About Sean Kennedy
Dr. Kennedy’s research analyzes the relationship between environmental planning and regional development, with an emphasis on how urban sustainability initiatives shape economies and livelihoods in rural and peri-urban regions. His research and teaching interests span areas of urban sustainability, international planning, environmental governance, and regional development, with a geographic focus on Southeast Asia and the United States.
Dr. Kennedy has wide-ranging environmental policy experience across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including policy and research positions at the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in Canberra, Australia, and the World Agroforestry Centre in Bogor, Indonesia. He received his PhD in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018. Upon the completion of his doctoral study, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, where he contributed technical expertise and supported stakeholder engagement as part of the Los Angeles County Sustainability Plan.
- PhD in Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning, University of California, Los Angeles
- Graduate Certificate, International Urban and Environmental Management, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
- Graduate Diploma, Environmental and Resource Economics, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia
- Bachelor of Business, Human Resource Management, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia
Research and publications
Ongoing and upcoming research
Ongoing and Upcoming Research
Adaptation for whom? Mainstreaming climate change adaptation and the (re)distribution of risk in Indonesia
This research examines the ways that the ‘mainstreaming’ of climate change adaptation is reshaping dynamics of environmental governance and exposure to risk in Indonesia. Understanding the intersection between climate adaptation efforts and the structural causes of climate vulnerability will support further analysis of the ways in which climate adaptation efforts (re)distribute risk, and in doing so, potentially work to ameliorate or deepen existing vulnerabilities in different contexts across Indonesia.
Ongoing and Upcoming Research
Renewable energy and the challenges of land use in Southeast Asia: a comparative analysis
Southeast Asia has abundant RE resources yet difficulties in acquiring land pose significant barriers to project development. To facilitate RE growth, several national governments have relaxed land use regulations by expediting permitting and lowering land acquisition costs for RE developers. This 12-month multidisciplinary project will compare how three emerging RE hotspots – Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines – are employing land use policy to facilitate large-scale RE development.
Kennedy, S. (2021) The power to stay: Climate, cocoa, and the politics of displacement. Annals of the American Association of Geographers
Kennedy, S. & Stock, R. (2021) “Alternative energy capital of the world”? Geographies of energy, land, and finance in Los Angeles' urban periphery. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space
Pincetl, S. & Kennedy, S. (2021) Environmental Protection, Climate Regulation, and the Persistence of Sprawl in California. GeoJournal
Kennedy, S. (2021) Rescaling energy governance and the democratizing potential of ‘Community Choice’. The Paradoxes of Policies, Plans and Practices: Case Studies in the Global [Im]-Possibilities for Just Sustainabilities, Bloomsbury Press
Kennedy, S. (2020). Research: Land Use Challenges for Indonesia's Transition to Renewable Energy. The Conversation. July 2, 2020.
Kennedy, S., and Rosen B. 2020. The Rise of Community Choice Aggregation and Its Implications for California's Energy Transition: A Preliminary Assessment. Energy & Environment.
Kennedy, S, and Pincetl, S. (2019). Environmental Protection, Climate Regulation, and the Persistence of Sprawl in California. Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Kennedy, S. (2018). Indonesia's energy transition and its contradictions: Emerging geographies of energy and finance. Energy Research & Social Science
Kennedy, S., Leimona, B & Yi, Z. (2017). Making a green rubber stamp: emerging dynamics of natural rubber eco-certification. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management
Teaching and advising
- UP 246: International Environmental Planning and Governance
- UP 486: Planning with Climate Change (Climate Action Planning)
- UP 499: Food and the City
MUP Capstone Advising
- Abhinand Krishnashankar - Mobilizing Nature-based Solutions for Transformative Adaptation: A Case Study of the Cooum River Restoration in Chennai, India
- Shubhika Agarwal – Regional Grid Integration: The Study of 7 ASEAN Member States
- Moazam Hakim - Sustainable Strategies for Climate Action and Resilience Planning in Conflicted Landscapes: The case of Srinagar City, India
- Mohsen Fatemi - Climate Action Plan - Illinois State Parks: Rock Cut State Park