Nicholas Finio Headshot

Nicholas Finio

Associate Director, NCSG; Assistant Research Professor
1112Q Preinkert


Nick Finio is the Associate Director of NCSG and an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He primarily works on community development projects with Gerrit Knaap, Casey Dawkins, and Willow Lung Amam, including work on housing and regional equity planning. Nick also works extensively with the Purple Line Corridor Coalition on TOD policy, housing policy, equitable development, transportation, and more. Nick is responsible for numerous administrative tasks at NCSG and was responsible for planning NCSG’s successful “Smart Growth at 20” workshop in April 2018.

Nick joined NCSG in the Fall of 2013 as a Graduate Assistant in the URSP Community Planning program, graduated in May 2015, and started the URPD PhD program in the fall of 2015. He advanced to candidacy in the PhD program in Summer 2017 and defended his dissertation in Spring 2022. For the latter three years of his PhD program, Nick was a full-time employee of NCSG, working on various grants and projects, including the 2020 Maryland State Housing Needs Assessment. 



Nick's dissertation work is focused on the measurement of gentrification, and investigation of gentrification in the greater D.C. region and elsewhere. Nick has published a literature review of quantitative methods used to define gentrifying neighborhoods. He is investigating the progression of gentrification outside of its traditional boundaries in central cities, into suburban neighborhoods where demographic change is accelerating. His neighborhood research is also focused locally on neighborhood change in the Purple Line corridor, as massive public investment catalyzes neighborhood change in diverse communities near the University of Maryland in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

At the Center for Smart Growth, Nick leads or is involved in a number of different research projects. One of his primary tasks is to support the Purple Line Corridor Coalition with data, research, and analysis. He is also focused on housing, community development, and regional planning. Recent projects include support for the PLCC's housing action plan, an analysis of underutilized lands in the region, housing research for Montgomery County, and research on national equity projects and indicators. He is coordinating work on NCSG's $2 million grant partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration, from the Federal Transit Administration. He is also leading a housing needs assessment project with Maryland's Department of Housing and Community Development. Past projects included the Center's scenario planning and forecasting project, PRESTO; development of economic analysis of the Purple Line Corridor; organizing NCSG's Smart Growth at 20 conference; and a review of Baltimore's Sustainable Communities Initiative. He has also taught a Community Development course for the URSP Program. 


Research Interests/Specializations:

Gentrification, Smart Growth, Regionalism, Equity


PhD in Urban and Regional Planning and Design
University of Maryland
Master of Community Planning
University of Maryland
Bachelor of Economics
Gettysburg College