Stacy Anne Harwood

Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning

PhD, University of Southern California 2001

Room M208 Temple Buell Hall 611 Lorado Taft Drive
Champaign IL 61820

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Phone: 217.265.0874

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's 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 (UP535), Planning History and Theory (UP501), 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.

Ongoing Research Projects

Immigrant Welcome Plans: Rustbelt Effort to Retain and Attract Immigrants, funded by the FAA Creative Research Award at the University of Illinois.

The Challenge of Creating a Multicultural Space: Promoting Dialogue about Racial Microaggressions at a Predominantly White Institution (with Ruby Mendenhall and Margaret Browne Huntt). This project has been funded by University of Illinois, specifically the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society, University Housing, the Graduate College/Focal Point Initiative and Campus Research Board.

Advocacy Planning in Neighborhoods

Local Government Response to Immigrant Populations

Spatial Implications of Subtle Racism

Preparing Planners to Work in Diverse Communities

Selected Publications

Harwood, S., Huntt, M. B., Mendenhall, R. & Lewis, J. 2012. "Racial Microaggressions in the Residence Halls: Experiences of Students of Color at a Predominantly White University." Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

Harwood, Stacy A. 2012. "Planning in the Face of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment: Latino Immigrants and Land-Use Conflict in Orange County, California." Chapter 2 in Diálogos: Placemaking in Latinos Communities, edited by Michael Rios and Leonardo Vazquez. Routledge, pgs 36-49.

Dearborn, Lynne and Harwood, Stacy A. 2011. "Teaching Students about Complexity: Reflections about an Interdisciplinary Community Service Learning Studio in East St Louis, Illinois." Journal of Urbanism 4(2): 127-151.

Harwood, Stacy Anne. 2009. "Racialized Regulation: Planning in the Face of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment." Progressive Planning, Winter (178): 8-9.

Harwood, Stacy Anne. 2008. "Day Laborers in Laguna Beach." Photographs reproduced in Overlooked America. Chicago: American Planning Association.

Harwood, Stacy A. 2007. "Using Scenarios to Build Planning Capacity." Chapter 7 in Lewis D. Hopkins and Marisa Zapata, eds. Envisioning Our Future: Forecasts, Scenarios, Plans, and Projects. Cambridge: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, pgs 135-153.

Harwood, Stacy Anne and Marisa Zapata. 2007. "Creating Space for Hermeneutics in Practice: Using Visual Tools to Understand Community Narratives about the Future." Critical Policy Analysis, 1(4): 371-388.

Harwood, Stacy Anne. 2007. "Geographies of Opportunity for Whom? Neighborhood Improvement Programs as Regulators of Neighborhood Activism." Journal of Planning Education and Research, 26(3): 261-283.

Harwood, Stacy Anne and Marisa Zapata. 2006. "Preparing to Plan: Collaborative Planning in Monteverde, Costa Rica." International Planning Studies, 11(3): 187-207.

Harwood, Stacy Anne. 2005. "Struggling to Embrace Difference in Land-Use Decision Making in Multicultural Communities." Planning Research and Practice, 20(4): 355-171.

Harwood, Stacy Anne. 2003. "Environmental Justice on the Streets: Advocacy Planning as a Tool to Contest Environmental Racism," Journal of Planning Education and Research, (23) 1: 24-38.

Harwood, Stacy A. and Dowell Myers. 2002. "The Dynamics of Immigration and Local Governance in Santa Ana: Neighborhood Activism, Overcrowding and Land-Use Policy," Policy Studies Journal, 30(1): 70-91.

Teaching and Advising

Current Courses

  • UP353: Cities and Immigrants
  • UP474: Neighborhood Revitalization
  • UP501: Planning History and Theory
  • UP535: Local Policy and Immigration

Current Advising

Doctoral Students

  • Sang Lee (PhD Regional Planning, UIUC, 2009-present), immigrant organizations and local responses to cultural diversity

MUP Capstone Advisor

  • Manish Singh (MUP, UIUC, 2013 to present), economic development, resilient downtowns
  • Josh McCann (MUP, UIUC, 2014 to present), community development and youth sports

Previous Advising


  • Janni Sorenson (PhD Regioal Planning, UIUC, 2007) Challenges of Unequal Power Distribution in University-Community Partnerships” [currently Associate Professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte]
  • Marisa Zapata, (PhD Regional Planning, UIUC 2009) Planning across Differences: Collaborative planning in the California Central Valley [currently Assistant Professor at Portland State University]


  • Rebecca Nathanson, (MUP, UIUC, 2013) Bosnian Entrepreneurship and Economic Mobility in St. Louis, MO.
  • Jane Tigan, (MUP, UIUC, 2010) Great Lakes Urban Innovation Guidebook.
  • Jay Bieszke, Matthew Claus, Eric Hansen, Andrew Jensen, Angie Stenson and Joel Vanessen (MUP, UIUC, 2008) Visioning Possible Futures for Sao Tome & Principe's International Airport Campus.
  • Kimberly Haire and Brad Lents (MUP, UIUC, 2008) Community Assessment Project: A Compendium of Data for Working Towards Achieving and Sustaining a High Quality of Life for Current and Future Generations of East Springfield.
  • Senait Brown, Zachary Kennedy, Pallavi Nadimpalli, Megha Dutta, (MUP, UIUC, 2008) East Main Street Redevelopment Project. Prepared for the City of Galesburg, Illinois and UI Extension Community Matters. Selected for the 2009 APA-IL Chapter Student Project Award.
  • Leah Ostenberg, (MUP, UIUC, 2007) Strategic Plan for Concerned Citizens of Precinct 12.
  • Jennifer Forbes (MUP-JD, UIUC, 2006) Rush City Neighborhood: The Relocation Negotiations Process Prepared for the Neighborhood Law Office, East St Louis, IL.
  • Laura Knutson, Andrew Murray and Elizabeth Thorstensen, (MUP, UIUC, 2005) Emerson Park Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. Prepared for the Emerson Park Development Corporation, East St Louis, IL.
  • Yelias Bender, (MUP, UIUC, 2004) Scenario Planning in the Monteverde Zone. Prepared for for the Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica.
  • Lisa Fitzgerald (MUP, UIUC, 2003) Scenario Planning in Monteverde: Sustainable Futures 2002. Prepared for the Monteverde Institute, Costa Rica.


  • Tolulope Olorode (Social Work, UIUC McNair Scholars Program 2011) Voices in the Hallway: Race and the College Experience.
  • Rosa Saavedra (Sociology, UIUC Summer Research Opportunity Program 2009) Latino Farm Operators in North Carolina.
  • Ayesha Johns (Urban Planning, UIUC McNair Scholars Program 2008) Documenting Environmental Memories as a Community Organizing Strategy in the North End in Champaign, Illinois.
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