Assistant professor William (Billy) Riggs is a researcher and strategist at the University of San Francisco. He has over 50 publications and is a widely recognized thought leader in the areas of transportation, housing, economics, and emerging technology. His work has been featured in numerous academic journals, periodicals, and national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Atlantic, and he is a regular contributor to Planetizen. He does strategic work and consulting with and

Prior to his academic role at University of San Francisco, Riggs held an academic appointment in city and regional planning at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and worked for over 15 years as a land use and transportation planner, asset manager, and economist.

Riggs holds his PhD from UC Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow and a University of California Transportation Center Fellow. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and is LEED certified by the US Green Building Council.

Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 2011
Master of Urban Planning, Economics & Spatial Analysis, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 2003
Bachelor of Arts, History, Ball State University, 2001
Research Associate, San Jose State University, San Jose, ongoing.
Contributor & Instructor,, ongoing.
Principal & Director of Research, Sustinere, ongoing.
Strategy, Technical Direction & Communications, Select Bay Area Technology Companies, ongoing.
Assistant Professor, CalPoly, San Luis Obispo, 2013 – 2017.
City of San Luis Obispo, Planning Commission, 2013-2016
Visiting Scholar and Instructor, San Jose State University, San Jose, 2012, 2016 – 2017.
Principal Planner & Research Scholar, UC Berkeley, 2008 – 2014.
Senior Planner, Arup, San Francisco, 2007 – 2008
Planner, Economist & Asset Manager, United States Coast Guard, 2003 – 2007
Senior Research Associate, University of Louisville, 2001-2003, 2011– 2013.

Riggs, W. (2017). Revisiting Location Efficiency: Strategies to Graduate Thinking on Mortgage Policy. Housing & Society.

Frederick, C., Riggs W. and Gilderbloom, J. I. (2017). Commute Mode Diversity and Public Health: A Multivariate Analysis of 148 U.S. Cities. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation.

Riggs, W. (2016). Mobile Responsive Websites and Local Planning Departments in the US: Opportunities for the Future. Environment and Planning B.

Riggs, W. and McDade, E. (2016). Moving From Planning to Action: Exploring Best Practice Policy in the Finance of Local Bicycling and Pedestrian Improvements. Case Studies on Transport Policy.

Gilderbloom, J. I., Riggs, W., & Meares, W. L. (2015). Does walkability matter? An examination of walkability’s impact on housing values, foreclosures and crime. Cities, 42, Part A, 13–24.

Full List of Publications on Google Scholar

Awards & Distinctions

ITE Excellence in Transportation Awards, City of San Luis Obispo Circulation Element, 2016

Perry Chapman Prize, Society for College and University Planners (SCUP), 2016

National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, 2008

American Planning Association, ‘Outstanding Federal Planning Project’, 2007

Commendation Medal, US Coast Guard, 2005, 2006