Amy Glasmeier


Amy Glasmeier is professor of Economic Geography and Regional Planning. She runs LRISA, the lab on Regional Innovation and Spatial Analysis, in DUSP. Glasmeier is also a Founding Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, a journal which publishes multi-disciplinary international research on the spatial dimensions of contemporary socio-economic-political change. 

Glasmeier's research focuses economic opportunities for communities and individuals through the investigation of the role of geographic access and the effect of locational accident on human development. She won a 2018 grant from the National Science Foundation for her Collaborative Research on Understanding the benefits and mitigating the risks of interdependence in critical infrastructure systems. Recent awards include the  Fellow award from American Association of Geographers (December 2017) and the MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education Receipt of the Award from the “Committed to Caring” campaign (2017).

She is writing a textbook on the Geography of the Global Energy Economy. Her other project, "Good Bye American Dream" traces the ideology of opportunity that undergirds America's relationship to the poor. Through analysis of census data, popular media, and personal narratives, Glasmeier is exploring the contradictions in the most sacred of constructs by demonstrating the ephemeral nature of economic opportunity encumbered by locational accident, institutional inertia, and the unintended consequences of public policy. The work builds off of her long running Living Wage Calculator, which analyzes the minimum level of income required for individuals and families to pay for basic living expenses. Recent press includes an interview on MIT Spectrum.

Glasmeier holds a professional Masters and PhD in Regional from UC Berkeley and currently serves as Associate Planning Board Member in the Town of Cohasset.


Selected Student Theses

Developing Common Wealth: Workspaces for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts, by Rachel Belanger (MCP'17)

"Only the little people pay taxes:" Reforming New York City's Property Tax Structure to Mitigate Inequality and Increase Efficiency, by Rachel Michelle Goor (MCP'17)

“Super-Port to the World?” An Impact Assessment of the Midwest Inland Portby Erin Kenney (MCP'17)

The Impact of Labor Standards on Restaurant Business Practices in Boston, MA, by Rachel Meketon MCP'17)

Areas of Interest
Community Planning and Economic Development, Healthy Communities and Active Living, Infrastructure Systems


- 1986
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley. City and Regional Planning. Fields: Labor and Development Economics.
- 1980
M.A., University of California, Berkeley. City and Regional Planning. Emphasis: Regional Planning, Economic Development and Data Analysis.
- 1978
B.A., Sonoma State University. Environmental Studies and Planning.
- 1979
Special Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Summer Program in Statistics and Data Analysis

Academic Experience

2013 -
Professor, Economic Geography and Regional Planning, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
2009 - 2013
Department Head, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
2007 - 2009
Center Director, Policy Studies Center on Energy, Environment and Community Well-Being, Penn State Institutes for Energy and the Environment and the Social Science Research Institute.
2005 - 2007
John D. Whisman Scholar, Appalachian Regional Commission, Washington, DC. Appalachian Regional Commission

Professional Experience



- 2017
Office of the Dean for Graduate Education Receipt of the Award from “Committed to Caring” campaign, DUSP, MIT
- 2016
Roepke Lecture, American Association of Geographers (AAG)
- 2014
Distinguished Scholarship Honor, The American Association of Geographers (AAG)
- 2006
Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award, Pennsylvania State University
2005 - 2006
The John D. Whisman Appalachian Regional Scholar, The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)