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David López-García, PhD

Public and urban policy

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies Department at Queens College-CUNY. Part-time Faculty at the Parsons School of Design. Visiting Research Scholar in the Observatory on Latin America (OLA) at The New School. Part-time Faculty in the Ph.D. in Cities, Territory, and Sustainability at the University of Guadalajara. My research spans urban policy interactions shaping the urban experience, urban political economy, urban structure, urban accessibility, institutional arrangements for urban governance, and institutional capacity of local governments. My book titled "Worker Mobility and Urban Policy in Latin America: Policy Interactions and Urban Outcomes in Mexico City" is under contract with Routledge and forthcoming in 2022.  Curriculum Vitae



Ph.D. in Public and Urban Policy, The New School


M. Phil. in Public and Urban Policy, The New School


M. A. in Comparative Public Policy, FLACSO-México


B. A. in Management, University of Guadalajara

Research approach

Broadly speaking, my research looks at the long-term urban policies interactions that shape the urban experience.


I approach this agenda through three interacting streams. First, through the field of urban policy where I focus on the politics of policies. Second, through the field of urban political economy were I look at the distributional effects of infrastructure policy. Third, through institutional theory where I look at how institutional arrangements provide or deny economic opportunities to urban dwellers.


I support this research agenda through my training in urban political economy, urban governance, politics of infrastructure, and mixed-methods research approaches.

- Look at my research portfolio in Researchgate.

Street Market in YangPu District

Shanghai, China.

Photo by David López-García



"Cities and Covid-19: New Directions for Urban Research and Public Policy".

Knowledge Platform for Urban Transformation, International Network for Government Science Advice


"La Paz, Bolivia: The Social Production of Risk and Vulnerability".

The Observatory on Latin America (OLA), Latin American Development Bank (CAF).

Working paper

"Building  Inequality: Infrastructure and Intra-Urban Inequality in the Capitalist City".

Qualifying paper to fulfill the requirements of the Public and Urban Policy doctoral program at The New School.

Working paper

"Tracing Displacements of Expertise in City Planning: The Public Space Authority of Mexico City ".

Final paper for the Planning and Counter-Planning seminar led by professor Stephen Collier at The New School for Social Research


“Mediation Styles and Participant’s Perception of Success in Consultative Councils: The Case of Guadalajara, Mexico".

Journal of Public Deliberation, 13 (2), Article 10.

With Michael Cohen, Martha Jaimes, Lena Simet and José Gálvez.

"Análisis costo-beneficio de la Ecozona-Toluca. [Cost-benefit analysis of Ecozona-Toluca]"

 German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)



"El Impacto de la Transparencia en Jalisco: Cuantificar la Transparencia para Evaluar Resultados" [The impact of transparency in Jalisco: Quantifying transparency for results assessment].

In Alicia Gómez and David Gómez-Álvarez (Eds.), Agendas Nacionales Implicaciones Locales: Ensayos sobre Transparencia, Democracia y Rendición de Cuentas. Universidad de Guadalajara. 


"La Participación Ciudadana en Procesos de Democracia Directa: Un Análisis del Diseño de las Leyes de Participación Ciudadana" [Citizen participation in direct democracy: An analysis of citizen participation institutional design].

In Perspectivas Sobre la Democracia: Participación Ciudadna, Cultura Política y Comportamiento Electoral. Colección Tesis y  Ensayos, Instituto Electoral y de  Participación Ciudadana del Estado de Jalisco.


"Contaminación y Riesgos Ambientales en Áreas Urbanas: Los Límites de una Administración Tecnocentrista" [Pollution and environmental risks in urban areas: The boundaries of a techology-centered approach].

In Gobierno y Sociedad Civil. Red Nacional de Investigación Urbana  (RNIU), Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.

Teaching approach

Some argue that an epoch is not defined by what we discuss, but by what we take for granted. What I value the most about education is the opportunity to assist students to think of issues that are usually taken for granted but are critical to understanding the social order in which we are embedded.


My teaching philosophy is helping students to think critically about the urban experience and its policy implications. I believe that it is only through the understanding of the social, political, and economic forces that explain the city as it is today, that we can envision and work towards the city that we ought to have tomorrow.

- Teaching portfolio.

Teaching Experience

URBST-105 | Urban Politics

Department of Urban Studies | Queens College - CUNY

Adjunct Faculty

Since Fall 2019

URBST-732 | Researching New York City

Department of Urban Studies | Queens College - CUNY

Adjunct Faculty

Summer 2020

Economics for Management and Public Policy

Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment | The New School

Teaching Fellow

Since Spring 2019

Urban thesis workshop

Parsons School of Design | The New School

Teaching Fellow

Spring 2018 & 2020

Liquid Cities

Lang College of Liberal Arts | The New School

Teaching Fellow

Spring 2018

Advanced Quantitative Methods

Milano School of Policy, Management and Environment | The New School

Teaching Assistant

Fall 2017

Institutional Design for Governmental Accountability

University of Guadalajara

Adjunct Faculty

2016 - 2019

Work with Graduate Students

- Maha Al-Khater (2020), Non-sustainable Egosytems: Gulf Futurism & Qatar, MA Theories of Urban Practice, Parsons School of Design.

- Obianozo Jessica Chukwuma (2020), Urban Beauty: Equity Entrepreneurship and Black Womanhood, MS in Design and Urban Ecologies, Parsons School of Design.

- Sana Akram (2020), Engendering (In)mmigrant space: Exploring Collaborative Storytelling to Rediscover Little Pakistan, MS in Design and Urban Ecologies, Parsons School of Design.

- Jessica Schwartz (2020), Life Above Buildings: Rooftop Agriculture and the Creation of a Sustainable New York, MA Theories of Urban Practice, Parsons School of Design.

- Mariana Kiwi Mouro Barros, Resilience Plan for Marginal Protection Strips in Risk of Flood, Erosion and Landslide, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, MS in Design and Urban Ecologies, Parsons School of Design.

- Luisa Lazo Trujillo (2019) Local Governents' Accountability: An Exploration of the Determinants of Reelection in Mexico, 2014-2018. The University of Guadalajara.

- Manuel Bazán Cruz (2017) An Analytical and Implementation Analysis of Transparency: The Case of the Indigenous Languages National Institute. The University of Guadalajara.

Completed Masters thesis I have supervised or co-supervised:

Masters thesis I am currently supervising:

- Jaime Gómez, Local Government Accountability in Urban Development Policy: The Case of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. The University of Guadalajara.


Get in Touch

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Shanghai railway station

Photo by David López-García