Portney, Kent individual record
Professor and Bob Bullock Chair of Public Policy and Finance; Director, Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Research on sustainable cities and urban resilience has served as the core of my research agenda since the late 1990s, when the idea of a sustainable city provided me with a great opportunity to merge my interests in city policies and politics, environmental policy, and citizen participation. I have taken a broad approach to the analysis of city policies and programs, trying to understand a wide array of programs and policies that make up cities' efforts to try to become more sustainable. I developed a methodology for assessing cities' policy and program efforts, and have assessed the largest 55 cities. I started doing these assessments by around 2000 for a smaller number of cities, and have conducted updated analyses of the largest cities at least three times. This yielded the \"Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously\" book, now in its second edition. I should also add that this has served, in part, as my entree into the more recent efforts to conduct research of urban water systems and policies. I have increasingly focused on the role of local groups in promoting and advocating for sustainability policies The interest in the concept of sustainability led to the new book called Sustainability published MIT Press, which reviews a variety of conceptual and applied issues. The analysis of city sustainability policies has now entered a new phase with the inclusion of urban and coastal resilience policies and programs. I am also the PI on a USDA project to investigate the social and ethical concerns of various groups of people toward gene drive -- the use of gene editing to try to alter entire populations of four agricultural pests in Texas. These pests include the boll weevil, pigweed, Indian mealmoth, and the mosquito that threatens to carry Rift Valley fever. Recent work has turned to issues of \"Smart Cities\" in an effort to document and evaluate the use of advanced technologies by city governments.

selected publications
Academic Articles39
  • Kurian, M., Portney, K. E., Rappold, G., Hannibal, B., & Gebrechorkos, S. H. (2018). Governance of water-energy-food nexus: A social network analysis approach to understanding agency behaviour. Managing Water, Soil and Waste Resources to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals: Monitoring and Implementation of Integrated Resources Management. (pp. 125-147). Springer International Publishing.
    doi badge
  • Sansom, G., & Portney, K. E. (2018). Sustainable cities, policies and healthy cities. Integrating Human Health into Urban and Transport Planning: A Framework. (pp. 31-49). Springer International Publishing.
    doi badge
  • Portney, K. E. (2014). Developing sustainable cities indicators. Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities: Strategies, Methods and Outlook. (pp. 283-301). Edward Elgar Publishing.
    doi badge
  • Berry, J. M., & Portney, K. E. (2014). The group basis of city politics. Nonprofits and Advocacy: Engaging Community and Government in an Era of Retrenchment. (pp. 21-46).
  • Portney, K. E., & Cohen, S. (2005). Practical contexts and theoretical frameworks for teaching complexity with digital role-play simulations. Portney, K. E. (Eds.), Virtual Decisions: Digital Simulations for Teaching Reasoning in the Social Sciences and Humanities. (pp. 3-28).
    doi badge
Conference Papers4
  • Baucum, M., John, R., Mayorga, M., Slovic, P., Burns, W., Portney, K., & Mumpower, J. (2018). The dynamics of risk perception for soft target terrorism.
  • Portney, K. E. (2017). Soil-Water-Food Nexus: A Public Opinion and Policy Perspective. GLOBAL SOIL SECURITY. 371-381.
    doi badge
  • Portney, K. (2005). Civic engagement and sustainable cities in the United States. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW. 65(5), 579-591.
    doi badge
Internet Publications1
  • Portney, K. E., & Goldsmith, C. L. (2019). Increasing numbers of Americans support gun background checks. - An article submitted to The Conversation
    online source badge
First Name
Last Name
mailing address
Texas A&M University; Public Service And Administration; 4350 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-4220