David Pijawka's research focuses on sustainable planning and design, disaster management and recovery, environmental justice, and Native American community planning.
Much of Professor Pijawka's recent work has concentrated on community projects in the U.S. Mexico-Border region and in Native American tribal communities. He served as a co-investigator on the Border Observatory Project, a five-year study tracking quality of life indicators in the U.S.-Mexico border region. He has also directed several community planning workshops for Native American tribal communities in Arizona in recent years. Professsor Pijawka is the co-author of a strategic plan for the Navajo Nation on community land use planning. In 2012, he published "Understanding Sustainable Cities: Concepts, Cases, and Solutions," a book on current issues in urban sustainability. He also co-directed a study on climate change perceptions and policy preferences in nine countries.
He teaches the largest undergraduate course in sustainability at ASU, Sustainable Cities. He also regularly teaches environmental planning, sustainable community development, and tribal community planning. He mentors students for ASU's Barrett Honors College and has won several awards for teaching excellence.