Layzer (1961-2015)

Judith A. Layzer (1961-2015)

Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Head, Environmental Policy and Planning Group, Department of Urban Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Areas of Expertise:
  • Climate Change
  • Environment
  • Cities & Regions

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About Judith

Layzer studied environmental politics and policy in the United States. She was best known for her research on (1) the role of science in environmental policymaking; and (2) the effectiveness of innovative approaches to policymaking, such as planning at a regional scale, collaborating with stakeholders, or relying on information or incentives to change behavior. Her newest book investigates conservatives’ impact on policies to address air pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. A current research project seeks to create a template for analyzing urban sustainability programs – to create systematic, real-time assessments of the effectiveness of those programs that will be useful to municipal decision makers.



"Fish Stories: Science, Advocacy, and Policy Change in New England Fishery Management" (with Policy Studies Journal). 34 1, no. 1 (2006): 59-80.
Explains the shift from permissive to restrictive management in the New England groundfish fishery.
"Deep Freeze: How Business Has Shaped the Global Warming Debate in Congress" in Business and Environmental Policy: Corporate Interests in the American Political System, edited by Michael E. Kraft and Sheldon Kamieniecki, eds. (MIT Press, 2007), 93-125.
Explains the role of business in shaping the legislative debate over climate change.
Natural Experiments: Ecosystem-Based Management and the Environment (MIT Press, 2008).
Investigates the extent to which regional-scale planning in collaboration with stakeholders yields environmentally beneficial results.
"What Works and Why? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Cities’ Sustainability Initiatives," (with Stephanie Stern), American Political Science Association Meeting, Washington, DC, August 31, 2010.
Describes a project that aims to provide real-time analyses of urban sustainability programs.
The Environmental Case: Translating Values Into Policy, 3rd ed. (CQ Press, 2012).
Provides an analytic framework for understanding how environmental policy is made at the federal, state, and local levels.
"Integrated Water Resources Management in the United States: The Chesapeake Bay Program" International Journal of Water Governance (2012).
Evaluates the extent to which the Chesapeake Bay Program has improved environmental management in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Open for Business: Conservatives’ Opposition to Environmental Regulation (MIT Press, 2012).
Analyzes the impact of conservative activism on U.S. environmental policy and politics.

In the News

Judith A. Layzer (1961-2015)'s research on the social benefits of parks and the function of urban green spaces discussed in John DeFore. Judith A. Layzer (1961-2015), "Learning from Rio de Janeiro's Green Spaces," GreenRightNow, May 27, 2009.
"Romney vs. Obama on the Environment," Judith A. Layzer (1961-2015), RSF Review, October 4, 2012.