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Professional Preparation

    • 1996 Ph.D. in EconomicsUniversity of Massachusetts-Amherst
    • 1985 Master's Degree in Regional PlanningUniversity of Massachusetts-Amherst
    • 1979 Bachelor's of Arts in GeographyUniversity of California-Santa Barbara


    • 2002 to Aug 2018 Associate Professor-School of Urban and Public Affairs
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • 2004 to 2009 Graduate Program Director, Master's in City and Regional Planning
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • 2003 to 2009 Graduate Program Director, Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • Aug 1994 to Aug 2002 Assistant Professor-School of Urban and Public Affairs
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • 1993 to 1994 Visiting Assistant Professor-School of Urban and Public Affairs
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • 1984 to 1990 Teaching Assistant-Department of Economics
      University of Massachusetts
    • 1988 to 1989 Planner
      Lawrence Planning Consultants, Pasadena, CA
    • 1987 to 1987 Instructor-Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
      University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    • 1983 to 1986 Planner
      City Office of Industrial Affairs, Holyoke, MA
    • 1983 to 1983 Researcher
      Regional Science Research Institute, Amherst, MA


  • Membership
    • Aug 1990 to Present The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP)
    • Aug 1984 to Present Association for Economic and Social Analysis

Awards and Honors

    • Dec  1900 Piper Professor Award sponsored by Piper Professor Award

News Articles

    • Lobbyist reigns on local TIF projects
      By John Tedesco 
      Jim Mattox is a former Texas attorney general working on a housing development on the South Side. David Earl is a top lobbyist with intimate knowledge of City Hall. What do they have in common? Your money.

      In recent years, Earl has become the go-to guy for developers who seek subsidies from a city program called tax increment financing, or TIF. Under the program, the City Council creates special districts that capture property taxes from new growth. That money is the "increment" that pays back developers for streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure costs.

      Among the beneficiaries is Mattox, a developer building a planned 3,200-home community called Mission Del Lago. The project, which is behind schedule, originally was projected to generate $134 million in TIF revenue over two decades. A big chunk of that money could pay for the city's administrative costs and for two new schools for the Southside School District. The remaining sum — possibly tens of millions of dollars — goes to Mattox's business, which agreed to pay Earl a 10 percent cut of the TIF revenue, according to a contract obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

      One tape-recorded conversation between Mattox and his business partner suggests County Commissioner Robert Tejeda got Earl a job with the project in exchange for favorable county financing terms. "He and David Earl basically, you know, have kind of a love-in-type of situation where the commissioner thanks Earl for all the million different things he can do for him and all the money he's raised for him," Mattox said in an April 2002 tape-recorded conversation.

      Both Earl and Tejeda deny the insinuations...

      ...The city got a crash course in TIF when the Spurs tried to create a tax district in 1998 to cover costs for a new arena at the LQuarry. The plan failed. Since then, however, TIF has become one of San Antonio's most frequently used development tools, thanks to Earl and his clients. With his deep influence in local politics, the lobbyist dominates the local TIF market. Out of 26 projects, Earl has a hand in 18, most of which are awaiting approval from City Hall.

      Earl's clients say the lobbyist and his staff make it easier for developers to cut through red tape...

      The king at work

      Earl is pushing for TIF zones at a time when some City Council members have been accused of cozying up to lobbyists. Council members, who must approve each reinvestment zone, have received nearly $40,000 in campaign contributions from Earl since 1998, records show. Last year, officials paid special attention to one Earl client, Hugo Gutierrez, for his proposed TIF project, the Village at West Pointe...

      ...But the project raised eyebrows.

      Under state law, TIF zones often are used to fix slums, dilapidated streets, vacant land with bad drainage or poor platting, and dead commercial districts. Gutierrez and Earl argued that mobile homes were spreading near the 2,700-acre West Pointe site, meeting the definition of blight. But their own paperwork in the TIF application noted the area's affluence and growth potential...

      ...Enid Arvidson, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington who has studied the use of TIF districts in Texas, said she was unfamiliar with West Pointe but added it's risky putting reinvestment zones in high-growth areas. "The law was intended for revitalization, but (TIF zones are) being used for development in areas that probably would have developed anyway," Arvidson said. In such cases, developers pocket money that would have gone to government coffers...

      ...Earl criticized Mayor Ed Garza for what he described as red tape that has entangled West Pointe. But publicly, Garza endorsed West Pointe — TIF subsidy and all.  "That's the kind of project that I will support," said Garza, who was an early supporter of tax increment financing as a city councilman. For too long, San Antonio has been marred by strip malls and cookie-cutter neighborhoods, Garza said, and the city must shift gears, even if tax subsidies are necessary to prod developers.  "That's been the mentality of our city for three or four decades: Grow at any cost without any regard to these communities being sustainable," Garza said.  Whether West Pointe lives up to the ideals of New Urbanism is an open question. Experts who reviewed its plans for the Express-News said that in some places, the designs look like a normal subdivision...
    • Councilor advocates living wage for contract labor
      By Margaret Allen - Staff Writer

      Dallas will require private contractors who supply the city with garbage collectors, janitors and lawn care workers to increase the wages they pay if City Council member Angela Hunt gets her way.

      The Dallas City Council will be briefed May 7 on paying a "living wage" to laborers it hires through third-party providers, said Hunt, who represents council District 14.

      Hunt said she wants an ordinance passed in the next few months, but only after council members discuss the issue. Key to the process is a formal city staff briefing, and a background report being prepared now by graduate students at the School of Urban/Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington.

      The issue surfaced in late 2007 with the city's renewal of a contract with CTJ Maintenance in Irving for day laborers. Hunt is disturbed that the people are earning only the federal minimum wage, now $5.85 an hour.

      "That's personally very troubling to me," she said. "To me it's not just a matter of insulting, but economics. No one can support a family on the federal minimum wage."

      The city has third-party labor contracts for janitorial services, temporary labor and security services, according to a Dallas city staff document supplied Feb. 20 to council members.

      More than 150 cities and counties nationwide have so-called "living wage ordinances," said Jen Kern, director of the Living Wage Resource Center in Washington D.C. They change by area, based on local costs, especially housing. No city or county in Texas has such an ordinance, Kern said.

      Living-wage critics, including Carl F. Horowitz at the National Legal and Policy Center in Falls Church, Va., say setting a living-wage standard only benefits public-sector unionized employees because cities will reduce contract labor. It would be better to build the skills of the poor, Horowitz has said in published writings.

      The living-wage movement is a backlash against Congress, which didn’t raise minimum wage for 10 years until 2007, said Enid Arvidson, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.

      "Minimum-wage workers make less now, in real terms, than in 1994, in terms of buying power," she said. "So a lot of cities have taken it on themselves to rectify (that situation)."

      In real terms, the federal minimum wage is well below its historical value, said Jared Bernstein, senior economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington D.C. Minimum wage is not adjusted for inflation, so it declines in value every year. Minimum wage value, in today's dollars, peaked at $8 an hour in the late 1960s, Bernstein said.

      Bernstein said cities and counties paying a living wage have seen little impact on their budgets because the added cost is fairly insignificant.

      "Cities are saying, 'We want our money spent on a higher quality of jobs,'" Bernstein said. "(A living wage) is a useful intervention to try and put money into the pockets of a small group of workers who perform important services."

      Sources couldn't supply a living-wage figure for North Texas. Austin-based Universal Living Wage Campaign says living wage there is $13.19 an hour to keep a one-bedroom apartment, and $10.90 for an efficiency.

      The City of Dallas' largest user of low-wage contract labor is its sanitation services department. It hires more than 100 people a day to pick up garbage and litter and distribute fliers, said Director Mary Nix.

      CTJ Maintenance gets $7.89 an hour for each laborer, then pays minimum wage, any benefits and worker's compensation, Nix said.

      By City of Dallas policy, permanent part-time employees get $8.16 an hour. Increasing city contracts to that would bump contract labor costs up by $683,465 annually, said the briefing. To cover it, the city could increase sanitation fees by 17 cents a month from $19.53 to $19.70, and increase the tax rate by 2 cents for other general fund contracts, the briefing says.

      "That's a much more direct route than this trickle down," Hunt said. "Why don't we just address this issue a little more directly and a little more fairly? These are not handouts." | 214-706-7119

Research and Expertise

  • Research Interests
    Urban and regional theory
    Urban political economy
    Postmodern urban theory
    Planning theory


      Encyclopedia Entry 2016
      • E. Arvidson and R. Cole. “Devolution.” In American Governance, ed. Stephen L. Schechter. 5 vols. Detroit: Macmillan.

        {Encyclopedia Entry }

      Journal Article 2013
      • Arvidson, E. "Beyond Economism? Or Beyond Economics: Urban Political Economy and the Challenge of a Postmodern Marxism.".
        {Journal Article }

      Journal Article 2012
      • E. Arvidson, S.P. Mattingly, A. Sinprasertkool, & S. Ardekani. "Assessment of Sustainable Infrastructure: The Case of Exurban Dallas." Journal of Transportation Research Forum, Fall 2012.

        {Journal Article }

      Technical Report 2010
      • E. Arvidson, et al. 2010. Economic Analysis and Planning Study for Kennedale, TX. Arlington, TX: Institute of Urban Studies.
        {Technical Report }

      Journal Article 2010
      • Mattingly, A. Sinpraskertkool, S. Elsaigh Smith, E. Arvidson, and S. A. Ardekani. "Criteria Selection for Evaluating Sustainable Development: Environmental Justice, Land Value and Transportation." Transprtation Research Record (2010).
        {Journal Article }

      Conference Paper 2010
      Technical Report 2009
      • Mattingly, A. S., Smith, S. E., Arvidson, E., & Ardekani, S. A. (2009). Sustainable Development Impact Study. Arlington, TX: North Central Texas Council of Governments.

        {Technical Report }

      Book Chapter 2001
      • Arvidson, R. C. & Hissong, R. (2001). Texas TIFs: A Survey and Case Study. In C. Johnson and J. Man. (Eds.), Tax Increment Financing and Economic Development: Uses, Structures, and Impact. Albany: SUNY Press.
        {Book Chapter }

      Book Chapter 2000
      • Arvidson, E. "Los Angeles: a postmodern class mapping." Class and Its Others, edited by J.K. Gibson-Graham, S. Resnick, and R. Wolff, Minneapolis: UM Press, 2000.

        {Book Chapter }

      Journal Article 1999
      • Arvidson, E. (1999). Remapping Los Angeles, or, taking the risk of class in postmodern urban theory. Economic Geography, 75(2).
        {Journal Article }
      • Arvidson, E. & Galster, G. (1999). "Introduction" to special issue on Urban Policy Devolution in the Americas: Downsizing, Abdication, and Metropolitan Destinies. Journal of Urban Affairs, 21(2).
        {Journal Article }
      • Arvidson, E., Cole, R., & Hissong, R. (1999). Devolution: Where's the Revolution?. Publius, 29(4).
        {Journal Article }

      Book Review 1998
      • Arvidson, Enid. "Review of The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City by Neil Smith." Review of The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City.International Planning Studies 3, no 1, 1998.
        {Book Review }

      Journal Article 1995
      • Arvidson, E. (1995). Cognitive Mapping and Class Politics: Towards a Nondeterminist Image of the City. Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture and Society, 8(2).
        {Journal Article }

Support & Funding

This data is entered manually by the author of the profile and may duplicate data in the Sponsored Projects section.
    • Jan 2009 to Jan 2009 Sustainable Development Impact Study sponsored by  - $80000
    • Jan 1998 to Jan 1998 Rethinking Class Restructuring in Global Cities: Evidence from Los Angeles and Dallas sponsored by  - $10000

Students Supervised

  • Doctoral
    • Present
    • Present
      "Decentering Neo-Bohemia in the Creative City: Cultural Marginalization, Economic Violence, and an Alternative Agenda of Diverse Cultural Scenes
" Abstract: Creative cities policy is an approach that advocates the planned development of consumption-oriented, mixed-use urban neighborhoods supporting artistic activity and a vibrant nightlife to create economic benefits. The literature labels these neighborhoods “neo-bohemia” because they combine the gritty, authentic lifestyle of bohemian artists with a contemporary consumption culture of cafes, bars, galleries, and other arts spaces. Many, however, critique creative cities policy, suggesting it leads to gentrification and neighborhood commodification, and ignores the economic and cultural value of places that are not neo-bohemian. I apply the critical theory of J.K. Gibson-Graham (2006) to decenter the concept of neo-bohemia in the creative city discourse and point toward an alternative framework of cultural sustainability that promotes diverse cultural scenes. First, I review literature that frames neo-bohemia as a hegemonic and destructive force that can promote market- based economic success, but at the cost of gentrification, neighborhood commodification, and the exclusion of alternative cultural and economic scenes and locales deemed mundane, or uncultured, and unprofitable. Second, I employ structural equation modeling and case study analysis to empirically demonstrate the arguments I present in the iv literature review. Third, I advocate for an alternative framework of cultural sustainability that recognizes the nonmarket forms of economic value and supports a diverse range of cultural scenes that include, but are not limited to, neo-bohemias. I highlight the recent creative placemaking policy movement as a practical application of the cultural sustainability framework that planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders can adopt as an alternative to the creative city. In this dissertation, I contribute to cultural policy, urban planning, geography, and sociology literatures by presenting empirical evidence that helps explain the development process of neo-bohemia. My work identifies the benefits and consequences of the promotion of neo-bohemia and informs more nuanced cultural policy. Moreover, I present theoretical justification for and an example of the implementation of a cultural sustainability framework that can benefit planning and policy practitioners seeking alternatives to the creative cities discourse.
    • Present
    • Aug 2017
      "Policy Entrepreneurs, Narratives, and Policy Change" Abstract: The goal of this dissertation is to uncover how policy entrepreneurs use narratives to influence policy change. Prior studies have attributed scientific evidence to policy change and neglected narratives as an attributing factor. Primarily, narratives have been considered value-laden and unsystematic. However, this study hopes to enrich the policy change literature by using the Narrative Policy Framework to examine systematically how powerful actors use beneficial and failure narratives to influence policy change. This study will demonstrate that policy change does not solely occur due to exogenous events and can be ascribed to the storylines created by powerful actors to sway public opinion.
    • July 2016
      "Vital Publics: DIY Urbanism and the Right to the City" Abstract: Lefebvre’s concept of Right to the City has been predominantly employed by critical theorists to analyze resistant spatial practices such as Occupy Wall Street (e.g. Marcuse 2009). However, influenced by Nietzsche, Lefebvre’s theory of the production of space as simultaneously perceived, conceived and lived suggests that the political may emerge out of novel spatial and bodily experiences. Focusing on Lefebvre’s interest in the body, affect and space, I construct a vital reading of the right to the city to explore how such spatial practices may not be explicitly resistant to capitalism yet engender postcapitalist possibilities. Using this theoretical framework, I analyze Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Urbanism as a vital form of Lefebvre’s right to the city. I argue that because DIY Urbanism focuses on things that matter to people – streets, buildings, lots, etc. – these projects assemble individuals who represent diverse identities, interests and class positionings. Although this assemblage of people, things and capital can certainly catalyze gentrification, these open-ended and open-sourced projects also allow individuals to actively produce and experience urban space as a shared, collective project that can accommodate a wide range of uses and inhabitants.   To explore this potential, this dissertation focused on the Six Points neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas. Through archival research, extensive fieldwork and interviews with DIY Urbanists, artists, residents, city officials and developers, I tracked how these projects enabled feelings of generosity, radical belonging, collective ownership and jouissance through the creation and pleasurable experience of a community garden, participatory art projects and other pop-up spatial interventions. By collectively producing and experiencing space as Riverside Arts District, the DIY Urbanism projects created the conditions of possibility for postcapitalist publics. However, the assemblage was fragile and began to fragment after becoming increasingly entangled with neoliberal city and development interests. The dissertation closes with a discussion as to how planners can help build capacity for these nascent postcapitalist possibilities through a renewed commitment to co-producing the continually elusive, just city.
    • July 2016
      "Landscapes of Environmental Justice: A Post-Structural Analysis of Ecological Structures and Environmental Discourses" Abstract: Although application of ecological concepts and looking at the city as an “ecological space” or ecosystem is not new in planning (e.g. Chicago school), in the context of environmental justice research there is a need for a more integrated approach towards the complex interrelations between human aspects of urban landscapes and urban ecology. Consequently, the first starting point of my research is that studying environmental justice also requires an understanding of environmental health. The second defining point of this research is influenced by the notion of questioning science and research as a “social construct.” Drawing on Foucault’s legacy of discourse analysis, I attempt to point out the importance of the political and social framings of environmental justice and health concerns. Therefore, highlighting one of the most-asked epistemological questions in environmental justice research, “whose knowledge,” I attempt to establish a transdisciplinary framework to include local environmental and health knowledge and perception in the analysis in parallel with the ecological understanding of environmental and human health status. I apply a landscape-based ecological approach in order to examine the cumulative impacts of landscapes across large areas. Also, I employ a participatory GIS technique along with other qualitative methods to move beyond the traditional geospatial analysis that often does not include participatory approaches and local discourses in its analytical process. Although this study introduces two case studies (South Dallas, TX, and Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA), the ultimate goal is not to provide policy recommendations for a specific case of environmental injustice, but, rather, to highlight the complexity of environmental justice discourse and the epistemological tensions in terms of research methodology in an attempt to attribute these ongoing debates to the politically plural and scientifically vague ontological status of EJ research.
    • Apr 2016
      "A Comparison of Magnet Schools to Traditional Schools: Application of Critical Education Theory" Abstract: After considerable research, it was determined that a research gap exists that examines the overall impact of school choice concerning magnet and traditional high schools. The timing is especially critical in Texas with the passing of House Bill 5, which attempts to loosen the stranglehold of standardized testing. High schools will be given the opportunity to provide creative educational opportunities to students. Many school districts are transitioning to pathway programs in an attempt to increase the academic performance of an urban population as well as high school completion. Accordingly, this dissertation attempts to operationalize critical education theory, by comparing traditional schools to magnet schools. It is believed that magnet schools offer students greater public good, in the form of a real student interaction that is supportive of students that are capable of critical thought with teachers who are viewed as professionals, not technicians. In direct opposition to this view, traditional schools have become entrenched in neoliberal practice, resulting in less alignment to student needs. What follows is an exploration of the origins of the public school system in conjunction with the examination of opposing theoretical perspectives.
    • May 2015
      (co-chaired with Richard L. Cole) "Valuable Partnerships: The Regional Benefits of Interlocal Contracts for Texas" Abstract: cities Local governing units have long utilized interlocal contracts and agreements to create more effective and efficient provision of public goods and services by reducing costs, creating scalable economies, and eliminating service duplication. In fact, the practice among Texas municipalities dates back to 1857. Yet there is little in the way of empirical studies of the nature and benefits of contracting among Texas cities and towns since 1996. There is also a research gap analyzing how interlocal contracting encourages intergovernmental cooperation while also yielding the perceived benefits of regional government among participating jurisdictions. This mixed method study presents the results of a statewide online survey of Texas city managers that probes the contracting activity of their municipalities. The study also includes a case study utilizing open-ended interviews with selected respondents as well as an analysis of archived public documents to determine whether intergovernmental contractual activity truly saves local jurisdictions money. The research question asks whether interlocal contracting can yield the benefits of regional government for Texas cities and towns while also encouraging and facilitating regional cooperation among local governing units. This study measures and analyzes the use, structure, and benefits of interlocal contracting as well as determining how the practice fosters horizontal intergovernmental cooperation.
    • May 2015
      "Assessing the Black-box of Transportation Modeling: Making Everyday Travel Experiences Matter" Abstract: The black-boxing of contested knowledge into a transportation model is a process of establishing validity, thus dominance, over issues such as determining future transportation needs. Considering that the use of modeling and public participation are two of the most fundamental elements in long-term regional transportation planning, the black-boxing of issues into the transport model presents challenges for inclusion of public input. This dissertation discusses how the transportation modeling process is a discursive practice—wherein its assumptions produce outcomes—as shown in the disparity in participants travel experiences. Understanding the transportation modeling process as a discursive practice, and identifying resistances to disciplinary power in everyday practices, provide potential praxis for inclusive transportation planning process and outcomes. Public outreach and engagement efforts can focus more on making everyday travel experiences matter rather than insisting on public meetings. Additionally, alternative data collection method can be used in the co-production of knowledge about future transport needs rather than inhibit meaningful participation.
    • Aug 2012
      "Communihood: Being a Planning Activist in the Twenty-First Century" Abstract: Introducing communihood as a hybrid concept and defining planning activism as a planners role outside the dominant planning power structure are two main contributions of this dissertation in scholarly debates among planning scholars about the shape of cities in twenty-first century and the role for planners in a postmodern society. Communihood is introduced as a hybrid alternative for historical approaches in differentiating between community and neighborhood based on their social or spatial characteristics that has been escalated in the last decades by the development of Information Technology and Social Media. Therefore, communihood is defined as a synthesis of the socio-spatial dialectic that incorporates social and spatial capital without privileging one over the other. Then I explain identity, diversity, and power relation in communihood and discuss how Information Technology and Social Media can be used to boost these characteristics in communihood in the twenty-first century. After defining communihood as a context for every planning project in the twenty-first century, I criticize the planning scholars traditional efforts to define the role for planners in post-modern society based on Habermass theory of Communicative Rationality as an alternative for traditional scientific rationality in rational comprehensive planning. I argue that it is important to recognize that there are different roles for planners and needs for planners expertise in a society in public and private sectors, and planners can decide to fulfill each of them based on their personal preferences. However, in order to play an activist role in planning, it is crucial for them to work outside the planning power structure to represent those interests that has been traditionally marginalized in the dominant planning processes. Finally, I introduce Jason Roberts work in Oak Cliff, TX as a case study of planning activism in a twenty-first century communihood.
    • May 2012
      "Housing, Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Analysis of Sierra Leone’s Housing Market and Its Developmental Challenges" Abstract: The issue of available and affordable housing in Sub-Saharan Africa poses an overwhelming problem, and yet receives weak policy responses. Since independence, housing policies have shifted from ambitious schemes of state intervention to increasing emphasis on the private market. This shift coincided with the global economic trend that advocated for escalating privatization. The 1993 World Banks housing "Enablement" policy became the blueprint for planning in developing countries. Despite decades of policy shift, housing outcomes foreshadow derelict housing structures, poorly structured mortgages and increased unaffordability for the urban poor. Critics have highlighted that the approach is biased towards the market, exclusionary in application, and disenfranchises the urban poor. But how these policy responses are articulated by local officials and how they impact the urban poor have not been well researched. This qualitative empirical research uses Freetown as a case to investigate this gap from a demand and supply perspective. Housing officials from seven institutions as well as forty household residents of the "Low-Cost" were interviewed to determine the articulation and impact of this approach on the urban poor. The research finds a huge policy mismatch in the housing sector because housing policies are driven by multiple non-shelter related variables that include, (a) the quest for urban entrepreneurialism, (b) the proliferation of "expert sense", (c) a misleading interpretation of the private markets potential, and, (d) lack of commitment to housing policies. This has led to increased displacement, uneven development, government abdication and conflict over competing use-value. While "Low-Cost" demonstrate that urban fortunes can be influenced by previously marginalized inhabitants despite power asymmetries, the emphasis on market actors in an economically frail country only disproportionately affects the poor. The relationship between housing supply and housing demand reflects the particular nature of housing provision in underdeveloped capitalist societies, highlighting the challenges faced by low-income homeowners. The research recommends an increased state regulation as necessary for an effective private market, the direct oversight of public investment, a realistic economic nationalism and focus on the informal housing market.
    • May 2008
      "The Irony of Proving Discrimination" Abstract: Currently America courts require plaintiffs alleging discrimination to not only prove the existence of present day discrimination but to also prove the “discriminatory intent.”1 This dissertation contains two applications of the theory of unconscious discrimination as it reveals the difficulty of prevailing in discrimination cases. The assumption applied is that policy-makers use theories that dismiss or render invisible the presence of subtle discrimination. This perpetuates the problem and hinders its adequate address. Since so many people suffer because of discrimination’s invisible-yet present existence, measures must be taken to unveil the remedy this subtler form of discrimination. In this dissertation, I attempt to pull together a variety of eclectic theories about racism (e.g. critical race theory (CRT), unconscious theory, the realist perspective, political economy/Marxism, transparency theory) into a single synthetic framework for the purpose of honing in on why policy makers are striking down affirmative action laws. My unique contribution to the literature is my attempt to synthesize the literature into the contextual, conceptual and subconscious typology to shed light on the interplay (and impact) of “unconscious theory” during the development of social policy. The central inquiries to be addressed in this dissertation are: (1) What makes discrimination hard to see or acknowledge and (2) Why are policy-makers seemingly blind to discrimination in spite of its presence? I attempt to answer these questions by: (1) drawing on existing literature to argue that there are prevailing economic, social, cultural and psychological factors that may contribute to policy-makers’ blindness to the phenomenon called discrimination, (2) using Concrete Works vs. the City and County of Denver as a case study to illustrate the court’s stance on what constitutes adequate proof of the existence of present day discrimination (Cohn 1999): and then using the Urban Institute and Department of Justices’ Nationwide Disparity Study 2 to respond to criticisms and flaws of the Denver’s. Disparity Study cited by the justices to have caused the negative judgment against the City and County of Denver, and (3) examining majority and dissenting opinions of Supreme Court Justices’ rulings on six precedent-setting cases regarding affirmative action policy to explore value perspectives of the decision makers and check for the presence of the transparency phenomenon3 to illustrate this blindness in setting anti-discrimination policy. The research suggests that these questions can be answered by focusing on unconscious conditioning, a term borrowed from Richard Delgado (2001), which manifests from what I categorize in this dissertation as three points of influence—contextual, conceptual and subconscious actions. This dissertation hypothesis sets out to test one prevailing thought: Unconscious conditioning, which occurs throughout the life experiences of white Americans,4 makes it more difficult to acknowledge the existence of discrimination. This inability to recognize the persistence of discrimination, compromises some white American’s ability to appreciate the need for or credibility of programs such as Affirmative Action policy. This coupled with the irrepressible nature of discrimination makes it very difficult to prove its existence.
    • May 2006
      "Evolving Telephone Policy: Universal Service" Abstract: Important public policy decisions are commonly made that depend upon short, medium, and long term time periods to achieve success or widespread adoption. Universal Service and telephone penetration among underserved residential consumer groups are useful cases for studying the rate of change for adopting public policies. Telephone subscribership and its related socio-economic elements are examined using the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56) and the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. SS 151 et seq.). Theoretical foundations include the legislation, regulatory policy, and other telephone developments. Findings conclude that: (1) the diffusion of telephones, telephone services, and telephone-related public policies have greater similarity to the widespread adoption of electricity than to the adoption of radio, with which telephone-related diffusion is most often associated, (2) there is a pronounced split between residents income and urban-rural factors, and, (3) rather than consumers benefiting from adoption of telephone innovations and a transition to economic competition from behavioral regulation, there is a noticeable slowness in accomplishing objectives of the Acts. Alternative approaches to constructing similar public policies are recommended.



        This course introduces students to various ways of theorizing what planners do when they practice planning. The course surveys a variety of different theories, or “paradigms,” used by planners in carrying out and explaining their practice, including rational comprehensive planning, communicative action, advocacy planning, radical planning, and others. In explaining the content of each approach, the course also considers the historical, social, intellectual contexts in which these approaches arose and that condition their existence. In the process of studying the various planning approaches, we also evaluate the different approaches for their underlying values and social consequences. Insodoing, students are encouraged to become aware of their own values and to reflect on the ethical, social, political consequences of the various different ways of practicing planning.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2018 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours

        This course examines the theoretical bases of orthodox neoclassical economics, and the urban economic applications and policies that derive from it. Neoclassical economics is then compared and contrasted with the heterodox political economy paradigm and the economic applications and policies that flow from this alternative framework. Attention is paid to how and why the neoclassical model remains the basis for economic policy in the 21st century. The concept of “paradigm,” or school of thought, is utilized to establish the notion of alternative, or contending, schools of thought within economics, and the two alternative schools are explored in detail.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2017 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • CIRP 5310-001 CIRP 5310 Planning, Urban Development and Structure

        This course provides an overview of the substantive/functional topics in planning (e.g., housing, transportation, urban design, community development) and fundamentals of urban development and urban structure. It offers basic knowledge of the role of urban planning, as well as of the social, political, and economic factors that influence the development of cities and metropolitan regions.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2014 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • SUPA 5301-001 Foundations of Urban Economics and Politics

        Urban policies are formulated in the political and economic environment of communities, and there is a high degree of interaction between governmental and economic institutions. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of basic political and economic structures and processes. In the first half of the course, we will focus on economics, emphasizing contending ways of understanding market economies, economic actors, and the role of government. By the end of the first half, it should become evident that economic understandings have profound political and policy implications. In the second half, politics will be our focus, with an emphasis on different understandings of urban politics as well as on the diverse institutions and actors that carry out urban politics. By the end of the second half, it will again become evident that urban politics has economic implications.

      • CIRP 5332-001 Project Studio
        Studio course working on applied city and regional planning projects within the Dallas-Fort Worth area or elsewhere. Provides students with practical experience in collaborative teamwork and the application of skills, methods, and techniques in city and regional planning, including citizen participation, problem analysis, mapping, design, presentation, working with clients, and applied planning process.
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2013 Download Syllabus
        Examines the spatial and social structure of cities, along with key schools of thought (or paradigms) for understanding this spatial and social structure. The first half of the course focuses on the spatial structure of cities, how and why urban form changes over time, considering these changes through contending lenses or theories. The role of urban planning is also considered. The second half of the course focuses on the social structure of cities, including influences on urban development by such factors as race, poverty, class, gender, and community. The role of social policy is also considered. An overall objective of the course is to illuminate the link between the spatial and social structures of cities and prepare students to make theoretically informed analyses of urban planning and policy challenges.
        Summer - Regular Academic Session - 2012 Download Syllabus
      • URPA 5306-001 THE URBAN ECONOMY
        This course introduces students to different ways of understanding the dynamics of the growth and development of the urban system and its relation to the national economy. The concept of “paradigm,†or school of thought, is utilized to establish the notion of alternative, or contending, schools of thought within urban economics. Different perspectives on national and urban economic policy, urban growth and land use, market imperfections, class polarization, and other issues are considered.
        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2011 Download Syllabus

Service to the Profession

Service to the University

Other Service Activities

Administrative Appointment

  • 2003
    • Aug 2003 to June 2009 - Program Director, University of Texas at Arlington   UTA/SUPA   School of Urban & Public Affairs   Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy
    • Aug 2003 to June 2009 - Program Director, University of Texas at Arlington   UTA/SUPA   School of Urban & Public Affairs   master's in city and regional planning