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Jesus J. Lara, PhD

  • Associate Professor and Master's Program Chair, City and Regional Planning Section
291 Knowlton Hall

Dr. Jesus J. Lara is an associate professor and Master's Program Chair in the Knowlton School’s City and Regional Planning Section. His research and pedagogy are centered on sustainable urban design, Latino urbanism, community development, and sociocultural factors in community design, from urban environments and poverty stricken areas to empty suburban malls and commercial areas at the intersection of upscale developments and highway commerce, and university‐community partnerships.

Dr. Lara received his doctorate in environmental design and planning from Arizona State University in 2006, a Masters in urban planning and a Masters in landscape architecture from the University of Southern California in 2001, and a Bachelor of Science's degree in landscape architecture from California State Polytechnic University in 1994. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University, the Netherlands, in 2003-2004. In 2014-2015 he was a visiting professor at the Institute for European Urban Studies (IfEU) at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar Germany, and was funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Dr. Lara is the co-editor and contributor of Remaking Metropolis: Global Challenges of the Urban Landscape (Routledge, 2012). He is also the guest editor and contributor of a special issue of the Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability,  Placemaking in 21st Century American Cities (Taylor & Francis Group, 2012), which expands upon the growing literature on Latino Urbanism, focusing on its role in shaping and incorporating Latino needs in the development of American cities.

Selected Publications

Lara, Jesús J. (2014). “Latino Urbanism.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies. Ed. Ilan Stavans. New York: Oxford University Press.


Chen, Q., Acey, C., & Lara, J. (2014). Sustainable Futures for Linden Village: A model for increasing social capital and the quality of life in an urban neighborhood. Sustainable Cities and Society.


Cook, E., & Lara, J. J. (2013). Remaking metropolis: global challenges of the urban landscape. New York, NY, Routledge.


Lara, J. J. (2012). Patterns and forms of Latino cultural landscapes: southwest Detroit, a case of incremental re-adaptive use. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 5, 139-156.


Lara, J. J. (2012). Latino Urbanism: placemaking in 21st-century American cities. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 5, 95-100.