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Photo of Al-Kodmany, Kheir

Kheir Al-Kodmany, Ph.D.


Urban Planning and Policy


Building & Room:

237 CUPPA Hall, MC 348


412 S Peoria St., Suite 237

Office Phone:

(312) 413-3884



Dr. Kheir Al-Kodmany is a Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His research and teaching cover a broad spectrum of topics, including vertical urbanism, sustainable design, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), visualization systems, public participation, crowd management, economic development, and skyscrapers. He has published nine books (five single-author, one co-authored, two edited volumes, and one special collection) and over 100 papers with citations (2700+), h-index (25), i10-index (47). His books are often described as a "treasure trove…almost an encyclopedia…. everything you would want to know about architecture and urban design….a stroke of genius… a scholarly and important book," etc. According to ResearchGate, Dr. Al-Kodmany's publications are among the most read (140,000+ Reads). He serves on 20 editorial boards of professional journals. Dr. Al-Kodmany has taught for 25 years at UIC and five years at UIUC. He secured grants for a total of several hundred thousand dollars and authored visualization software. He ranks among the top faculty according to a study titled "Faculty Quality at U.S. Graduate Planning Schools, A National Research Council–Style Study," by the Journal of Planning Literature. He received numerous awards, including the American Planning Association Award for "Revise, Recreate, Rezone; Neighborhood Guide to Zoning," and the “2018 Best Paper Award” for the Buildings Journal. Before joining the UIC faculty, Prof. Al-Kodmany worked for the Chicago firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).

Dr. Al-Kodmany was invited by several governments, mayors, and organizations to assist in urban planning and architectural projects. He was invited by the Saudi Government to assist in the planning for Hajj (the annual pilgrimage of 3 million people). The project obtained international recognition for facilitating safe Hajj. His published article in the Journal of Urban Technology, "Planning for the Hajj: Political Power, Pragmatism, and Participatory GIS," is one of the most downloaded articles on Taylor and Francis' electronic platform. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley also invited Dr. Al-Kodmany to assist in planning for the "Taste of Chicago" event, and he devised crowd management and emergency evacuation plans. Mayor Daley also invited Dr. Al-Kodmany to assist in the Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Further, the Mayor of Amman, Jordan Omar Maani, invited him to help in preparing a master plan for the city, which received the 2008 World Leadership Award in Town Planning. Dr. Al-Kodmany is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and engages in training senior planners across the globe. He conducted over 200 presentations of his research and lectured in renowned universities including MIT, Harvard, Tokyo University, Musashi Institute of Technology, Yokohama Campus, and Fukui Prefectural University in Japan; Tongji University, Chongqing University, Giuanxing University in China; King Abdulaziz University and Umm Al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia; University College London (UCL) and the University of Glamorgan, WALES (UGW) in the U.K., University of Berlin, Germany, and the Technological University of Panama, Panama.

Dr. Al-Kodmany served as the Director of Graduate Studies for five years, the Associate Director of the City Design Center for eight years, and Co-Director of the Urban Data Visualization Laboratory for ten years at UIC, where he developed 3D modeling, virtual reality, GIS, and web-based mapping survey tools and software for effective participatory planning and design. He is affiliated with several professional organizations such as the APA, ACSP, CTBUH, URISA, and the like. While in the Ph.D. program, he took courses with his doctoral adviser, Professor Robert B. Riley, and J.B. Jackson at Harvard University. Al-Kodmany received the ACSP Best Dissertation Award as well as the Outstanding Ph.D. Award, and the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his early training in architecture from his late father, Dr. Abdul Muhsen Al-Kodmany, a Le Corbusier trainee and a graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France.

Selected Publications

Google Scholar:


Al-Kodmany, K. (2020). Tall Buildings and the City: Improving the Understanding of Placemaking, Imageability, and Tourism. Springer Publisher, 529 pages. ISBN 978-981-15-6029-3

DOI: 10.1007/978-981-15-6029-3


Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). The Vertical City: A Sustainable Development Model. WIT Press: Southampton, 756 pages.


Al-Kodmany, K. (2017). Understanding Tall Buildings: A Theory of Placemaking. New York, NY: Routledge. 270 pages.


Al-Kodmany, K. (2016). New Suburbanism: Sustainable Tall Building Development. New York, NY: Routledge. 308


Al-Kodmany, K. (2015). Eco-Towers: Sustainable Cities in the Sky. Southampton, UK: WIT Press. 500 pages.


Al-Kodmany, K. and Ali, Mir. (2013). The Future of the City: Tall Buildings and Urban Design. WIT Press: Southampton, UK. 445

Book Review:


Journal Articles

Al-Kodmany, K. (2020). “Rethinking Urban Density through Chicago Experience: A Socio-Ecological Practice Approach,” Socio-Ecological Practice Research,

Al-Kodmany, K. (2019). “Improving the Understanding of City Spaces for Tourism Applications,” Buildings Journal, August 2019, Vol 9, No 8, 2019. Pages. 1-25.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2019). “Social Media and Popular Places: The Case of Chicago,” International Journal of High-Rise Buildings. June 2019, Vol. 8, No. 2. Pages125-136. Published: 2019.06.01

Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). “Skyscrapers in the Twenty-First Century City: A Global Snapshot.” Buildings, 8(12) 175; 45 pages.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). “The Sustainable City: Practical Planning and Design Approaches”, Journal of Urban Technology. Vol. 25, No. 4, Pages 95-100. DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2018.1521584

Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). “New Suburbanism: Sustainable Spatial Patterns of Tall buildings.” Buildings, 8(9) 127; 33 pages. (registering DOI)

Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). “Planning Guidelines for Enhancing Placemaking with Tall Buildings.” International Journal of Architectural Research, Vol. 12, No.2. (05-23); DOI:

Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). “Sustainability and the 21st Century Vertical City: A Review of Design Approaches of Tall Buildings.” Buildings, 8(8), 24; 40 pages. doi:10.3390/buildings8020024.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). “The Vertical Farm: A Review of Developments and Implications for the Vertical City.” Buildings 2018, 8(2), 24; doi:10.3390/buildings8020024.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2018). “The Sustainability of Tall Building Developments: A Conceptual Framework. Buildings 2018, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/buildings8010007

Al-Kodmany, K. (2016). “Sustainable Tall Buildings: Cases from the Global South,” International Journal of Architectural Research, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 52-66.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2016). “Diagrid Towers: A New Placemaking Paradigm.” International Journal of High-Rise Buildings, December, 2016, Vol. 15, No 4, pp. 271-291.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2015). “Tall Buildings and Elevators: A Review of Recent Technological Advances,” Buildings, 5, pp. 1070-1104.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2014). “Green Retrofitting Skyscrapers: A Review.” Buildings, Vol. 4, pp. 683-710.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2014). “Green Towers and Iconic Design: Cases from Three Continents.”

International Journal of Architecture Research. Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 11-28.

Khozaei, F., A. Husaini, and Al-Kodmany, K. (2014). “Examination of Student Housing Preferences, Their Similarities and Differences.” Facilities, Vol. 30, No. 3. pp. 708-722.

Al-Kodmany, K. and Ali, M. (2013). “Importing Exceptional Buildings: Transforming Urban Arabian Peninsula into Skyscraper Cities.” Open House International. Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. 101-110. transforming-urban-arabian-peninsula-skyscraper-cities

Al-Kodmany, K., Ali, M., and Zhang, T (2013). “Importing Urban Giants: Re-Imaging Shanghai and Dubai with Skyscrapers.” International Journal of Architecture Research. Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 22-42.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2013). “Crowd Management and Urban Design: New Scientific Approaches.” The Journal of Urban Design International. Vol. 18, No.4, pp. 282–295.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2013). “The Visual Integration of Tall Buildings: New Technologies and the City Skyline.” The Journal of Urban Technology. Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 25-44.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2013). “Placemaking in the High-Rise City: Architectural and urban design analyses.” International Journal of High-Rise Buildings. Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 153-169. architectural-and-urban-design-analyses.pdf

Al-Kodmany, K. (2012). “Sustainable Tall Buildings: Toward a Comprehensive Design Approach.” International Journal of Sustainable Design. Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.1–23.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2012). “Guidelines for Tall Buildings Development.” International Journal of High-Rise Buildings. Vol. 1, No 4, pp. 255-269. development.pdf

Ali, M. M., and Al-Kodmany, K. (2012). “Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat of the 21st Century: A Global Perspective.” Buildings Journal, Spatial Issue, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 384-423.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2012). “Utilizing GIS in Nonprofit Organizations for Urban Planning Applications: Experiences from the Field,” Journal of Geographic Information Systems, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 279-297.

Al-Kodmany, K., Betancur, J., and Vidyarthi, S. (2012). “E-Civic Engagement and the Youth: New Frontiers and Challenges,” International Journal of E-Planning Research. Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 88-105., K. and Ali, M. (2012). “Skyscrapers and Placemaking: Supporting Local Culture and Identity.” International Journal of Architectural Research. Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 43- 64.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2012). “The Logic of Vertical Density: Tall Buildings in the 21st Century City,” International Journal of High-Rise Buildings. Vol. 1, No 2, pp. 131-148. buildings-in-the-21st-century-city.pdf

Al-Kodmany, K. (2011). “Tall Buildings, Design, and Technology: Visions for the Twenty- First Century City.” The Journal of Urban Technology, Vol. 18, No 3, pp. 113-138. visions-for-the.pdf

Al-Kodmany, K. (2011). “Placemaking by Tall Buildings.” The Journal of Urban Design International. Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 252–269.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2011). “Planning for Safety: The Case of Stoning of the Devil in Hajj.” The Journal of Architectural and Planning Research. Vol. 28, No.1, pp. 28-44.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2010). “Eco-Iconic Skyscrapers: Review of New Design Approaches.” International Journal of Sustainable Design. Vol. 1, No. 3. pp. 314-334.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2009). “Planning for the Hajj: Political Power, Pragmatism, and GIS.” Journal of Urban Technology, Vol. 16, No. 1. August, pp. 4-45.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2007). “Creative Approaches for Augmenting Two-Way Spatial Communication and GIS,” in GIS Development, Vol. 3, Issue 12, pp. 33-37.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2002). “Visualization Tools and Methods in Community Planning: From Freehand Sketches to Virtual Reality.” Journal of Planning Literature. Volume 17, No. 2, pp.189-211.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2001). “Supporting Imageability on the World Wide Web (WWW): Lynch’s Five Elements of the City in Community Planning.” Journal of Planning and Environment B: Planning and Design. Vol. 28, pp. 805-832.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2001). “Bridging the Gap between Technical and Local Knowledge: Tools for Promoting Community-Based Planning and Design.” Journal of Architecture and Planning Research. Vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 110-130.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2001). “Visualization Tools and Methods for Participatory Planning and Design.” Journal of Urban Technology. Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 1-37.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2001). “Online Tools for Public Participation.” Journal of Government Information Quarterly. Vol. 18, No. 4l, pp. 329-341.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2000). “Women’s Visual Privacy in Traditional and Modern Neighborhoods in Damascus.” The Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 17:4 Winter.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2000). “Extending Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Meet Neighborhood Planning Needs: The Case of Three Chicago Communities”. Journal of Urban and Regional Planning Systems. Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 19-37.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2000). “Public Participation, Technology, and Democracy.” Journal of Architecture Education. Vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 220-228.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2000). “GIS in the Urban Landscape: Reconfiguring Neighborhood Planning and Design Processes.” Journal of Landscape Research. Vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 5-28.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2000). “Using Web-Based Technologies and Geographic Information Systems in Community Planning.” Journal of Urban Technology. Vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1-30.

Al-Kodmany, K. (2000). Expanded Online Version of “Using Web-Based Technologies and Geographic Information Systems in Community Planning.” Journal of Urban Technology. Vol. 7, no. 1.

Al-Kodmany, K. (1999). “Using Visualization Techniques for Enhancing Public Participation in Planning and Design: Process, Participation, and Evaluation.” Landscape and Urban Planning, An International Journal of Landscape Ecology, Landscape Planning and Landscape Design. Vol. 45. no. 1, pp. 37-45.


Al-Kodmany, K. (1999). “Residential Visual Privacy: Traditional and Modern Architecture and Urban Design.” Journal of Urban Design.” Vol. 4, no 3. pp. 283-311.

Al-Kodmany, K. (1999). “University-Community Partnerships: Unleashing Technical and Local Expertise.” Journal of Urban Technology. Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 39-63.

Al-Kodmany, K. (1999). “Combining Digital and Traditional Visualization Techniques in Community-Based Planning and Design.” Journal of Digital Creativity. Vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 91-103.GIS

Al-Kodmany, K. (1999). “Combing Artistry and Technology in Participatory Community Planning.” Berkeley Planning Journal. Vol. 13, no.1, pp.28-36.

Al-Kodmany, K. (1999). “Visualization Tools and Public Participation: From Crayons to Computers.” Critical Planning Journal. Vol. 6, no.1, pp. 27-35.

Al-Kodmany, K., George, V., Marks, A., Skach, J. (1999). “A Case Study of Teaching an Urban Design Course on Two Campuses Simultaneously.” Asynchronous Learning Network (ALN) Vol. 3, no 1.



The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Doctor of Philosophy in Urban and Regional Planning (1995).
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Master of Architecture (1989).