Anne Taufen, Ph.D., MGA

Associate Professor
Campus Box
Social Ecology
University of California, Irvine
Government Administration
University of Pennsylvania
English and French Literature
University of Virginia

Anne Taufen is Associate Professor in the Urban Studies program at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her research focuses on planning for sustainable urban development, with two main areas of interest. First, her theoretical work is concerned with narrative constructions of urban spatial policy, and the recursive relationship between planning discourse and pragmatic action. This includes questions of inclusion and equity – whom governance serves, and with what outcomes; as well as questions of socio-material change – how governing processes are held in place, influenced or transformed, with a focus on things, practices, and technologies. The second main area of research is a subset of environmental justice: public access to urban waterways. This work considers the planning, politics, history, and legality of how people use waterway spaces, and to what ends, an issue of increasing policy relevance as we face global climate change.

Dr. Taufen is the Graduate Program Coordinator for the MA in Community Planning, where she currently co-leads the culminating project, a two term studio practicum.

She currently co-chairs a working group on Port City Transitions with Ken Yocom (UW Seattle, Landscape Architecture) for the Sustainable Cities and Landscape hub of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, and is co-editing a volume from its inaugural 2017 gathering with planning and governance scholar Yizhao Yang (University of Oregon).

For two years (2015-2016) Dr. Taufen co-chaired the Planning Theory track of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, where with colleagues she created a pre-conference gathering and annual roundtable for new voices in planning theory (see Barry et al 2016, Unsettling Planning Theory, below).
Anne Taufen serves as a Faculty Senator for UW Tacoma, and on the Steering Committee for Urban@UW. In 2017-2018, she was a faculty co-director for Livable City Year, an annual UW-wide partnership between the university and a local jurisdiction. During the 2017-2018 partnership year with the City of Tacoma, Dr. Taufen led the matching of 12 of 27 total projects with UWT courses.

In 2018, following repeated confusions with other Anne Wessells working at UW and in the region (in nursing and in watershed management) – Dr. Taufen returned to legal use of her pre-married surname. Her bibliography, below, reflects this change.

CV or Resume
PDF icon CV Anne Taufen2-2019.pdf345.76 KB
Publication Date Bibliographic Citation

Forthcoming - Taufen, Anne (2019) "Politicisation of Community Development: Universities as Boundary Objects" Chapter 11 in Politics and Conflict in Governance and Planning, ed. Ayda Eraydina and Klaus Frey. London: Routledge.


Taufen, Anne, "Dear Prudence: Power, Campus-Community Collaborations, and the Elusive Space Between Constructive Disruption and Neoliberal Subcontract" (2018). Conflux. 12.


Barry, Janice, Megan Horst, Andy Inch, Crystal Legacy, Susmita Rishi, Juan J Rivero, Anne Taufen, Juliana M Zanotto, Andrew Zitcer (2018) Unsettling Planning Theory. Planning Theory 17(3): 418-438. *alphabetical authorship


Wessells, Anne Taufen and Raul Lejano. (2017). Urban waterways and waterfront spaces: Social construction of a common good. Journal of the Southwest. 59(1-2): 106-132. Project MUSE - Urban Waterways and Waterfront Spaces: Social Construction of a Common Good Ways of Knowing the Urban Waterway: Construction of a Shared Commons. Urban waterway redevelopment is a worldwide phenomenon of notable policy significance. It occurs at the intersection of a number of related trends (Desfor et al., 2012; Hein, 2011).


Taufen Wessells, Anne (2017) Public Reason and the Planning Academic. Planning Theory and Practice 18(1):163-167.


Goldstein, Bruce, Anne Taufen Wessells, Raul Lejano, and William Butler. (2015; Online First, 2013). Narrating Resilience: Transforming Cities Through Collaborative Storytelling. Urban Studies. 52(7): 1285-1303.


Wessells, Anne Taufen. (2014). “Ways of Knowing the Los Angeles River Watershed: Getting from Engaged Participation to Inclusive Deliberation,” chapter in Varieties of Civic Innovation: Deliberative, Collaborative, Network, and Narrative Approaches, eds. Carmen Sirianni and Jennifer Girouard. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.


Wessells, Anne Taufen. (2014). Urban blue space and the “project of the century”: Doing justice on the Seattle waterfront and for local residents. Buildings. 4(4): 764-784.


Dierwechter, Yonn and Anne Taufen Wessells. (2013). The Uneven Localisation of Climate Action in Metropolitan Seattle. Urban Studies. 50(7):1368-1385. selected for inclusion in 2017 Virtual Special Issue, "Urban debates for climate change after the Kyoto Protocol" ed. Yong Tu.


Wessells, Anne Taufen. (2011). “The ‘ultimate team sport’?: Urban waterways and youth rowing in Seattle,” chapter in The Paradox of Urban Space: Inequity and Transformation in Marginalized Communities, eds. Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp, London: Palgrave Macmillan Press.


Wessells, Anne Taufen. (2010). Place-based conservation and urban waterways: watershed activism in the bottom of the basin. Natural Resources Journal, 50(2), Summer 2010.


Lejano, Raul and Anne Taufen Wessells. (2006). Community and Economic Development: Seeking Common Ground in Discourse and Practice. Urban Studies. 43(9): 1469-1489, August.