John Ottensmann

John Ottensmann

Professor Emeritus
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, Director of Urban Policy and Planning

John Ottensmann joined the SPEA IUPUI faculty in 1978. He works with the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment. His major interest is in urban land use, with particular emphasis on the development of urban simulation models.


  • Ph.D., City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A., American Institutions, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Professional experience

  • Consultant, Aerofinity Incorporated
  • Consultant, Beam, Longest and Neff
  • Consultant, Christopher B. Burke Engineering
  • Consultant, Prosser, Hallock, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Consultant, R.W. Armstrong
  • Consultant, Smart Growth America
  • Consultant, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Consultant, Urban Forestry/Global Releaf

Professional affiliations

  • American Institute of Certified Planners
  • American Planning Association
  • Indiana Planning Association

Major fields of expertise

  • Urban development simulation models
  • Measuring human settlements patterns and their consequences
  • Urban spatial structure and the spatial dimensions of public policy
  • Use of spatial interaction and facility local models in planning
  • Application of geographic information systems
  • Performance zoning as a tool for the implementation of land use plans
  • Neighborhood racial transition
  • Delivery of services by urban public library systems

Intellectual contributions

  • John R. Ottensmann. LUCI: Land Use in Central Indiana Model and the relationships of public infrastructure to urban development. Public Works, Management & Policy 8,1 (July 2003): 62-76.
  • John R. Ottensmann. Applications of spreadsheet optimization capabilities in teaching planning methods: facility location and spatial interaction. Journal of Planning Education and Research 20, 2 (Winter 2000): 247-258.
  • John R. Ottensmann. Market-based exchanges of rights within a system of performance zoning. Planning and Markets 1, 1 (September 1998):
  • John R. Ottensmann. Partially-constrained gravity models for predicting spatial interaction with elastic demand. Environment & Planning A 29, 6 (1997): 975-988.
  • John R. Ottensmann. Using geographic information systems to analyze public library utilization. Library Quarterly 67, 1 (January 1997): 24-48.
  • John R. Ottensmann. LUCI: Land Use in Central Indiana Model and the relationships of public infrastructure to urban development. Public Works, Management & Policy 8, 1 (July 2003): 62-76.
  • John R. Ottensmann. Accessibility in the luci2 Urban Simulation Model and the Importance of Accessibility for Urban Development. In Access to Destinations: Rethinking the Transportation Future, ed. David M Levinson and Kevin J. Krizek. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2005, pp. 297-324.

Courses taught

  • SPEA-J 426, Mapping and Analysis for Public Safety
  • SPEA-K 300, Statistical Techniques
  • SPEA-V 506, Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision Making


  • LUCI: Land Use in Central Indiana Model, including presentations and work with various government agencies
  • luci2IN Statewide Model, Indiana Department of Transportation
  • LUCIT model for Central Indiana Transportation & Mobility Study, Indiana Department of Transportation
  • I-69 Community Planning Program, Indiana Department of Transportation
  • Facility location studies for Marion County Health and Hospital Corporation
  • Studies of value of library services for Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library
  • Study of economic value of activities for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland
  • Member, Indiana Land Use Consortium

Awards and recognition

  • 2007 SPEA IUPUI Outstanding Faculty Award
  • Indiana Land Use Consortium, Model of Success Award for Land Use in Central Indiana Model
  • Earl Franke Award for contributions to planning, Indiana Planning Association
  • Award for Best Paper at Annual Meeting, Urban Affairs Association, 1993 for the paper "Evaluating Equity in Service Delivery for Public Library Branches by Assessing Service Levels, Distance, and Accessibility"
  • Phi Beta Kappa