.g. built environment, transport, energy, and water infrastructure) that due to their durability have long-term implications for resource consumption patterns and processes within and outside of urban areas. The second research area, "Ethical" Urban Consumption and Commodities, focuses on the interrelationships between the consumption of consumer products, our responsibilities as global ‘green’ urban citizens, and the role of governance mechanisms and frameworks (including local institutions) in regulating product consumption. His research approach is often multi-scalar and integrative and, in addition to theory and method found in geography and urban planning, he draws upon principles and tools of industrial ecology (e.g. footprinting and life-cycle analysis), and spatial analysis (e.g. land use/land cover change).  

For more information on Newell's research and teaching, please visit


1064 Dana