Amanda Johnson Ashley, PhD
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Urban Studies and Community Development
Faculty Director, School of Public Service
Environmental Research Building 5135
Office Hours: By Appointment
Dr. Amanda Johnson Ashley’s current research explores urban revitalization through property-based economic development, public/private partnerships, and civic collaboration. As a primary research emphasis, she examines the function of arts and entertainment in cities. Her dissertation, “Developing Urban Arts Districts: Analyzing Mobilization in Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Seattle” analyzes planned arts anchored redevelopment districts and answers whether such interventions are viable policy.
As a secondary research emphasis, she examines the function of defense investments in cities with a focus on the redevelopment of former military bases. With funding from Boise State University’s College of Public Affairs and Public Policy Center, she along with partners in political science are exploring and assessing how communities pursue military base redevelopment and the extent to which they are successful strategies for transformation and integration.
Dr. Johnson Ashley co-authored a paper on “Cities as Entertainment Centers: Can Transformative Projects Create Place?” and presented it at the University of Amsterdam’s Master Class Workshop on “Explaining Metropolitan Transformation: Politics, Functions, and Symbols,” January 24-26, 2013. In Fall 2012, she partnered with the City of Boise’s Department of Art and History to create a graduate-led project to study the contribution of artist residences in the Treasure Valley. She was also appointed the Mission Advancement Vice Chair for the Idaho Chapter of the Urban Land Institute.
She has been an invited speaker and guest lecturer on arts economic development at national conferences and symposia. She has presented work at the American Collegiate Schools of Planning, Urban History, and Society for American City and Planning History conferences. In addition to authoring policy reports for the Penn Institute of Urban Research and Penn Praxis, she has co-authored two publications, including Crossover: How Artists Build Careers across Commercial, Nonprofit, and Community Work, and Artists’ Centers: Evolution and Impact on Careers, Neighborhoods and Economies.
Dr. Johnson Ashley received a PhD in City and Regional Planning in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political of Science and International Studies from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University. Her areas of research and teaching expertise include economic development, community development, housing policy, and public/private partnerships.