Dr. Aaron Passell is an urban sociologist whose research focuses on the built environment as a social process, meaning how people in various roles (planners, homebuyers, preservationists, neighborhood activists) affect the design, planning, and development of places and how those processes and places affect them in turn. His first book, Building the New Urbanism, investigates the emergence of a neo-traditional design and planning movement in the United States. His second book, Preserving Neighborhoods, is about the relationship between historic district designation and neighborhood change in contemporary American cities, considering historic preservation as a policy tool and mechanism for community action. He is also interested in the varieties of gentrification, urban environmental issues, and shrinking cities in the United States. Professor Passell teaches the Urban Studies Senior Seminar, Introduction to Urban Studies, and Introduction to Urban Sociology.