Rachel Meltzer is the Plimpton Associate Professor of Planning and Urban Economics at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Her research is broadly concerned with urban economies and how market and policy forces can shape disparate outcomes across neighborhoods. She focuses on issues related to economic development, housing, land use, and local public finance.
Dr. Meltzer’s current research explores how economic and institutional “shocks” impact retail and commercial activity and real estate markets in urban neighborhoods. These “shocks” range from gentrification to the introduction of broadband to Superstorm Sandy. Dr. Meltzer is also interested in the private provision of public goods, and she has explored a number of questions related to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and Homeowners Associations (HOAs) about their formation and impacts on housing markets and public services. In addition, she has conducted extensive research on Inclusionary Zoning, an alternative to traditional methods of providing affordable housing, including its impact on local housing markets and the political economy behind the adoption of such policies.