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 OppSites.com and Sustinere.co.
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, Planetizen.com, 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.
- 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