Dr Eric Heikkila is a Professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC). His research work is both quantitative and qualitative in nature, and his scholarly writings address a wide range of topics on urban development and public policy. His books include The Economics of Planning (CUPR Press, 2000) and China from a U.S. Policy Perspective (Routledge, 2021). He has applied economic and spatial analysis, fuzzy sets, agent based modelling and a variety of statistical techniques to study urban structure. Other aspects of his work include a more qualitative, policy oriented approach to urban development issues, especially in the context of the Asia Pacific region. He has spent sabbatical leaves as a visiting scholar on separate occasions at National Taiwan University (Department of Geography), Peking University (Department of Urban and Environmental Sciences), and Chinese University of Hong Kong (Department of Geography and Resource Management).
Dr Heikkila’s links to professional practice help ground his academic research agenda in more pragmatic concerns. Shortly after joining USC, he became founding Executive Secretary of the Pacific Rim Council on Urban Development (PRCUD), a globally based non-governmental organisation that organises regular forums in host cities throughout the Asia Pacific region. He has undertaken consulting work for the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other organisations. As Director of International Initiatives at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, Dr Heikkila has broad responsibilities for planning and coordinating the School’s global engagement, including strategic institutional partnerships with counterpart institutions abroad.