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Marisa Zapata


Associate Professor

Dr. Marisa Zapata is an Associate Professor of Land-Use Planning at Portland State University and Director of PSU's Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative.  She received her Ph.D. in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, her M.U.P. in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and B.A. in Anthropology from Rice University.  As an educator, scholar, and planner, Dr. Zapata is committed to achieving spatially - based social justice by preparing planners to act in the face of the uncertain and inequitable futures we face. She believes how we use land reflects our social and cultural values.

Dr. Zapata’s research can be divided into three interrelated questions:
1) How can future-oriented actors plan across deeply embedded cultural differences to produce just and sustainable places?
2) How can planners prepare places to act in the face of uncertainty and the multiple futures that may unfold in a given place? and
3) What are the most effective institutional arrangements between governments and civic society to collaborate regionally? She is especially concerned about equitable planning for uncertain futures in highly diverse communities.

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Education
  • MURP - Urban and Regional Planning
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD - Regional Planning
    University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign