Rebecca Lewis, School of Planning, Public Policy and Management

Rebecca Lewis

Practice Areas: Land Use Policy, Growth Management, Housing Affordability in Rural Areas, Transportation Planning and Finance, Urban Form, City Planning

Faculty bio | 541-346-4432 

Rebecca Lewis is an academic expert in land use policy, growth management, housing affordability in rural Oregon, transportation planning and finance, urban form and city planning. Her research looks at infrastructure investment and policy related to shifts in behavior and attitudes. She examines the long-term impact of land use and growth management policies on development patterns and the role of institutional factors in the efficacy of these policies. She completed one of the first studies on the efficacy of using incentives to control growth through Maryland’s smart growth program, finding that the policy did not curb sprawl after adoption. In Oregon, she has examined how the well-renowned Oregon Statewide Planning Program affects density and livability in cities. After 40 years of state planning in Oregon, cities have become more dense and have curbed urban sprawl outside of urban growth boundaries (UGBs). Her research has informed administrative rule-making and policy in Oregon through HB 2254 and HB 4079 Rules Advisory Committees. Beyond research on land use policy, Rebecca examines the integration of land use, transportation and housing planning to reach broader societal goals like reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting housing affordability.     

Recent Media:
Oregon housing bill backed by Kotek prompts debate about affordability, environment (The Register-Guard, Feb. 15, 2024)
Oregon has an extreme housing shortage. Here’s what could be done (Oregon Public Broadcasting, July 26, 2023)
Lessons in modern-day rent control, 3000 miles from Boston (The Boston Globe, May 6, 2023)
Oregon’s unique growth rules have preserved open space but also led to new fights (Oregon Public Broadcasting, Aug. 19, 2022)
Can Portland Be a Climate Leader Without Reducing Driving? (The New York Times, April 21, 2022)
Rethinking Streets During COVID-19 (Capital Public Radio, May 3, 2021)
Where the 2020 Election Is a Referendum on Public Transit (Bloomberg CityLab, Oct. 6, 2020)
New research examines the societal effects of COVID-19 (Around the O, July 13, 2020)
PSU, UO researchers awarded NSF grant to study coronavirus impacts on access to provisions (EurekAlert, June 10, 2020)
America’s love affair with the single-family house is cooling, but it won’t be a quick breakup (The Conversation, Jan. 2, 2020)
Harvard study highlights kerbside pricing as a solution to congestion (Cities Today, Feb. 1, 2019)