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Urban Studies

Kate Lowe Heading link

Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy

Dr. Lowe studies transportation at the intersection of policy, funding, and social equity. Her work examines how varied stakeholders and transportation policies interact across different levels of government and how this impacts transportation investments. She also studies the transportation perspectives and experiences of low and moderate income communities of color, as well as structural racism in transit investment decisions.

Faculty Profile

Mahesh Somashekhar Heading link

Assistant Professor, Sociology

Dr. Somashekhar’s research agenda concerns how economic development and social inequality affect one another in U.S. cities. Specifically, he studies the effects of retail change on urban and suburban communities, with a particular focus on immigrant entrepreneurship, gentrification, and gayborhoods. He is currently undertaking a project that shows there is no monolithic definition of the term “gentrifier.” The consequences of gentrification vary depending on the race, class, and family status of gentrifiers.

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Maria Krysan Heading link

Professor, Sociology

Dr. Krysan’s research focuses on racial residential segregation and racial attitudes. Her most recent book, Cycle of Segregation: Social Processes and Residential Stratification (co-authored with Kyle Crowder) draws on in-depth interviews, large-scale survey data, and previously published research to propose an innovative theoretical framework for understanding the causes of racial residential segregation. Dr. Krysan regularly engage with the media, and present to community leaders, government agencies, advocates, and the like, both sharing my expertise with—and more importantly learning from—her conversations with these audiences.

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Philip Ashton Heading link

Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy

Dr. Ashton’s research focuses on banking and cities, including studies of the rise of the subprime mortgage market and its focus on African-American and Latinx borrowers. He is currently working on a book on public and private litigation against large banks over their role in the foreclosure crisis in minority neighborhoods.

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Rachel Weber Heading link

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies,  Urban Planning and Policy

Broadly speaking, Rachel Weber is interested in the relationship between financial markets and the built environment. She is currently conducting research on the incidence and effectiveness of property tax incentives, the impact of the municipal bond market on patterns of (dis)investment (including school closures) in cities, and the racialization of property values. Dr. Weber is writing a book on speculation and forecasting, particularly how professionals try to predict the next real estate boom and bust.

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Stacey Sutton Heading link

Assistant Professor, Urban Planning and Policy

Dr. Sutton’s research explores “Punitive Cities” and “Enabling Cities.” Through punitive cities research, she examines racially and spatially disparate outcomes associated with planning and policy decisions such as automated traffic tickets, enforcement of land-use rules for small businesses, and gentrification. Dr. Sutton’s “Enabling Cities” research explores the solidarity economy, worker cooperatives, liberated zones, and equitable development.

Faculty Profile