Zoé Hamstead, PhD

Assistant Professor - Department of Urban and Regional Planning
zoehamst@buffalo.edu - 317C Hayes Hall - (716) 829-5595

Assistant Professor - Department of Urban and Regional Planning
zoehamst@buffalo.edu  - 317C Hayes Hall - (716) 829-5595

Samina Raja engaged in conversation with student and faculty.

Building on interdisciplinary approaches in urban planning, geography, urban ecology and landscape ecology, Dr. Hamstead's current work explores vulnerability to extreme heat and cold events. Photo by Alexander J Becker

Zoé Hamstead, PhD is an assistant professor of environmental planning and founding director of the Community Reslience Lab at UB. Her work is concerned with dynamics of urban systems – in which a growing majority of the human population is coming to reside – with a focus on climate impacts and climate management. Dr. Hamstead’s research is published in planning and interdisciplinary journals including Landscape & Urban PlanningEcology & SocietyEnvironment & PlanningComputers, Environment and Urban Systems; and Ecological Indicators, among others.

Dr. Hamstead teaches courses in Environmental Planning & Policy, Environmental Justice, as well as engaged solar energy planning related-studio courses that train students in Geographic Information Systems and community engagement.

Recent News and Media Mentions

  • 12/4/17

    With funding from National Science Foundation, two architecture and urban planning faculty members are studying the impacts of heat and cold in Tempe and Buffalo.

  • 8/9/17
    A story on CBC Radio about the heat wave gripping much of southern and central Europe, which residents have christened “Lucifer,” interviews Zoe Hamstead, assistant professor of urban and regional planning in the UB School of Architecture and Planning, who studies extreme heat waves and how cities can adapt to high temperatures without contributing to global warming. Solution include "greening, planting trees and vegetation, or 'blueing,' [which is] creating water features exposing streams to the daylight so that evaporation processes can happen, and using materials like porous pavement that allow water to infiltrate," she said.
  • 7/5/17
    An article on The Nature of Cities coauthored by Zoe Hamstead, assistant professor of urban and regional planning in the School of Architecture and Planning, and Ryan McPherson, chief sustainability officer, looks at post-industrial cities that are implementing brownfields to brightfields programs that help develop local economies, generate clean energy and manage pollution. The article notes that UB students have initiated a project, Localizing Buffalo’s Renewable Energy Future, that aims to advance clean energy in New York State by increasing the use of solar energy in the City of Buffalo and on university campuses.


  • PhD urban and public policy, The New School
  • Master’s degree in city and regional planning University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Bachelor’s of Liberal Arts from St. John’s College

Selected activities, honors and awards

  •  2014 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR Fellowship



Professor Zoe Hamstead pictured alongside students during a solar tour.

Dr. Hamstead (right) alongside students during a site visit to Steel Sun Bethlehem Steel brownfields Tecumseh Redevelopment Lackawana NY. Photo by Maryanne Schultz

Building on approaches in urban planning, geography, urban ecology and landscape ecology, Dr. Hamstead examines spatial justice, vulnerability to weather extremes, multi-sectoral environmental management, access to social-ecological resources and other integrative topics.

Dr. Hamstead directs the Community Resilience Lab, an interdisciplinary research team that is working with local governments, organizations and citizen scientists to develop socially equitable, livable and healthy communities in the context of urbanization and climate change. Current lab research projects funded by the National Science Foundation Smart & Connected Communities Program and other sponsors are focused on understanding how to better predict and manage vulnerabilities associated with extreme heat and cold events in the context of broad urban sustainability and community resilience-related objectives. Previous work has been funded by the Environmental Protection Agency STAR program and National Science Foundation IGERT program.