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Robert E. Lang

Professor, Greenspun College of Urban Affairs

Director, Brookings Mountain West
Executive Director, The Lincy Institute at UNLV

Expertise: Economic Development, Urban Growth, Politics, Metropolitan Policy


Robert Lang is a nationally recognized authority on urban growth, economic development, and population dynamics, including the interplay between politics and growth in the American West. Lang is often called on by national business leaders and media to provide an understanding economic recovery in the west (including Nevada), what elements led to the region’s economic decline, and what it will take to bring it back.

His research specialties include suburban studies, real estate, demographic and spatial analysis, economic development, and metropolitan policy.

He has authored more than 150 academic and professional publications and has developed many new urban planning concepts such as "Boomburbs," "Edgeless Cities," and "Megapolitan Areas." His new book, Megapolitan America (American Planning Association), details the rise of megapolitan areas and how they will change how American plans. He is also a contributor to the new book America's New Swing Region (Brookings Institution Press), which examines the profound economic, political, and social changes that continue to reshape the Mountain West. Lang's research has been featured in numerous media outlets, including USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News.

Lang is a professor in the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and serves as the UNLV director of Brookings Mountain West and the executive director of The Lincy Institute at UNLV. He is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a fellow of the Urban Land Institute, both in Washington, D.C.

Lang earned a Ph.D. in urban sociology from Rutgers University.

Robert E. Lang In The News

Sep 5, 2018

In Clark County, Nev., which encompasses Las Vegas, the minimum distance required between the back of a single-family home and its rear property line is 20 feet. That requirement can shrink to 15 feet in areas zoned for denser housing. County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani recently announced forming a committee to explore increasing the minimum size of backyards for newly constructed homes in the unincorporated county.

Feb 23, 2018

On the morning after his State of the Union address, in which President Donald Trump told the nation that his administration had “ended the war on American energy,” he made news that suggested otherwise.

Jan 11, 2018

Thousands of busy people with limited time to burn mulled around outside the Las Vegas convention and world trade center after a blackout temporarily shut off the lights at CES.

Oct 20, 2017

The deadline for Las Vegas to submitted its bid to become the next city where Amazon builds its second massive H2Q headquarters arrived Friday. If Las Vegas is selected, the project will bring an estimated 50,000 jobs to the valley area.

Articles Featuring Robert E. Lang

Student at commencement
Jun 2, 2016
Campus News

A collection of recent news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.

Nov 25, 2013
Social network analysis of 460 local nonprofits in health, social services and education reveals the organizations that “make things happen."