Jesus J. Lara is an Associate Professor in the Knowlton School’s City and Regional Planning Section at Ohio State University. From 2007 to 2013 he was an Assistant Professor in the landscape architecture section in the Knowlton School, and in 2007 he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico in the Urban and Regional Planning program. His research and pedagogy are centered on sustainable urban design, Latino Urbanism, community development, and on the sociocultural factors which influence planning and design. He is both co-editor and principal contributor in Remaking Metropolis: Global Challenges of the Urban Landscape (Routledge, 2013). He is also the guest editor and contributor of a special issue of Journal of Urbanism entitled, “International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability in 21st Century American Cities.” Prof. Lara is also the lead curator and contributor with respect to the extensive literature review on Latino Urbanism found in the Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Urbanism. He is further the sole author of Latino Placemaking and Planning: Cultural Resiliency and Strategies for Re-urbanization (University of Arizona Press, 2018), a work which examines the application of the principles of Latino Urbanism in the revitalization of American cities.
Throughout his career Prof. Lara's research has focused broadly on topics related to emerging approaches to planning, design and development that responds to lifestyles, cultural preferences, and economic needs that are reflected in the built environment. This approach is evident in his current teaching, research and publications. Since joining the faculty in the City & Regional Planning program, he has built upon this foundation while narrowing his research into three primary subfields of planning enquiry. 1) Planning and placemaking for emergent immigrant communities, 2) Community development through service-learning education, and 3) Pedagogic approaches to sustainable urban design.
Prof. Lara received a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from California State Polytechnic University in 1994, a Master’s in both Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture from the University of Southern California in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning from Arizona State University in 2006. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University, the Netherlands, between 2003 and 2004, where he conducted research on sustainable urban design practices. Between 2014 and 2015 Prof. Lara was a visiting professor at the Institute for European Urban Studies (IfEU) at Bauhaus Universität, Weimar, Germany. This work was funded by the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD).
Prof. Lara’s research in urban planning further examines the effects of social and economic inequity as it relates to ethnicity and how this influences access to social and cultural infrastructure and, consequently, the health and well-being of individuals and communities His teaching, research, and community service emphasize a social consciousness that focuses on enhancing the built environment’s ability to generate social capital. Prof. Lara’s pedagogy addresses global issues in planning and research that is site appropriate and involves student and community involvement. This approach is critical to his community service, research, teaching and scholarly work, and creates an academic agenda that seeks to balance social, cultural and ecological needs in producing a more sustainable urban environment. This perspective is reflected in the research and design topics of his studies, seminars, and course work. His interdisciplinary education and professional experience allow him to draw from related disciplines, as well as to work in diverse teams and settings.
As a teacher, Prof. Lara's goal is to influence and inspire students to become reflective, knowledgeable planning and design professionals and ultimately leaders who can effectively engage the communities they serve. His personal philosophy of teaching has been shaped by his life experiences, particularly those during my academic preparation, which have spanned several countries and two continents. Being trained as a landscape architect, urban planner, and environmental designer, his professional orientation embodies a form of transdisciplinary research and practice. Working in diverse settings has led him to an integrative approach to pedagogy, scholarship, and practice. He has learned from personal experiences that two very important elements are necessary for effective design, research, and teaching. The first is direct experience of a wide range of human and natural environments; the second is close observation and cultural immersion in those environments.
Lara, J. J. (April 01, 2020). Problem-Based solutions from the classroom to the Community: Transformative approaches to mitigate the impacts of boom-and-bust in declining urban communities. Land Use Policy, 93. . Publisher
Lara, Jesus J., (2018) “Latino Placemaking and Planning: Cultural Resilience and Strategies for Re-Urbanization”. University of Arizona. Publisher
Lara, J. J., & Evans-Cowley J. S. (2016). "Internationalization of Urban Design Education." Journal of Urban Design. Vol. 21, no. 5: 3. Publisher
Chen, Q., Acey, C., & Lara, J. (2015). Sustainable Futures for Linden Village: A model for increasing social capital and the quality of life in an urban neighborhood. Sustainable Cities and Society. Publisher
Lara, Jesus J. (2014). “Latino Urbanism.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Latino Studies. Ed. Ilan Stavans. New York: Oxford University Press. Publisher
Cook, E., & Lara, J. J. (2013). Remaking metropolis: global challenges of the urban landscape. New York, NY, Routledge. Publisher
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. Publisher
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. Publisher
CRPLAN 2210: Sustainable Urbanism
Affiliated Faculty Positions