Assistant Professor @ Texas A&M University
in Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning
NEWS: I will write no matter what, on whichever platform I can. I have no personal agenda to infuse into my life's mission. I will change the world for the better, and I accept all risks and sacrifices.
Keep up with the exciting adventures of me, my colleagues, and the students
in our quest for stronger, happier, brighter communities
Dr. Christine Wen is an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning (LAUP) at Texas A&M University studying the impact of economic development policy on social equity and teaching urban planning. Prior to joining TAMU, she worked for Good Jobs First in D.C. producing research in support of transparency and accountability in government processes and development schemes.
Christine received her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University in 2019 with her interdisciplinary research, supported mainly by the C.V. Starr Fellowship, that bridges developmental sociology, critical geography, political economy, and labor studies. She was also part of an award-winning team that pushed for a more just and equitable tax system for the rural parts of upstate New York.
In her former life, she worked a year-long hydrology research project for the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Prior to that, she helped out with the cosmic microwave background radiation group at Princeton University while completing a bachelor's degree in physics there. And before that, at age 15, she received First-Class Honors with Distinctions in professional piano performance for the Associate Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada where she lived as a teenager.
Christine now resides in eastern Texas with her dog Arthur, cats Salem and Billy, lizard Syren, and parrot Jake. She loves literature, science, philosophy, art, music, theater, and interior design, and spends her spare time writing stories, boating, bushcrafting, boxing, playing video games, swimming, cooking, studying foreign languages, hanging with friends, and finally picking up piano again after 17 years.
CONSCIOUSNESS AND COMMUNICATIVE/COLLABORATIVE PLANNING
This series of essays builds on the works of Habermas, Forester, et. al. as well as scholarship in psychology, computing, and organizational theory -- further dissolving egotistic barriers with the aim of improving dispute resolution, conflict negotiation, consensus-building and intergovernmental collaboration.
CHILDREN IN OUR ECONOMY
This research examines the role of children in our social, economic, and political systems, and the responsibility of planners towards them. It identifies gaps in planning around the economics of child and educational development.
TAKING CONTROL OF HEALTH OUTCOMES
This research examines the social determinants of willingness to participate in decisions shaping local environmental policy outcomes for public health and what they mean for community engagement.
EQUITY IMPACT FORECAST IN POLICY AND BUDGET
This project will result in social cost models that can be used for scoring programs and legislations in ways that would minimize unintentional damages to poor communities and the social fabric, within and between.
INDUSTRIAL POLICY, AUSTERITY, AND GENTRIFICATION
The project puts governmental intervention in steering the placement and flow of production factors under a critical lens by examining the politics behind the location choice for manufacturing and warehousing facilities and the effects on surrounding neighborhoods, which are typically Hispanic and/or of color.
GROWTH MACHINE VS. SOCIAL EQUITY
This project aims to center children and public education in economic development planning by seeking greater accountability in government policy. A classic prisoner's dilemma scenario, the intergovernmental war over private sector investment is driving educational funding into the ground and undermining the collective utility of U.S. communities. Things need to change right now, and collective action/impact may just be the way to do it.
FISCAL POLICY AND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT
This research looks at the effects of tax policy on planning and governance. One project resulted in an original database of disaggregated index measuring the severity of U.S. state restrictions with regard to local taxation.
(PAST) SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION
This project examines the socioeconomic integration of rural migrant families in Chinese cities with multi-level policy research, statistical analysis on housing and social security, and fieldwork on informal schooling for migrant children.
(PAST) NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
An offshoot from the hydrological research at the Earth Institute, his project compares centralized and decentralized mode of governance in regard to the outcomes for groundwater depletion.
Christine Wen. 2023. "Do economic development tax abatements affect school finances?" Economic Development Quarterly. Click here to read.
Christine Wen and Greg LeRoy. 2022. "Making the students pay? The gross fiscal cost of tax incentives for U.S. school districts." Community Development. Click here to read.
Christine Wen. 2020. "Educating rural migrant children in interior China: The promise and pitfall of low-fee private schools." International Journal of Educational Development 79. Click here to read.
Christine Wen, Yuanshuo Xu, Yunji Kim, and Mildred Warner. 2020. "Starving counties, squeezing cities: Tax and expenditure limits in the U.S." Journal of Economic Policy Reform 23 (2), 101-119. Click here to read.
Christine Wen and Jeremy Wallace. 2019. "Toward human-centered urbanization? Housing ownership and access to social insurance among migrant households in China." Sustainability 11 (13), 3567-3581. Click here to read.
REPORTS AND PAPERS
Christine Wen. 2023. "Corporate subsidies versus public education: How tax abatements cost New York public schools."
Christine Wen. 2022. "The revenue impact of corporate tax incentives on South Carolina public schools 2017-2021."
Christine Wen et al. 2021. "Mapping Amazon 2.0: Where the online giant locates and why."
Christine Wen et al. 2021. "Revealing the true costs of tax incentives: Eight critical improvements needed for GASB Statement No. 77."
Christine Wen et al. 2021. "Abating our future: How students pay for corporate tax breaks."
"School boards must speak up when money goes away." The Cincinnati Enquirer.
"NY school boards needn't be powerless against corporate tax breaks." The Post-Standard.
"Black and Brown students pay for this tax break. Texas should not extend it." The Houston Chronicle.
How economic development is killing Michigan school funding." The Detroit News.
ANNUAL CONFERENCES OF ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGIATE SCHOOLS OF PLANNING
2021. "Making the students pay? The impact of tax incentives on school finance." Miami, Florida.
2018. "Migrant housing ownership in urban China: Evidence from survey data." Buffalo, New York.
2015. "Restrictiveness of TEL (tax and expenditure limits) and impact on local fiscal stress." Houston, Texas.
2021. America's Work Force (AWF) Union Podcast on new report "Abating our future: How students pay for corporate tax breaks."
2021. In the Public Interest (ITPI) on "Corporate subsidies not only rarely work, but they're also starving public schools."
2021. Sanctuary for Independent Media, Hudson Mohawk Radio Network on how "Corporate tax breaks hurt schools."
2022. "Where do Amazon.com locate its warehouses?" (accepted for Esri User Conference)
2022. "How tax incentives constrain K-12 education." Delivered virtually at the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) Conference.
2021. "Researching the impact of tax abatements on educational inequality: A how-to guide." Delivered virtually at the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Symposium.
2018. "Development, education, and the urban integration of rural migrants in interior China." Delivered at the International Conference of China Urban Development in Glasgow, U.K.
2017. "Engineering urbanization and growth in China's poor periphery." Delivered at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.