Robert Silverman

Robert Silverman

Professor, UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning

329 Hayes Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214


Rob Silverman is the Senior Research Associate in the Center for Urban Studies, a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Director of the Urban and Regional Planning PhD Program at the University at Buffalo. His research and teaching focus on fair and affordable housing, education reform, community development, and urban social institutions. He has published a number of journal articles, books, book chapters, and edited volumes on these topics.


Dr. Silverman’s research focuses on the non-profit sector, the role of community-based organizations in urban neighborhoods, education reform, shrinking cities, and inequality in inner city housing markets. His current research projects include studies of non-profit organizations, anchor institutions, inner-city schools, and fair housing.


B.S. (political science), Arizona State University
M.P.A. (public administration), Arizona State University
Ph.D. (urban studies), University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee


Dr. Silverman’s primary teaching interests are in the area of community development. In the past, he has taught courses in: community development planning, public finance, economic development, citizen participation, non-profit management, and housing policy. In addition to teaching in these areas, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Public Service

Dr. Silverman is a member of the governing board of the Urban Affairs Association (UAA). He is also co-chair of the 2014 conference program committee for the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). In addition to these activities, he has served on committees for the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), the Community Development Society (CDS), and other professional organizations. He is on the editorial boards of the journals Critical Sociology and Community Development. He has been a manuscript referee for the British Journal of Sociology, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Urban Affairs, Sage Publications, Rowman and Littlefield, and other publications. Dr. Silverman has also served on the University at Buffalo Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board (SBSIRB), been an academic delegate for the University at Buffalo Chapter of the United University Professions (UUP), and provided professional and community service in a number of other capacities.

Selected Publications

  • Silverman, Robert Mark. (2014) “Urban, Suburban and Rural Contexts of School Districts and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategies: Rediscovering Equity in Education Policy and Urban Planning.” Leadership and Policy in Schools.
  • Silverman, Robert Mark, Lewis, Jade and Patterson, Kelly L. (2014). “William Worthy’s Concept of ‘Institutional Rape’ Revisited: Anchor Institutions and Residential Displacement in Buffalo, NY.” Humanity & Society.
  • Schools and Urban Revitalization: Rethinking Institutions and Community Development. New York: Routledge, 2013. (with Kelly Patterson)
  • “Chasing a Paper Tiger: Evaluating Buffalo’s Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice,”Current Urban Studies, 1(3), 2013. (with Kelly Patterson and Jade Lewis).
  • “Dawn of the Dead City: An Exploratory Analysis of Vacant Addresses in Buffalo, NY 2008-2010,”Journal of Urban Affairs, 35(2) 131-152, 2013. (with  Li Yin and Kelly Patterson).
  • “Making Waves or Treading Water?: An Analysis of Charter Schools in New York State.”Urban Education, 48(2): 257-288, 2013.
  • “The Nonprofitization of Public Education: Implications of Requiring Charter Schools to be Nonprofits in New York,”Nonprofit Policy Forum, 3(1), 2012.
  • “The Four Horsemen of the Fair Housing Apocalypse: A Critique of Fair Housing Policy in the U.S.,”Critical Sociology, 38(1): 123-140, 2012. (with Kelly Patterson)
  • Fair and Affordable Housing in the US: Trends, Outcomes, Future Directions.Boston: Brill, 2011 and Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012. (with Kelly Patterson).
  • “The Effects of Perceived Funding Trends on Nonprofit Advocacy: A National Survey of Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations in the United States,”International Journal of Public Sector Management,24(5): 435-351, 2011 (with Kelly Patterson) (2012 Emerald Literati Network, Highly Commended Article Award)
  • “A Case for Expanding Nonprofit Activities in Affordable Housing: An Analysis of Low-income Housing Tax Credit Outcomes 1987-2006,” Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, 17(1):33-48, 2011 (with Kelly Patterson).
  • “Black Real Estate Pofessionals’ Perceptions of Career Opportunities: The Economic Detour Redux,” Review of Black Political Economy,38(2): 145-163, 2011.
  • “How Local Public Administrators, Non-Profit Providers and Elected Officials Perceive Impediments to Fair Housing in the Suburbs: An Analysis of Erie County, New York.” Housing Policy Debate, 21(1): 165-188, 2011 (with Kelly Patterson).
  • “How Unwavering is Support for the Local Property Tax?: Voting on School District Budgets in New York, 2003-2010.” Journal of Education Finance, 36(3): 294-311, 2011.
  • “The Effects of Perceived Funding Trends on Nonprofit Advocacy: A National Survey of Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations in the United States,”International Journal of Public Sector Management, 24(5): 435-451, 2011(with Kelly Patterson).
  • Editor,Fair and Affordable Housing in the US: Trends, Outcomes, Future Directions (with Kelly Patterson) . Studies in Critical Social Sciences Series, 2011.
  • “Including Voices of the Excluded: Lessons from Buffalo, NY” (with Kelly Patterson and Henry Taylor), Community Development, a Critical Analysis, 
  • “Non-profit Perceptions of Local Government Performance in Affordable Housing,”International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis 2(3): 253-262, 2009.
  • “Perceptions of Nonprofit Funding Decisions: A Survey of Local Public Administrators and Executive Directos of Community-Based Housing Organizations (CBHOs),” Public Organization Review9(3): 235-246, 2009.
  • “The Influence of Nonprofit Networks on Local Affordable Housing Funding: Findings from a National Survey of Local Public Administrators,”Urban Affairs Review, Vol. 44.1, pp. 126-241, 2008.
  • “Sandwiched Between Patronage and Bureaucracy: The Plight of Citizen Participation in Community-Based Housing Organizations (CBHOs),” Urban Studies, Vol. 46.1, pp. 3-25, 2009.
  • “CBOs and Affordable Housing,” National Civic Review, Vol. 97.3, pp.26-31, 2008.
  • “The Role of Citizen Participation and Action Research Principles in Main Street Revitalization: An Analysis of a Local Planning Project,” (with Henry L. Taylor, Jr. and Christopher G. Crawford) Action Research, 6.1: 69-93, 2008.
  • “Building a Better Neighborhood Housing Partnership.” (with Kelly L. Patterson) Housing and Society, Vol. 34.2, pp. 187-211, 2007.
  • “Mortgage Lending Disparities in Metropolitan Buffalo: Implications for Community Reinvestment Policy,” Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy,  38.1, pp. 36-44, 2008.
  • “Central City Socio-Economic Characteristics and Public Participation Strategies: A Comparative Analysis of the Niagara Region’s Municipalities in the US and Canada,”International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy,  28, No. 3/4, 138-153, 2006.
  • “Caught in the Middle: Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and the Conflict Between Grassroots and Instrumental Forms of Citizen Participation,” Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society, Vol. 36, No. 2, 35-51, 2005.
  • “Community Socioeconomic Status and Disparities in Mortgage Lending: An Analysis of Metropolitan Detroit.” The Social Science Journal, 2005.
  • “Redlining in a Majority Black City?: Mortgage Lending and the Racial Composition of Detroit Neighborhoods,” The Western Journal of Black Studies,  29, No. 1, 531-541, 2005.
  • Community-Based Organizations: The Intersection of Social Capital and Local Context in Contemporary Urban Society. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ed. 2004.
  • “Progressive Reform, Gender, and Institutional Structure: A Critical Analysis of Citizen Participation in Detroit ‘s Community Development Corporations (CDCs),” Urban Studies, 40.13: 2731-2750, 2003.
  • “Citizens’ District Councils in Detroit: The Promise and Limits of Using Planning Advisory Boards to Promote Citizen Participation,” National Civic Review, 92.4: 3-13, 2003.
  • “Vying for the Urban Poor: Charitable Organizations, Faith-Based Social Capital, and Racial Reconciliation in a Deep South City,”Sociological Inquiry,1: 151-165, 2003.
  • “Neighborhood Characteristics, CDC Emergence and the Community Development Industry System: A Case Study of the American Deep South,” Community Development Journal, 36.3: 234-245, 2003.
  • “CDCs and Charitable Organizations in the Urban South: Mobilizing Social Capital Based on Race and Religion for Neighborhood Revitalization,”Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 30.2: 240-268, 2001.

Selected Activites, Honors, and Awards

Moderator for the Cyberhood (; Emerald Literati Network Commended Article Award, 2012; Scott Greer Award for Postgraduate Achievement in the Study of Urban Social Institutions, 2009; Community Development Society Outstanding Program Award, 2008 (with Frida Ferrer, Jacqueline Hall, Jeff Kujawa, Kelly Patterson, and Henry Taylor; Outstanding Graduate, 1992, Arizona State University, College of Public Programs.