Global Course

Spatial Planning & Institutional Design

Jan Whittington

Dr. Jan Whittington is Associate Professor of the Department of Urban Design and Planning, at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research applies transaction cost economic theory to networked infrastructures, such as transportation, water, and communications systems, to internalize factors historically treated as external to transactions. Her publications include
methodologies for greenhouse gas mitigation and resilience through capital investment planning, examination of the efficiency of public-private contractual arrangements for infrastructure, and the evaluation of online transactions for efficiency, security, and privacy.

At the University of Washington, she is the Director of the Urban Infrastructure Lab, Associate Faculty at the Tech Policy Lab, and an Associate of the Center for Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. She teaches infrastructure planning and finance, public finance, ‘smart city’ planning, energy project planning, science for environmental policy, and planning for water.

Her PhD (2008) is in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was advised by economic Nobel laureate Oliver Williamson. Prior to her academic career, she spent 10 years with Bechtel Corporation, as a strategic planner and scientist. She holds bachelor degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz (1987). Her master’s degree is in City and Regional Planning, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (1993).

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