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., Puerto Rico and Chicago: The Art and Politics of the Possible. City University of New York. Under contract. 6/30/17. Draft due Feb. 2018. In progress, 02/28/2018.
  • García, I. and Toro-Morn, M. Puerto Ricans in Illinois. Southern Illinois University Press. Under contract 6/3/16. Draft due Dec. 2017. Schedule for publication Fall 2018. In progress, 12/31/2017.
  • “The Oral History Narratives of Female Community Leaders and Puerto Rican Migrants in Chicago, Illinois.” Latina & Latino Oral History Journal.. Submitted, 09/25/2017.
  • García, I. “Community As A Campus: Community-Driven Educational Transformation.” Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis. Revise/resubmit(1), 09/18/2017.
  • 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. “Evictions and Housing Instability Among Latina and Immigrant Mothers in Salt Lake City.” Signs. Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Submitted, 09/10/2017.
  • 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.
  • García, I. and Diaz, L. “Media Discourses On Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis and Outmigration.” Latin American Perspectives. 8/29/17. Revise/resubmit(2), 08/29/2017.
  • García, I. “Learning about Neighborhood Identity, Streets as Places, and Community Engagement in a Chicago Studio Course.” Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy. Revise/resubmit(1), 08/28/2017.
  • García, I. “Paseo Boricua: Identity, Symbols, and Ownership.” América Crítica. Submitted, 08/21/2017.
  • García, I. “Leadership Training As An Alternative to Neoliberalism: A Model for Community Development.” Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society. Submitted, 08/10/2017.
  • García, I. “Historically Illustrating the Shift to Neoliberalism in the U.S. Home Mortgage Market.” Housing Policy Debate. Submitted, 08/09/2017.
  • García, I. “Repurposing a Historic School Building as a Teacher’s Village: Exploring the Connection between Affordability and Community Inclusion in a Gentrifying Neighborhood.” Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability. Submitted, 07/28/2017.
  • García, I. “Community Engagement in an Urban Daylighting Project: A Case Study of A Salt Lake City Creek.” Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design. Submitted, 07/21/2017.
  • Ara, S. and García, I. “Active Transportation and Perceptions of Safety: A Case Study of a Regional Trail and a Transit Corridor in Salt Lake City, Utah.” Focus. Submitted, 07/01/2017.
  • García, I., and Baker, J. 2017. “The Socioeconomic Change of Salt Lake City Community Council Districts 1970-2010.” Salt Lake City: Metropolitan Research Center. https://www.westsidestudioslc.com/neighborhood-change. Released, 06/30/2017.
  • Greenlee, A., Jackson, A., García, I., Chrisinger, B. and Lee, A. “Where are we going? Where have we been?: The Climate for Diversity within Urban Planning Educational Programs.” Journal of Planning Education and Research. Revise/resubmit(1), 06/26/2017.
  • García, I. “Finding Hope Through Art: Creative Urban Interventions as a Response to Puerto Rico’s Decline.” Journal for the Study of Radicalism. Submitted, 05/21/2017.
  • García, I. “The Intersections between Informality, Gentrification, and Neo-colonialism: The Case of Vieques, Puerto Rico.” International Journal of Housing Policy. Submitted, 04/15/2017.
  • García, I. “Puerto Rico’s debt crisis and migration to Florida.” Journal of Urban Affairs. Revise and Resubmit. 2/10/17. Revise/resubmit(1), 02/10/2017.
  • García, I. and L. Diaz. Media Discourses On Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis And Outmigration. Latin American Perspectives. Revise/resubmit(1), 01/16/2017.
  • 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 and Young, J. Kearns + Community Engagement. Prepared for Sorenson Impact Center, Salt Lake County, Kearns Steering Committee by Planning for Diversity and Community Engagement LLC, Kearns, UT, May, 2016. http://slco.org/uploadedFiles/depot/fKearnsInitiative/ki_engagementreport.pdf. Released, 06/16/2016.
  • 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., Garfinkel-Castro, Andrea and Deirdre Pfeiffer. “Planning for and with Racially and Ethnically Diverse Communities” Planning Advisory Service, American Planning Association. In progress, 02/14/2016.
  • 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.