The University of Utah
College of Architecture + Planning
Ivis Garcia Zambrana

MRC Affiliate

Ivis Garcia Zambrana is an Assistant Professor in City and Metropolitan Planning (CMP) and a planning commissioner in Salt Lake City. At CMP she works in close collaboration with the University Neighborhood cPartners (UNP) and she is also affiliated with the Metropolitan Research Center (MRC). Her philosophy, methodology and ethos revolves around conducting research and plans in partnership with stakeholders, being from the grassroots or from institutionalized forms of government. Currently, with UNP and MRC, she is working on a project funded by the University of Utah Community-Based Research to study neighborhood change and gentrification in Salt Lake City’s west side.  Dr. Garcia is an urban planner with research interests in the areas of community development, housing, and identity politics. She has spent time as a professional planner in Albuquerque, New Mexico, San Francisco, California, Springfield, Missouri, Washington, D.C., and most recently in with the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Community Improvement, a research center within the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a practitioner, Dr. Garcia has led several large-scale housing projects such as the BRAC Homeless Assistance Submission for the Concord Community Reuse Project and a program evaluation for the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. She recently completed a series report for the Illinois Latino Family Commission to advise the Governor and General Assembly about issues affecting Latino families at the state level. She has a long history of working with and for communities throughout the country. Specifically, by facilitating the integration of racialized and ethnic groups into planning democratic processes. Her most recent theoretical studies have sought to elucidate currently existing as well as historic relationships between market typologies, the structured dynamics of housing stratification and distribution, and community development strategies in diverse (primarily Latino) communities. Her work has implications pertaining to the problems of uneven development, the role of the state in the formation and maintenance of market-economies, grassroots organizing, and housing policy more generally. Ivis earned her Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds dual master’s degrees from the University of New Mexico in Community and Regional Planning and Latin American Studies and a bachelor’s in Environmental Sciences from Inter-American University in Puerto Rico.