IVIS GARCIA ZAMBRANA portrait
  • Assistant Professor, City & Metropolitan Planning

Research Statement

As an illustration of my intellectual disposition, my most recent theoretical studies have sought to elucidate both current and historic relationships between urban planning, the spatial dynamics of stratification and unequal access, and community development strategies in marginalized and diverse (but primarily Latino) communities.

I am authoring a book titled, “Puerto Rico and Chicago: On Development and Self-Determination” with the City University of New York. The book seeks to construct a model framework from which to interpret Puerto Rican discourses surrounding how leaders in Chicago have organized development and their right to self-determination. Although there are several scholarly works that contain a number of compelling arguments surrounding displacement and the insecurity experienced by Puerto Ricans due to gentrification, the lack of financial capital, or inability to secure housing finance as individuals, in this book, I contend that Puerto Ricans have attempted, with some degree of success, to halt displacement and construct a better future for themselves. Perhaps most importantly, this text seeks to show that innovations in the Puerto Rican community stem from leadership and experimentation—not just simplistic or traditional solutions in urban development.

Where successful, the leadership’s attempts to construct community development efforts may offer collectivized solutions to the structurally problematic ideals of highly individuated modes of economy. I argue that through the construction of affordable housing, non-profit organizations, identity and placemaking projects, Puerto Ricans have created a sense of ownership rooted in place. While these community-driven approaches have obvious implications for disenfranchised groups (racialized, ethnic, aging, etc.), there are also far deeper potential implications pertaining to the problems of uneven development, the role of state planning, grassroots organizing, and policy more generally.

To ground the theoretical propositions espoused within the topics I explore in the book, I spent more than five years conducting participatory action research alongside the Puerto Rican Agenda—an activist organization on Chicago’s West Side composed of community leaders, academics, and executive directors representing various non-profit organizations. I implemented a case study method regarding survey analyses, interviews, and focus groups. In addition, my studies are usually informed through geospatially-represented demographic techniques and analyses. 

Research Keywords

  • Community engagement, planning in/with minority and low-income communities, housing and community development, accessibility and equity, demography and qualitative research methods

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Puerto Ricans in Illinois. URC Faculty Research & Creative Grant Proposal. PI: Garcia Zambrana, Ivis . 11/01/2016 - present. Total project budget to date: $5,960.00
  • Neighborhood Change . PI: Ivis Garcia Zambrana. Community Engaged Research Grant, 08/01/2016 - 07/31/2017. Total project budget to date: $19,573.00
  • Collaborative Capstone Projects. PI: Garcia Zambrana, I. Co-PI(s): Garcia Zambrana. 05/10/2016 - present. Total project budget to date: $8,000.00
  • ChicagoLAB TA. PI: Garcia Zambrana, I. Co-PI(s): Garcia Zambrana. Bennion Center, 05/01/2016 - present. Total project budget to date: $500.00
  • Kearns and Community Engagement. PI: Garcia Zambrana, I. Co-PI(s): Garcia Zambrana. 03/01/2016 - present. Total project budget to date: $10,000.00
  • MATCH FOR 54503309. PI: GARCIA ZAMBRANA,IVIS. PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY, 04/01/2016 - 08/31/2016. Total project budget to date: $19,593.00
  • FRONTRUNNER TECH TRANSFER. PI: GARCIA ZAMBRANA,IVIS. PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY, 04/01/2016 - 08/31/2016. Total project budget to date: $29,193.00
  • NITC SMALL STARTS 2. PI: GARCIA ZAMBRANA,IVIS. PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY, 01/01/2016 - 05/31/2017. Total project budget to date: $14,642.00
  • MATCH FOR 54503253. PI: GARCIA ZAMBRANA,IVIS. PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY, 01/01/2016 - 05/31/2017. Total project budget to date: $8,484.00
  • CASH MATCH FOR 54503253. PI: GARCIA ZAMBRANA,IVIS. PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY, 01/01/2016 - 05/31/2017. Total project budget to date: $2,000.00

Presentations

  • Historic Preservation, Community Development, and School Closures: A Case Study of a Teacher's Village in Chicago, to be presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Denver, CO. Conference Paper, Accepted, 10/2017.
  • Facilitated Dialogue on Leadership and Planning, to be presented at Association Planning Association, New York City, New York, May 6-9, 2017. Conference Paper, Accepted, 05/10/2017.
  • Planning for and with Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities, to be presented at Association Planning Association, New York City, New York, May 6-9, 2017. Conference Paper, Accepted, 05/06/2017.
  • Cultural Competency in Planning, to be presented at Association Planning Association, New York City, New York, May 6-9, 2017. Conference Paper, Accepted, 05/06/2017.
  • Active and Public Transportation Connectivity between North Temple TOD and Jordan Park River Trail, Utah Campus Compact Engaged Faculty Retreat, Moab, Utah. Conference Paper, Presented, 02/09/2017.
  • Housing Issues and Uneven Development Linked to Demographic Changes, to be presented at Utah Association Planning Association, Park City, Utah, Fall 2017. Conference Paper, Accepted, 02/01/2017.
  • Sharing Homeland but not Home: Insider-Outsider ethnographers in Puerto Rican Chicago, Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada. Conference Paper, Presented, 01/30/2017.
  • Equity, leadership and community participation, two-day workshop (12-hours), Graduate School of Architecture, Guadalajara, Mexico, November 25-26, 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/25/2016.
  • Transformative community planning: empowerment through community development, Public Conference, Graduate School of Architecture, Guadalajara, Mexico, November 24, 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/24/2016.
  • Developing Diverse Communities, Panel Discussion. Urban Land Institute, Park City, Utah, November 10, 2016.   . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/10/2016.
  • Leadership as Praxis: A Model for Small-Scale Urban Interventions and Community Organizing Among Latino Immigrants, Presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Portland, Oregon, November 3-6, 2016. Conference Paper, Presented, 11/05/2016.
  • How gentrification changes the culture and values of a neighborhood, and how community development and housing policy can lessen these impacts, Opening Key Speaker, Utah’s Housing Coalition, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 17, 2016. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/17/2016.
  • Puerto Rican Women Leaders, to be presented at Latina/o Studies Association Conference, Pasadena, California, July 7-9, 2016 . Conference Paper, Presented, 07/2016.
  • Community Outreach & Engagement, Kearns Steering Committee, Kearns, UT, March 3, 2016. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/10/2016.
  • Westside Studio. Latinos in Action Youth Leadership Conference, University of Utah. Conference Paper, Presented, 03/01/2016.
  • Los cambios no son para nosotros [The changes are not for us]”: Puerto Rican Elderhood in the Age of Gentrification, to be presented at the Latin American Studies Association, New York City, NY, May 27 – 30, 2016. Conference Paper, Presented, 11/2015.
  • Understanding leadership in community development theory and practice, Presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Houston, TX, October 22–October 25, 2015. Conference Paper, Presented, 10/2015.
  • Essential Tools for Building Inclusive Communities, to be presented at the Association Planning Association, Phoenix, AZ, April 5, 2016. Conference Paper, Presented, 07/2015.
  • Driving change through mobility and creative urban interventions, Presented at the Latin American Studies Association, San Juan, PR, May 27 – 30, 2015. Conference Paper, Presented, 05/2015.

Languages

  • Spanish, fluent.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • Latin America and the Caribbean

Publications

  • García, I. and Rúa, M. “Our Interests Matter: Puerto Rican Older Adults in the Age of Gentrification” Urban Studies Journal. Accepted, 09/13/2017.
  • García, I. “Community Participation As A Tool For Conservation Planning And Historic Preservation: The Case Of ‘Community As A Campus’ (CAAC)” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. Accepted, 09/03/2017.
  • Toro-Morn, M. and García, I. “Gendered Fault Lines: A Demographic Profile of Puerto Rican Women in the United States.” CENTRO Journal. Forthcoming Fall 2017 (vol. 29, no. 3). Accepted, 09/01/2017.
  • García, I. and Toro-Morn, M. “Puerto Rican and Mexican Women in Chicago: A Socio-Demographic Analysis of the 2008 Recession.” Forthcoming Spring 2018 in Beth English and Mary Frederickson (Ed.), Gender and Work in the Global Economy. Taylor & Francis Group. Accepted, 08/31/2017.
  • Toro-Morn, Maura, García Zambrana Ivis and Marixsa Alicea.Introduction, De Bandera a Bandera (From Flag to Flag) New Scholarship about the Puerto Rican Diaspora in Chicago. Fall 2016 (vol. 28, no. 2). Published, 12/01/2016.
    https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1P3-428559...
  • García, I., Beaudoin, M. and Kim, Y. 2016. “Project Title: A Practitioner’s Handbook for Conducting a Commuter Rail Case Study.” University of Utah: Metropolitan Research Center University of Utah for National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC). http://mrc.cap.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2015/12/Tecnology-Transfer_Final-Report.pdf. Published, 04/15/2016.
  • García, I. “Strategies for economic and community development of Puerto Rican Identity in a neighborhood in Chicago” PLERUS. Published, 09/21/2015.
    http://planificacion.uprrp.edu/wp-content/uploads/...
  • García, I., Nolan, L., Smith, J., Sonomez, Z. and Zelalem, Y. “Neighborhood Change on Six County Region between 1970-2010.” Nathalie P. Voorhees Center in collaboration with the Canadian Cities Comparative Study at the University of Toronto. Published, 03/10/2010.