Lisa Berglund

Lisa Berglund

Lecturer in Urban Planning


BS in Architecture, University of Michigan
MS in Urban Planning Design, The Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm)
PhD in Urban Planning, UCLA

Areas of Interest:

Environmental Justice, Neighborhood Change, Urban Design, critical urban theory, post-crisis redevelopment




Office Location:

5363 Public Affairs Building

Lisa Berglund’s research interests focus on community development in the context of the redevelopment of post-disaster cities, and the historically demonstrated potential for uneven development favoring certain race and class identities. This research engages with communities to understand the policy obstacles that disenfranchise some groups from the redevelopment process. Focusing on the perspectives of politically marginalized urban populations, especially those experiencing economic, natural, and/or social disasters, her work aims to share narratives of communities that are often left out of planning processes, and disproportionately treated as the objects of policy expertise.

Her dissertation titled, “Experts of Crisis: Exclusive Planning Discourse and Community Resistance in Detroit” uses interviews and discourse analysis to examine the rhetoric of professional planners considered to be highly valued as technical experts in Detroit — a city often regarded as exceptional in its degree of social and economic crisis. This work also draws from the experiences of communities whose neighborhoods are undergoing changes during this time of physical and economic restructuring. A central component of this discourse analysis is an understanding of the ways that local communities resist professional planning expertise that has largely displaced their local and experiential knowledge about their neighborhoods in planning discourse.

Her dissertation research is a recent example of her work that speaks to the role of urban planning and its potential to create uneven redevelopment patterns experienced by disadvantaged communities of post-disaster cities and neighborhoods. In the past, Berglund conducted an ethnography of low-income homeowners in North Minneapolis, who were struggling with home repairs because of tornado damage, amidst the uneven effects of the housing crisis. She has also worked in New Orleans, where she engaged with local, community-based nonprofits to examine the uneven distribution of rebuilding funds among communities of different race and class characteristics.

With a background in architecture and urban design, Berglund is teaching visual communications and serving as graphic design consultant for UCLA Luskin Urban Planning. She will also teach courses on history and theory of urban planning.

Click here to arrange an appointment with Berglund.