Stacy Anne Harwood, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.A. Economics, UC San Diego
Master of Urban and Regional Planning, UC Irvine
Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Development, 2001
About Dr. Harwood:
Professor Harwood’s research, rooted in social justice, focuses on the emerging field of planning for difference and diversity. She links scholarship to planning practice by examining how practitioners deal with the mandates of participation and equity in land-use planning and how planning codes and regulations differentially affect diverse populations. This interest is founded on years of participant-observation of planning in U.S. and Latin American cities, where she has paid particular attention to the phenomenon of multicultural communities in which planning processes that endorse the ideals of justice and tolerance nevertheless often fall short.
Research on planning in multicultural communities queries whether planning criteria and processes are compatible with the needs and desires of the residents and workforce in a diverse community. Such tensions are struggles over space and belonging in society. Professor Harwood’s research demonstrates that (1) the local government sponsored neighborhood improvement programs are problematic for neighborhood activists; they bring about positive physical change, but vitiate the effort for more fundamental, social change; (2) land use ordinances and other municipal codes serve as a city’s border checkpoints by regulating socio-cultural differences; and (3) the strategy of using “scenarios” can strengthen community planning by building both trust and planning capacity in multicultural settings, laying important groundwork to creating planning process that embrace rather than reject difference.
Professor Harwood courses incorporate opportunities for student learning through engagement with resource-poor communities and organizations in East St. Louis, Springfield and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. She teaches Local Policy and Immigration, Planning History and Theory, Neighborhood Revitalization (UP474) and Cities and Immigrants (UP335). She is also a participating faculty member in the(Sustainable Futures Program), a ten-week interdisciplinary summer studio in Costa Rica where students live in a rural Costa Rica rain forest community struggling to achieve a balance between its agricultural based economy, the pressures of eco-tourism, and the desire to save the rain forest.
In her free time, Professor Harwood enjoys hanging out with her children, practicing Tae Kwon Do, and reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee on Sunday morning.