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Maria Manta Conroy, PhD

  • Associate Professor, City and Regional Planning Section
225 Knowlton Hall

Maria Manta Conroy is an associate professor of city and regional planning at the Knowlton School. Dr. Conroy received a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in systems engineering and a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and a PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Conroy's research interests are focused on planning for sustainable development, especially in terms of plan quality and watershed based planning; enhancing participation processes; and planning around sensitive and protected lands, including water related resources. She and lead author Dr. Philip Berke were awarded the 2001 American Planning Association's National Planning Best Article award for Are we Planning for Sustainable Development? An Evaluation of 30 Comprehensive Plans. Works in preparation expand on watershed planning analysis, analyzing the incorporation of green stormwater infrastructure planning in land use plans, as well as examining protected lands in light of climate change expectations. She teaches courses on planning history, planning for sustainable development, environmental planning and policy, and contemporary planning research.

Dr. Conroy holds courtesy appointments in the Environmental Science Graduate Program and  the Department of Geography. She is a member of the University's Sustainability Education and Learning Committee. She serves as the faculty advisor for the City and Regional Planning Student Association. Conroy also serves as a member of the City of Columbus Development Commission.


CRPLAN 7000: Contemporary Planning Research
CRPLAN 6410: Introduction to Planning for Sustainable Development
CRPLAN 6150: Environmental Planning and Policy for a Sustainable Future
CRPLAN 6000: Historical Foundations of Planning
CRPLAN 2210: Sustainable Urbanism

Recent Work

Planning for water quality in OH: What role(s) for planners?

Maria Conroy's recent work has focused on the land-water nexus and the role of planning and planners. Her recent work in the Journal of Environmental Science and Policy uses the state of Ohio as a case study to explore the role of planning and planners with respect to water quality mitigation through watershed planning efforts. Conroy finds watershed planning efforts in Ohio to be a multidimensional and complex process. Despite the connection of water quality and land use, there is little evidence of planner's involvement in many watershed based planning efforts.  The results of this paper are important to ongoing efforts to improve and protect surface water quality in the U.S.

Selected Publications

Conroy, Maria Manta. 2018. Planning for Water Quality in OH: What Role(s) for Planners? Journal of Environmental Science & Policy 88:39-45.


Conroy, Maria Manta, and Jun, Hee-Jung. 2016. Planning Process Influences on Sustainability in Ohio Township Plans. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 59(11): 2007-2023


Jun, Hee-Jung, and Conroy, Maria Manta. 2014. Linking resilience and sustainability in Ohio township planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 57(6): 904-919.


Jun, Hee-Jung, and Maria Manta Conroy. 2013. Comprehensive Planning and Sustainability in Georgia’s Exurbs. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 15(3): 329-351.


Conroy, M. M. (2011). Influences on Public Participation in Watershed Planning. Journal of Planning Practice and Research 26(4), 467-479.