Louis A. Merlin, Ph.D., AICP

Louis MerlinAssociate Professor
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Program Coordinator, Master of Urban and Regional Planning
(561) 440-3185 | Office: SO 284 I
Curriculum Vitae  |  Video | Research

Louis A. Merlin, Ph.D., AICP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University and the program coordinator for the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. Dr. Merlin draws upon a strong background in Mathematics and Operations Research and experience as a professional urban planner in his role as faculty. Dr. Merlin is particularly interested in developing mathematical models that shed insight into pressing urban policy questions.

Dr. Merlin’s educational background includes a BA in Mathematics with Honors from Yale and National Science Foundation-funded graduate work towards Master’s Degrees in Operations Research and in City and Regional Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  While at Georgia Tech, he was awarded the Glatting Jackson Student Award and the American Institute of Certified Planners Outstanding Student Award.  After a hiatus in professional practice, Dr. Merlin earned a doctoral degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina. His research work was funded by the prestigious Royster Society of Fellows.

Professionally, Dr. Merlin’s first full-time job was working in data mining for the marketing department of a credit card company.  Later, after earning his urban planning degree, he worked as an urban planning consultant for EDAW | AECOM, based out of their Atlanta office. His professional engagements at EDAW centered on comprehensive planning, redevelopment planning, and corridor planning for local and regional governments throughout the southeastern US.

Dr. Merlin’s current research concerns how to better integrate transportation and land use planning through the development of accessibility-based performance measures and tools, as well as improved methods for analyzing pedestrian travel patterns and travel needs. His co-authored book “From Mobility to Accessibility: Transforming Transport and Land-Use Planning,” argues that transportation planning ought to shift from its current focus on vehicular speeds toward enabling all people to reach destinations by multiple modes.

He teaches courses in theories of urban form, transportation, and quantitative methods for urban analysis. Currently, he also teaches Planning Workshop, a course where a class of students collaborate on a real-world planning problem for a local client. In 2021, Dr. Merlin’s Planning Workshop class won the Outstanding Student Project Award from the Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association.