L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Damian Pitt

Damian Pitt

Associate professor

Raleigh Building, Room 3016B Phone: (804) 828-7397 Email: dpitt@vcu.edu


  • Solar energy policy and planning
  • Climate action planning
  • Collaborative environmental planning


B.S., Sociology, University of Tennessee
M.C.R.P., University of Oregon
Ph.D., Planning, Governance and Globalization, Virginia Polytechnic University


Energy planning, land use and infrastructure planning, environmental policy and planning, planning theory, planning skills and service learning

Research interests

State and local energy and climate policy, climate action planning, grid integration and permitting issues for renewable energy systems, energy implications of land use planning and smart growth


Dr. Damian Pitt’s work examines opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through energy conservation, renewable energy use, land use and transportation policies. He has written numerous academic articles and professional reports, including recent studies for the Virginia Division of Mines, Minerals and Energy, the City of Richmond’s Office of Sustainability and the Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA). His most recent academic publications have investigated the factors behind local government adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, and in particular their use of collaborative planning techniques to develop their clean energy strategies. Pitt also sits on the board of directors for RREA, the Virginia chapter of the American Planning Association. Prior to his academic career, he worked for Cogan Owens Greene, a nationally respected urban planning consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.

Pitt is committed to the pursuit of community-engaged research, which brings together the talent and resources of the university to work on diverse collaborations that benefit the people and communities of the commonwealth. His teaching incorporates students through service-learning courses that have produced a number of planning documents for various localities. Recent student projects include solar energy feasibility studies for the City of Richmond, Richmond Regional Energy Alliance and Virginia SUN, and bicycle and pedestrian plans for the City of Richmond and Bike-Walk RVA.

Selected publications

“Collaborative Approaches to Local Climate Change and Clean Energy Initiatives in the USA and England.” (2016). With Alina Congreve. Local Environment. Published online January 2016, print forthcoming.

“Collaborative Planning for Clean Energy Initiatives in Small to Mid-Sized Cities.” (2013). With Ellen Bassett. Journal of the American Planning Association 79 (4) 280-294.

“Evaluating the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Benefits of Compact Housing Development.” (2013). Journal of Environmental Planning & Management 56 (4) 588-606.

“The Impact of Internal and External Characteristics on the Adoption of Climate Mitigation Policies by U.S. Municipalities.” (2010). Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 28 (5) 851-871.

“Harnessing Community Energy: The Keys to Climate Mitigation Policy Adoption in U.S. Municipalities.” September, 2010. Local Environment 15 (8) 717-729.