David Hsu


Urban Studies & Planning


Planning, deployment, and evaluation of experimental microgrids


Elise Harrington


David is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He taught previously at the University of Pennsylvania and New York University, and worked in engineering, finance, and in the city governments of New York and Seattle. He holds a BS from Yale University in physics, an MS from Cornell University in applied and engineering physics, an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science in city design and social science, and from the University of Washington in Seattle, a PhD in urban design and planning and a certificate in social science and statistics.

His research and teaching areas focus on how to use environmental policy and planning to shape cities to become more efficient in their use of resources, more livable, and healthier. Much of his work seeks to assist local policymakers and environmental advocates directly in the stages of policy design and implementation.

Current projects include studies of: policies and tools for planning green infrastructure, funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency; smart infrastructure, funded by the National Science Foundation; deployment of experimental microgrids in rural India, funded by the Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT.

Previous projects include studies of how information affects energy efficiency in commercial buildings, funded by the US Department of Energy; and demand response in informal settlements in Brazil, funded by the Fulbright NEXUS program.

Topics of particular interest include energy and water networks; energy access; information policies such as disclosure and user feedback; new technologies and strategies to control distributed energy sources, electric vehicles and stationary storage; and data analysis.