Robert William Pfaff (Rob), Ph.D.
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 Title: Assistant Professor - Visiting
 Dept: Urban Studies
 Office:
 Phone:
 Email: r.w.pfaff@csuohio.edu
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. , Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught


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Education:
Ph.D., Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan
M.A., Urban History, Wayne State University
 
Brief Bio:
Rob is originally from Detroit, and his research addresses the structural histories of racial inequality in rustbelt cities, and analyzes post-industrial decline. His primary studies investigate how public transportation service and operation has contributed to metropolitan sprawl and regional segregation between cities and suburbs. His work argues that public transportation has tacitly influenced segregated settlement patterns by limiting transit access to minority and underserved communities during the period of mass suburbanization, and white flight. The primary source archival findings of his research demonstrate that the City of Detroit scaled back public transportation to suburban destinations shortly after the violent 1967 rebellion, despite having ample resources and legal mandate to operate beyond city limits. This contributes a new possible literature to how urban planning has been involved in regional segregation beyond the well-known histories of redlining and urban renewal. His future research will look at the history of bussing as a tool of school integration after Brown v. Board of Education.

Prior to arriving at Cleveland State University, Rob received his PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan with a dissertation titled ¿Regions, Race, Rail and Rubber: An Analysis of How Transportation Planning Decisions Contributed to Regional Segregation, 1922 ¿ 1973.¿ While at Michigan, he was a Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Research Fellow, and served as the co-coordinator of the Detroit School Series and Interdisciplinary Workshop. He also worked as an instructor at Wayne State University teaching courses on history, and also on gender, sexuality, and women¿s studies. Prior to his teaching and research, Rob studied to become a public school teacher, and worked at Marcus Garvey K-8 Academy in Detroit Public Schools, and as an Assistant Coordinator of a GED program at an Alternative Education High School in suburban Detroit. His primary focus has always been to strengthen communities through equitable access to educational resources and teaching.