This year, Dr. Ryan Allen (University of Minnesota) and Dr. Carissa Schively Slotterback (University of Pittsburgh) were selected as the recipients of the 2022 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award for their article, “Building immigrant engagement practice in urban planning: The case of Somali refugees in the Twin Cities.” The award is sponsored by Routledge | Taylor & Francis Group, the official publisher of the Journal of Urban Affairs.

Award Committee Assessment:

Carissa Schively Slotterback
Carissa Schively Slotterback (University of Pittsburgh)
Ryan Allen
Ryan Allen (University of Minnesota)

“We are pleased to announce Ryan Allen and Carissa Schively Slotterback as the recipients of the Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award for 2021 (volume 43). In their paper entitled “Building immigrant engagement practice in urban planning: The case of Somali refugees in the Twin Cities,” the authors explore the potential pitfalls of community engagement in immigrant communities and offer many opportunities to improve practice. Using the interviews of planning practitioners and Somali refugees, the authors provide a detailed account of the lack of understanding by planners of the refugee’s circumstances and prior experiences, as well as of the refugee’s own distrust of government and the participatory process. Planners achieved successful participation when they met the Somali community where they were and understood the cultural nuances that limited participation. The committee noted the potential for broad application of these concepts across multiple academic/practitioner disciplines and beyond the government-immigrant relationship to encompass any government-group interaction.”

Award Committee:

Chris Goodman (Northern Illinois University), Kathryn Howell (Virginia Commonwealth University), Xi Huang (University of Central Florida), Emine Koseoglu (Faith Sultan Mehmet Vakif University), Katharine Nelson (Rutgers University)

Award Winner:

Dr. Ryan Allen is a housing and community development scholar with a focus on the experience of immigrant communities in the U.S. He is currently a faculty member in the urban and regional planning program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Allen’s research focuses on urban planning. housing affordability, public housing, and immigrant integration. He holds a BA in economics from the College of William and Mary and an MCP and PhD in urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Carissa Slotterback is Dean and Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.  Her research has focused on stakeholder engagement and decision-making related to environmental, land use, and transportation planning.  She has a particular interest in how stakeholders perceive impacts and use information in making decisions, focusing on impact assessment, collaborative decision-making, and sustainability planning approaches.  Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh in late 2020, she served as a faculty member and program director in urban and regional planning, as well as Associate Dean, in the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has led several initiatives focused on interdisciplinary and engaged research and education, including in her prior roles as director of research engagement in the Office of the Vice President for Research and as co-founder and director the university’s Resilient Communities Project. She has held numerous leadership positions, including Vice President, with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. She holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University and was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2018.