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Bill Stewart

Company: University of Illinois

Position: Faculty

Expert Overview

Bill Stewart is professor in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. His research is directed development of parks and conservation areas to enhance a public sense of place, improve access to natural landscapes, and connect people to their home landscapes. His research is centered on place-making – a framework in which stakeholders and community residents come to know themselves and plan for landscape change that aligns with their collective sense of self. Bill’s employs a mixed-methods approach that grounds research in the community and place of study, and allow for generalization to relevant populations and conceptual frameworks. The research purposely integrates public engagement, data collection from stakeholders and community resident to build linkages to planning and policy processes.


Rigolon, A., *Banerjee, D., Gobster, P., Hadavi, S., and Stewart, W. (2021). Transferring vacant lots to private ownership improves care and empowers residents: Evidence from Chicago. Journal of the American Planning Association.

*Jeong, W., Stewart, W., Gobster, P. & van Riper, C. (2021). Green leisure: Resistance and revitalization of urban neighborhoods. Leisure Sciences.

*Strauser, J., Stewart, W., *Foelske, L., *Shipley, N., *Evans, N., *Coon, J. & van Riper, C. (2021). Effects of incentives on survey response rates in two rural counties. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2020-10486

Gobster, P., Rigolon, A., Hadavi, S. & Stewart, W. (2020). The condition-care scale: A practical approach to monitoring progress in vacant lot stewardship programs. Landscape and Urban Planning, 203, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103885

Zhang, S., Stewart, W. & Chan, E. (2020) Place-making upon return home: Influence of greenway experiences, Leisure Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2020.1782290

Fernandez, M., Lee, K., Larson, L., Johnson, C., Mowatt, R., Bush, K., Robinett, J., Sharaievska, I. & Stewart, S. (2020). Deepening diversity: A collection of teaching perspectives and strategies from social justice advocates, SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/1937156X.2020.1763875

Fernandez, M., Mowatt, R., Shinew, K., Stodolska, M. & Stewart, W. (2021). Going the extra mile: Building trust and collaborative relationships with study participants. Leisure Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2020.1830901

Rigolon, A., Stewart, W. & Gobster, P. (2020). What predicts demand and sale of vacant properties?: Urban greening and gentrification in Chicago Cities, 107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2020.102948

*Evans, N., Stewart, W. & Davis, M. (2020). Phosphorous, farms, and families: Institutional narratives about agricultural intensification and water quality in Northeastern Wisconsin. Journal of Rural Studies, 80, 418-426. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2020.10.018

*#Strauser, J., Stewart, W.P., & Benson, T.J., & van Riper, C.J. (2020). Information sharing among park professionals: Facilitating ecological restoration. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.
*Rigolon, A., Fernandez, M., Harris, B. & Stewart, W. (2020). An ecological model of environmental justice for recreation. Leisure Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2019.1655686
*Gobster, P., Rigolon, A., Hadavi, S. & Stewart, W. (2020). Beyond proximity: Extending the “greening hypothesis” in the context of vacant lot stewardship. Landscape and Urban Planning, 197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103773

*#Shipley, N., Johnson, D., van Riper, C.J., Stewart, W., Chu, M.L., Suski, C.D., Stein, J.A., & Shew, J.J. (2020). A deliberative research approach to valuing agro-ecosystem services in a worked landscape. Ecosystem Services, 42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101083

Gobster, P., Hadavi, S., Rigolon, A., & Stewart, W. (2019). Measuring landscape change, lot by lot: Greening activity in response to a vacant land reuse program. Landscape and Urban Planning, 196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.103729

*#Foelske, L., van Riper, C.J., Stewart, W., Ando, A., Gobster, P., & Hunt, L. (2019). Assessing growth preferences on the rural-urban fringe using a discrete choice analysis. Landscape and Urban Planning, 189, 396-407. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.05.016

Stewart, W., Gobster, P., Rigolon, A., Strauser, J.*, Williams, D. & van Riper, C. (2019). Resident-led beautification that connects place to community. Landscape and Urban Planning, 185, 200-209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.02.011

van Riper, C., Browning, M., Becker, D.*, Stewart, W., Suski, C., Browning, L., & Golebie, E.* (2019). Human-nature relationships and normative beliefs predict behaviors that reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species. Environmental Management, 63 (1), 69-79. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-018-1111-9

Hicks, J. & Stewart, W. (2019). Learning from wildlife-inspired awe. The Journal of Environmental Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/00958964.2019.1594148

Strauser, J.*, Stewart, W., Evans, N.*, Stamberger, L.* & van Riper, C. (2018). Heritage narratives for landscapes on the rural-urban fringe in the Midwestern United States. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 62(7): 1269-1286. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2018.1492908

Evans, N.* & Stewart, W. (2018). The role of naturalness in ecological restoration: A case study from the Cook County Forest Preserves. Nature & Culture, 13 (2), 232-252. /10.3167/nc.2018.130203

Hicks, J.* & Stewart, W. (2018). Exploring potential components of wildlife-inspired awe. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 23 (3), 293-295. https://doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2018.1419518


University of Illinois Urbana, Illinois Chemistry BS, 1977
University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois Economics MBA, 1979
University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona Watershed Mgmt MS, ’84, PhD ‘87


1997 – present Professor, promoted from Associate Professor in 2005,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Applied Health Sciences, 2008-2014
Director, Undergraduate Program in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, 2009-2017

1987 – 1997 Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas