David Hsu

DAVID HSU is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Infrastructure connects cities and the local and global environment through systems with physical, technological, and social aspects. David's research and teaching focus on how to demonstrate new opportunities for urban planners and environmental policymakers to shape this relationship within these systems using technology, data, and analysis. Much of his work seeks to assist a wide range of actors -- local policymakers, planners, advocates, as well as academics -- directly with design, planning, policymaking, and policy implementation.

Topics of particular interest include the design, planning, governance, and operation of energy and water networks; energy access and adoption of new technologies; information policies such as disclosure and user feedback; new technologies and strategies to control distributed energy sources, electric vehicles and stationary storage; and data analysis.

Current projects include studies of: policies and tools for planning green infrastructure, funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and deployment of experimental microgrids in rural India, funded by the Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT. Previous projects include: studies of the development and adoption of smart infrastructure, funded by the US National Science Foundation; studies of how information affects energy efficiency in commercial buildings, funded by the US Department of Energy; and demand response in informal settlements in Brazil, funded by the Fulbright NEXUS program.

His group is currently seeking collaborators, postdoctoral fellows, and students who have skills in policy, planning, economics, and/or technology, and interests in the following areas: distributed energy resources, rural electrification, building-grid integration, rooftop solar, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Most of his recent publications are open-access and can be found on his Google Scholar profile, linked in the right-hand bar. He welcomes inquiries from students, other faculty members, policymakers, city officials and others for any potential research projects and collaboration. For students or others with MIT certificates, please sign up for office hours on the right-hand bar, or else email is the best way to reach him to schedule a time.

He taught previously at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University, and worked in engineering, finance, and in the city governments of New York and Seattle. He holds a B.S. from Yale University in physics, a M.S. from Cornell University in applied and engineering physics, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science in city design and social science, and from the University of Washington in Seattle, a Ph.D. in urban design and planning and a certificate in social science and statistics.

Areas of Interest
Environmental Planning and Management, Infrastructure Systems, Urban Finance, Management, and Urban Economics, Urban Information, Technology, and Media and Analytics