Wes Grooms

Adjunct Instructor - Department of Urban and Regional Planning
cwgrooms@buffalo.edu - Hayes Hall 227 - 716-829-5900

Adjunct Instructor - Department of Urban and Regional Planning
cwgrooms@buffalo.edu - Hayes Hall 227 - 716-829-5900

Wes Grooms.

Wes Grooms is an interdisciplinary scholar whose work is centered on understanding the human need for social justice and equity and how such societal characteristics and conditions are best produced through human engagement in planning, policy, and politics. 

His work in these areas includes an exploration of how principles of cultural awareness, knowledge, and competence are symbiotic with recognition theory’s identity development axes of love, respect, and esteem, to support an argument that public sector actors (such as planners) meet the recognition needs of their colleagues and constituents through culturally competent interactions which thereby increases social equity. An especially important area of research and theorization is Wes’ work on the constitutive nature of planning – that is, exploring the very notion of what planning is – and utilizing that work in developing applicable knowledge and tactics for planning education and practice. This work has contributed to a growing attention being paid to the argument that the political arena is an appropriate one for planner practice. This exploration is ongoing, and includes a manuscript currently underway that will argue planning’s scholarly conception constitutes a prescription for a more socially just and equitable political economy as executed through an applicable model of governance, rather than just the tenets and principles of an administrative profession of the built environment, and as such, planners should receive significantly more education about, and should sometimes enter, politics.

Wes’ additional areas of research interest include interrogating how conditions of the built environment affect human wellbeing, the use of whimsy in infrastructure design, all aspects of housing and the real estate industry in general, and the human/canine relationship – especially as it impacts issues of built environment design, function, and safety. He has designed, taught, and co-taught numerous courses in planning and cognate disciplines at both the undergraduate and graduate level; these courses have been taught in traditional classroom settings, fully online, and in hybrid form. Topics have included Environmental Policy, Problems and Solutions in Contemporary Urban Planning, Real Estate Development Principles, Urban Theory and Political Economy, Foundations of Public Administration, Cultural Competency in Action, Public Management, and Dogs in Society.