Dr. Ralph P. Hall is an Associate Professor in the Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) program at Virginia Tech (VT) and is the Director of the Undergraduate Program in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). Dr. Hall’s areas of expertise lie in several domains that are connected by the underlying goal of making progress towards more sustainable forms of development. His first research area focuses on the provision of sustainable water supply services in developing countries. Dr. Hall has co-led two major research projects that studied the emerging concept of multiple-use water services(MUS) in Colombia, Senegal, and Kenya for the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), and evaluated a rural water program in Nampula, Mozambique for the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
Dr. Hall’s second research area focuses on sustainable transportation in developed countries, and is captured by his co-authored book “Sustainable Transportation: Indicators, Frameworks, and Performance Management.” Dr. Hall also serves as a member of the National Academies Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) Transportation and Sustainability Committee, and led its research subcommittee from 2012 to 2016.
In his third research area, Dr. Hall focuses on strategies to transform the industrial state towards sustainable development. Specific emphasis is given to nurturing disruptive innovation and addressing inequality, developing meaningful and well-paid employment, and expanding earning capacity through leveraging ideas such as binary economics while ensuring human activity remains within ecosystem limits. In 2018, Dr. Hall published a revised edition of his co-authored textbook entitled “Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development: Transforming the Industrial State.”
Dr. Hall is currently co-leading the Mzuni Library Initiative to help rebuild a library devastated by fire at Mzuzu University, Malawi, and the VT-VUU Beloved Community initiative, a partnership between VT and Virginia Union University to explore and advance Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s conception of the Beloved Community in the 21st century.