William Riggs

William Riggs

Program Director / Associate Professor

Program Director • Full-Time Faculty

(415) 422-2092 Malloy Hall, Room 401


William (Billy) Riggs, PhD, AICP, LEED AP is a global expert and thought leader in the areas of autonomy and smart transportation, housing, economics and urban development. He has over 100 publications in these areas and has had his work featured in multiple national media outlets — including the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Atlantic.  He is currently a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Management, director of strategy and research at Sustinere Consulting. He has held additional academic appointments in city planning and transportation engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, and the University of Louisville.

In addition to his academic roles, Riggs also has almost two decades of experience working as an urban planner, policy maker, economist, and engineer. This includes work as director of research at Sustinere Consulting, the transportation program manager and principal planner for UC Berkeley, an asset manager and engineering technician for the US Coast Guard, and a planning commissioner for the City of San Luis Obispo. He has been both a National Science Foundation Fellow and a UC Transportation Center Fellow and is the founder of ReStreet.com — an online tool for democratizing street design.

Riggs currently sits on the City of Palo Alto’s Planning and Transportation Commission, is a member of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Transportation Economics, and provides strategy and consulting to multiple companies on smart mobility and urban development.

Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 2011
Master of Urban Planning, Economics and Spatial Analysis, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 2003
Bachelor of Arts, History, Ball State University, 2001
Principal and Director of Research, Sustinere, ongoing.
Strategy, Technical Direction and Communications, Select Bay Area Technology Companies, ongoing.
Research Associate, San Jose State University, San Jose, ongoing.
City of Palo Alto, Planning and Transportation Commission, ongoing.
Contributor and Instructor, Planetizen.com, ongoing.
Selected Publications

Riggs, W. 2018. Technology, Civic Engagement and Street Science: Hacking the Future of Participatory Street Design in the Era of Self-Driving Cars. In dg.o ’18 Proceedings of the 19th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, May 30-June 1, 2018, Delft, Netherlands. ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 4, 6 pages.

Riggs, W., Larco, N., Tierney, G., Ruhl, M., Karlin-Resnick, J. and Rodier, C. (2018) Autonomous Vehicles and the Built Environment: Exploring the Impacts on Different Urban Contexts. In Meyer, G., & Beiker, S. (eds) Road Vehicle Automation. Springer: London.

Dalton, L.C., Hajrasouliha, A.H. and & Riggs, W.W. (2018) State of the Art in Planning for College and University Campuses: Site Planning and Beyond. Journal of the American Planning Association. 84:2, 145-161, doi:10.1080/01944363.2018.1435300.

Frederick, C., Riggs W. and Gilderbloom, J. I. (2018). 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.

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

Outstanding Research Award, University of San Francisco School of Management, 2018

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