Russell M. Smith
Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor of Geography at Winston-Salem State University with research interests in urban and political geography. His specific research interests include local government boundary change (e.g. annexation and incorporation) and a variety of urban planning issues including urban sustainability. Dr. Smith is the author of several research publications, contracted reports, and presentations. He has been published in International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, Urban Geography, Journal of Planning Literature, Southeastern Geographer, State and Local Government Review, and Geographical Review. Dr. Smith has visited a dozen countries in Asia, Europe and North America and more than half of the States of the US.
Prior to obtaining his PhD, Dr. Smith was an AICP urban planner for numerous organizations within the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. Dr. Smith’s 10 years of state and local government planning experience complement his research and teaching agenda. His employment history includes working as a city planner for Graham, NC, providing planning assistance to the entire twelve county Piedmont Triad region, and serving as the Assistant Director of Planning for the City of Burlington, NC. He has had the opportunity to work on a variety of urban planning related projects. Specifically, he has developed land use plans, administered zoning and subdivision ordinances, and he has worked with a variety of elected and appointed boards and commissions. These experiences help him provide students with “real world” examples and lessons related to human geography, urban geography, planning, and economic development.
Recently, Dr. Smith has been able to put his academic and applied knowledge to use in the local community through a community engagement project focused on revitalizing a neighborhood near WSSU's campus. Dr. Smith and his Urban Geography students have been actively engaged for the past year in developing a strategic plan for the Waughtown Neighborhood in Winston-Salem. The work is being completed in partnership with the S.G. Atkins CDC, the City of Winston-Salem and the Piedmont Triad Regional Council.
- Doctor of Philosophy, Geography: Urban and Regional Economic Development and Planning, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, N.C.
- Master of Public Affairs, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, N.C.
- Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and History, 1996, Elon University, Elon, N.C. Cum Laude, Rhodes Scholar Nominee
Research and Project Interests
- Local Government Boundary Change
- Urban and Regional Planning; Urban Sustainability
- Community Based Participatory Research, Community Engagement, Service Learning
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” ~ Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
2014 Smith, R.M., Ge, Y., Hartmann, R., Dong, X. and Chang, Y. "Chapter 7: Megaregions of China and the U.S.". In Hartmann, R. and Xinyue Ye (Eds.) A Comparative Geography of China and the U.S. Springer Press.
Referred Journal Articles
2017 Smith, R.M. and L. Waldner, “Why Majority-Minority Cities Form in the United States, 1990-2010.” Urban Geography. Accepted for Publication.
2016 Smith, R.M., Walder, L. and Richardson, C. “New Cities of Color: Socioeconomic Differentiation Between Majority-Minority New Cities and White New Cities”, State and Local Government Review, 48:3, 155-164.
2016 Smith, R.M. and Bereitschaft, B. “Sustainable Urban Development? Exploring the Locational Attributes of LEED-ND Projects in the United States through a GIS Analysis of Light Intensity and Land Use”, Sustainability, 8:6, 547-566.
2016 Smith, R.M. and Afonso, W. “Fiscal Impact of Annexation Methodology on Municipal Fiscal Health in North Carolina: 1990 – 2010”. Growth and Change, 47:3, 664-681.
2015 Smith, R.M. “’Green’ Building in India: A Comparative and Spatial Analysis of the LEED-India and GRIHA Rating Systems”. Asian Geographer, 32:2, 73-84.
2015 Waldner, L. and Smith, R.M. “The Great Defection: How New City Clusters Form to Escape County Governance”. Public Administration Quarterly, 39:2, 171-219.
2015 Smith, R.M. “Examining the Geography of Newly Incorporated Municipalities (NIMs) in Micropolitan North Carolina, 1990 – 2010”. Southeastern Geographer, 54:4, 384-405.
2014 Smith, R.M. “Planning for Urban Sustainability: The Geography of LEED-Neighborhood Development (LEED®-NDTM) Projects in the United States”. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 7:1, 15-32.
2014 Rice, K., Waldner, L. and Smith, R.M. “Why New Cities Form: An Examination into Municipal Incorporation in the United States, 1950 – 2010”. Journal of Planning Literature, 29:2, 140-154.
2013 Waldner, L., Rice, K. and Smith, R.M. "Temporal and Spatial Dimensions of Newly Incorporated Municipalities". Geographical Review, 103:1, 59-79.
2012 Smith, R.M. and Willse, J.T. "An Intra State Analysis of Annexation Activity in North Carolina by Method of Annexation". State and Local Government Review, 44:3, 185-195.
2012 Smith, R.M. “An Examination of Municipal Annexation Methods in North Carolina, 1990 - 2009”. Southeastern Geography, 52:2, 164-182.
2012 Smith, R.M. and Fennell, A. “Local Government Boundary Change in Brunswick County, North Carolina: 1990 – 2010”. The North Carolina Geographer, 19, 4-19.
2011 Smith, R.M. “City Limits?: The Impact of Annexation Activity on Municipal Incorporation in North Carolina: 1990 – 2008”. Southeastern Geography, 51:3, 422-442.
2011 Smith, R.M. and Debbage, K. "Spatial Distribution of Newly Incorporated Municipalities (NIMs) and Related Socio-Economic Characteristics: A National Comparison to Cohort Cities." Urban Geography, 32:4, 568-588.
2008 Smith, R.M. “Municipal Incorporation Activity and the Clustering of New Municipalities in North Carolina: 1990 – 2008”, The North Carolina Geographer. 16, 24-35.
2006 Smith, R.M. and Debbage, K. “Where are the Geographers? Newly Incorporated Municipalities (NIMs) in the South.” The Geographical Bulletin, 48:2, 109-121.
- GEO 2311: Introduction to Geography
- GEO 2312: Geography of North America
- GEO 2313: Environmental Geography
- GEO 2315: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
- GEO 3311: Urban Geography
- GEO 3336: World Economic Geography
- IDS 2301: Introduction to Urban Studies
- LLS 1376: Urban Explorations
Articles Under Review or in Preparation
- Smith, R.M., P. Pathak and G. Agrawal, “India’s ‘Smart’ Cities Mission: An Examination into India’s Newest Urban Development Policy”. Journal of Urban Affairs.
- Richardson, C., R.M. Smith and J. Sloop, “The Road Not Built: The Impact of Planned Transportation Corridors on Residential Housing Values”. Southeastern Geographer.
- Smith. R.M. & P. Pathak, “Green Buildings, Smart Cities and Urban Sustainability in India”, In Grant, B., Liu, C.Y. and Ye, L. (Eds.) Metropolitan Governance in Asia and the Pacific Rim: Global Trajectories, Dynamics and Challenges. Springer Press. Submission due February 2017.
- Smith, R.M. Municipal Incorporation Activity in the United States: Procedures, Patterns and People. The Urban Book Series with Springer International Publishing AG, Cham. Submission due August 2017.