Research Expertise and Interest
water, sanitation, basic services delivery, food justice, urban agriculture, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, environmental justice, urban governance, participatory planning, community-based development, international development, development planning, sustainable development, African studies
Charisma Acey is an associate professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning. Her background includes work, research and travel to countries in West Africa, southern Africa and Central America. Her work focuses on local and regional environmental sustainability, with a focus on poverty reduction, urban governance, environmental justice, and access to basic services. Her work relies on both quantitative and participatory, qualitative research approaches to understanding individual and household demand for improved infrastructure and environmental amenities. Current and past research projects, teaching and service learning courses have focused on addressing barriers to sustainable development such as human-environment interactions at multiple scales in urban areas around the world, poverty and participatory approaches to governance and development, the financing and sustainability of publicly provided services and utilities such as water and sanitation, local and regional food systems, environmental justice, and urbanization domestically and globally.
Recent and ongoing research includes fieldwork in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda exploring sustainable household scale alternative energy solutions and access to basic services such as water and sanitation. She also has worked on participatory re-zoning for local healthy food systems and sustainability planning in the San Francisco East Bay, Columbus, Ohio, and Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining UC Berkeley, Professor Acey was an assistant professor of city and regional planning in the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University, with a joint appointment with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity where she worked on global food justice issues and mapping geographic differences in resources and opportunities at the metropolitan scale. Her background includes six years of international work as a senior manager for relief and development NGOs working in countries in West Africa, southern Africa and Central and South America. She has also served as a U.S. State Department Fellow in Malawi and an American Marshall Memorial Fellow to Europe.