Researcher Spotlight

Providence Adu
Providence Adu
Doctoral Student

Providence Adu is a doctoral student in geography at UNC Charlotte and a former planner for the city of Charlotte. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana and a Master of Science in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University. Adu's interests and work include mapping, GIS systems, data visualizations and data management. 

His research at UNC Charlotte has included collaborating with professors to map the suburbanization of poverty and job access across the region, work that was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Inclusion. At the Urban Institute, Adu works on mapping projects, especially the Quality of Life Explorer tracking about 80 metrics of social well-being at the neighborhood level across Charlotte. 

What are your main research interests?

My research interests are in housing policy, neighborhood change, segregation, and the application of geographic information science tools and machine learning methods in undertaking social science research. My current PhD research is focused on predicting urban gentrification using machine learning. 

What drew you to your field?

Initially, I wanted to enroll in business school because my high school background was in business studies. However, I later found city planning as my niche, having learned that I could be involved in policy work that could impact many lives. 

What do you find rewarding about your work?

As a city planner, researching neighborhood change and housing policy, I find it rewarding that the knowledge I produce through empirical research helps add to existing work that helps deal with social issues that pertain to  inequality. 

What do you hope to accomplish, or change, through your work?

I hope that through my research and my work, social issues that need addressing would be highlighted and policies that help provoke change would eventually be implemented.  

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