|INDEX||ABOUT ME||RESEARCH||ACADEMICS||COMMUNITY-DESIGN||ENGAGEMENT||NEWS & LINKS||STUDY ABROAD||INTERESTS|
My personal philosophy of teaching and research has been shaped by my life experiences, particularly during my academic preparation, which has spanned several countries and two continents. Being trained as a landscape architect, urban planner, and most recently environmental designer, my professional orientation embodies a form of transdisciplinary research and practice. Working in diverse settings has led me to a unique and integrative approach to pedagogy, scholarship, and practice. I have learned from my own life experiences that two very important personal elements go into effective design, research, and teaching. The first is direct experience of a wide range of human environments; the second is close observation and cultural immersion in those environments.
Research Areas: My research and pedagogy are centered on sustainable urban design, community development, and sociocultural factors in community design, from urban environments and poverty stricken areas to empty suburban malls and commercial areas at the intersection of upscale developments and highway commerce, and university‐community partnerships.
Positions Academic Appointments
|2013 - Present||Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Knowlton School of Architecture, City and regional Planning. Columbus, OH.|
|2007 - 2013||Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, Knowlton School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture. Columbus, OH.|
|2009 - 2013||Assistant Professor courtesy appointment, The Ohio State University, Knowlton School of Architecture, City and Regional Planning. Columbus, OH.|
|2007||Visiting Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico, Architecture and Planning, Urban and Regional Planning. Albuquerque, NM. Coordinator of The Physical Design concentration area.|
|2001 - 2006||Associate Faculty, Arizona State University, Design, Planning and Landscape Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Planning Programs. Tempe, AZ.|
Knowlton School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning Sections, OSU:
City and Regional Planning
|CRP 2210||Sustainable Urbanism: Vibrant public places and sustainable communities (Undergraduate Spring 2013)|
|CRP 3200||Place Making: in an age of globalization (undergraduate) fall 2012.|
|CRP 4910||Making the Plan: Community Design Studio, Sustainable Strategies for West Columbus (Undergraduate Fall 2012)|
|CRP 510||Service Learning City and Regional Planning Studio (Undergraduate) fall 2008, 2009, spring 2010, 2011 and 2012.|
|CRP 734||Research Methods in Design and Planning (Graduate) spring 2012|
|CRP 694||Group Studies, ULI Urban Design Student Competition, faculty co-coordinator and team advisor (Graduate)|
|Larch 4960||Community Design Studio, Sustainable Strategies for West Columbus (Undergraduate Fall 2012)|
|Larch 356||Advanced Design III, service learning studio (Undergraduate) spring 2010, 2011|
|Larch 457||Urban Landscape Design Studio (Undergraduate) fall 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012|
|Larch 642||Urban Landscape Design Studio (Graduate) winter 2008|
|Larch 644||Site Planning and Urban Design Studio (Graduate) spring 2009|
|Larch 693||Independent Studies, I supervised and guided CRP PhD and MLA graduate students in independent studies related to urban design, open space and the creation of social capital.|
|Larch 693||ULI Urban Design Student Competition, faculty co-coordinator and team advisor (Graduate) 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012|
|Larch 694||Sustainable Approaches to Urban Landscapes (Graduate) spring 2008, 2011.|
|Larch 740||Research Methods in Design and Planning (Graduate) winter 2008, 2009, and 2012|
|Larch 750||Advance Community Design Studio, service Learning Studio (Graduate) 2010, and 2011|
|Larch 750-664||European Cities and Sustainable Urban Landscapes, Study Abroad Program Summer (Undergraduate/Graduate) 2011|
|Larch 760||European Cities and Sustainable Urban Landscape (summer abroad program) spring 2011 and 2012|
|Larch 760||Community Building: Urbanism-Health-Placemaking (Graduate/Undergraduate Seminar) fall 2008, winter 2010, spring 2012|
|Larch 998||Thesis in Landscape Architecture 2010, 2011 and 2012|
Spring 2007, CRP 433/533 Foundations of Physical Planning, Community and Regional Planning School of Architecture and Planning University of New Mexico.
Summer 2006, PLA 585/ PLA598 International Field Studies, Mediterranean Cities, ASU School of architecture and Landscape Architecture. http://europe.design.asu.edu/
Summer 2006, PLA 585/ PLA598 International Field Studies, Greece International Studio, Thessaloníki Greece, ASU School of architecture and Landscape Architecture.
Spring 2006, PUP 580 Capstone Studio (masters level studio), West Phoenix Revitalization Area Developing An Integrated Planning Approach, (School of Planning, ASU)
Fall 2005, PLA 461 Landscape Architecture VI, Landscape Ecological Planning and Design Studio (School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, ASU).
Summer 2005, 06, 07, 09 PLA 585/ PLA598 International Field Studies, “Park, Cities & Landscapes of Northern Europe”, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, ASU. http://europe.design.asu.edu/
Fall 2004, HUD 301 Design and Development, ASU School of Planning. This course gives the students an overview of the interdisciplinary process involved the development of new residential communities.
Summer 2004, ICLAS International Course of Landscape Architecture, School of Landscape Architecture Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Guest Instructor.
Committee member: “Excuse me is this seat taken? Are public spaces really unisex? Revisiting William H. Whyte, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, by Goldie Ludovici.
Graduate Faculty Representative for PhD Dissertation Defense: “From Personal to the Public: Juris Podnieks and Latvian Documentary Cinema”, by Maruta Zane Vitols, OSU History of Art.
Spring 2005-06, PUP 580 Capstone Studio (masters level studio), the Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Transit Project. 16 students, (School of Planning, ASU)
Spring 2005, PLA 464 Landscape Architecture VI: Urban Landscape Restoration and Design. 24 students, (School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, ASU).
Fall 2002, PLA 462Landscape Architecture Junior Studio, ASU School of Planning and Landscape Architecture, 22 students.
Fall 2000, PPD 301 Third World Cities. School of Policy Planning and Development, University of Southern California.
2004-2005, Planning/Urban Design Consultant- Urban and Environmental Research, Inc. “MOAPA Valley Visual Preference Survey” sponsored by Department of Comprehensive Planning, Clark County Nevada.
1/99-8/00 Program Administrator, Sustainable Cities Program at the University of Southern California.
12/96-6/98 Filed Supervisor Landscape West Inc., I supervised a crew of sixteen employees, and I was responsible for creating and implementing landscape projects and programs for the cities of Duarte, La Canada Flintridge and Arcadia, in California.
2/95-8/96 Project Estimator Landscape Development Inc. I was responsible for managing the estimating department. I personally reviewed construction projects that resulted in realized sales of up to five million dollars annually, and I worked closely with project mangers through every step of the project.
1/99-8/99 Transportation Planning Intern, MTA Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles California.
7/98-2/99, Planning Intern, City of Duarte, California. Under supervision of the City Planner, I provided assistance to the planning and technical staff of the Community Development Department.
1993-Summer, LAF/CLASS Fund, Summer Internship This internship consisted of full-time, supervised work experience with a landscape architecture and planning office and with companies related to the industry.
Affiliations, Research Centers and Institutes:
2010- Center for Latin American Studies, The Ohio State University, affiliated faculty member.
2010- Latino and Latin American Space for Enrichment and Research (LASER) core faculty member.
2009- The Ohio State University International Poverty Solutions Collaborative, Design Team.
2009- Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity, The Ohio State University, affiliated faculty.
2008- Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA), affiliated faculty member.
Independent Research Funding
Current Research and Grant Proposals:
2009- “The Ohio State University International Poverty Solutions Collaborative”. Role: additional senior support. This is an interdisciplinary research group that includes over 40 faculty members across the university and from different colleges and schools. Our mission is to develop a research center known for development and evaluation of comprehensive, culturally-sensitive models of community renaissance that allow individuals, families, and communities to thrive.
2008- “Identifying and quantifying critical urban green spaces in the Columbus metropolitan region” Role: Principal Investigator (currently being funded by the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, $30,000). The research (1) explores current knowledge on the benefits of green urban spaces and their impact on mental, physical and community health, (2) assesses the quantity and quality of green-open spaces and their accessibility as measures of the social capital of a community through a Columbus, Ohio, case study, and (3) establishes a framework for future research in this area.
2008 – NSF / IGERT, The Urban Landscape: Training pioneers in an ecosystem approach to environment, energy, and health. Role: additional senior support (currently under review). Our vision is to create an interdisciplinary graduate program in urban landscape ecology. This program will train a new generation of researcher-scholars in an ecosystem approach to urban landscape planning and management as a new frontier that includes humans as integral components of ecosystems.
2007-2008, Pineville: Landscape Action Plan for Harrison County, Mississippi (site study leader) As part of The Ohio State University Landscape Architecture Team, I led a group of ten senior landscape architecture students in a week long design workshop for the Pineville Neighborhood Center and the Beatline/County Farm Road regional center in Harrison County MS. The main objective of the landscape architecture team was to take the opportunity to thoroughly document the existing conditions in Pineville and to get to know local citizens, their needs and concerns, and future views of the community. The design workshop resulted in preliminary design ideas and concepts that helped to inform future planning and design proposals, though the implementation of a Visual Preference Survey.
2003-2006, “Sustainable Phoenix: Lessons from The Dutch Model” Dissertation. Learning from the Netherlands, this dissertation explores the concept of the sustainable urban design and its applications in the context of Phoenix through the investigation and the transfer of knowledge from the Dutch model.
2003-2004, Fulbright Research Fellowship, “Responsive and adaptive urban environments in the Netherlands.” The purpose of this research was to study current trends in planning and urban design in the Netherlands.
2000-2001 Nature in the City as a Means of Urban Regeneration “Reclaimed Urban Open Space Network: Vermont Corridor, Los Angeles” MLA Thesis. This study allowed me to investigate different ways in which nature can be introduced in the form of street parks, community parks, tree planting, and pocket parks among others. This site provided a significant opportunity to address the fundamental environmental issues of urban regeneration
2001-Summer, Independent Student Research “The Emscher Park and the IBA Projects” the Ruhr Area in Germany, School of Policy Planning and Development, University of Southern California.
2000-Summer, Production of City, Madrid Spain. My collaboration was part of a competitive award in a 3-week urban design seminar that focused on design of urban spaces.
Community and Academic Services
2008, Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) seed grant.
2003-04, Fulbright Fellowship, research project on study of “Responsive and Adaptive urban/rural environments in the Netherlands”. The purpose of this research was to study current trends in planning and urban design in the Netherlands as part of dissertation research.
2003, ULI /Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, honorable mention.
2003, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, College Scholarship Program sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank and Telemundo.
2002-05, Teaching Associate & Research Associate, Arizona State University School of Planning and Landscape Architecture.
2001-05, Graduate Research Associate, Arizona State University, Ph.D. program in Environmental Design and Planning.
2001, Summer Independent Student Research “The Emscher Park and the IBA Projects” the Ruhr Area in Germany. USC School of Policy Planning and Development.
2001, Irvine Research Assistantship, School of Policy Planning and Development.
2000, MCAAA, Mexican American Alumni Association Scholarship.
2000, International Seminar of Architecture “Production of City/Production de Ciudad,” Madrid Spain.
1999-00, Emmet L. Wemple Scholarship for a Promising Graduate Landscape Architecture Student.
1999-00, MCAAA, Mexican American Alumni Association Scholarship.
1998, American Planning Association, Fellowship for students of urban planning at the graduate level, based on academic achievement and community participation.
1996, The Riordan Fellows Program, This award was granted by the John E. Anderson School Management at UCLA, based on academic achievement and community involvement.
1993, LAF\CLASS Fund, summer internship and scholarship based on academic achievement.
1992, LAF\CLASS Fund Scholarship for a promising minority student based on academic achievement.
Research Experience (Research Associateship)
2004-2005, Planning Consultant, Urban and Environmental Research, Inc. “MOAPA Valley Visual Preference Survey” sponsored by Department of Comprehensive Planning, Clark County Nevada.
2002-2003, City of Peoria, Arizona “Downtown Revitalization Project and Historical Façade Study”. The purpose of this study was to create a master plan for the historic downtown Peoria. The main goal was to develop a “Renovation Concept Plan” that would be consistent with the city’s original architectural detailing.
2002-2003, “Sustainable River Corridor Restoration: Rio Alamar, Tijuana Mexico.” This project was part the Southwest Center for Environmental Research and Policy (SCERP) sponsored by EPA. The purpose of the project was to provide applied, short-term, or medium- term strategic solutions to United States-Mexican border environmental problems.
2001-2003, “Downtown Phoenix Revitalization” Graduate Research Associate. The goal of this project was to develop and present proposals that will contribute to the creation of vibrant, walkable districts in downtown Phoenix. These proposals could help to furnish the sense of place and character currently lacking.
2001-Spring, “Comparative Study on Urban Sprawl and Sustainable Development in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the Rhine Ruhr Region, Germany.” The aim of the study was to compare and contrast the nature, causes and consequences of Los Angeles sprawl and with that of the Rhine Ruhr sprawl. School of Policy Planning and Development, University of Southern California.
2000 Spring, “Figueroa Corridor Urban Revitalization Project.” In Los Angeles I participated in research projects that focused on the social and economic revitalization of the Figueroa Corridor and Vermont Corridor through the introduction of nature in the city as a means of urban regeneration.
1993- Fall, “Historical Implication on a Contemporary Landscape” Tuscany Italy, as part of an international student exchange program where I had the opportunity to observe and to investigate the social, cultural and economic forces that shaped the medieval hill town of Castiglion Fiorentino.
Public Lectures and Invited Presentations
2010 “Identifying and Quantifying Critical Green Spaces in the Columbus Metropolitan Region” has been accepted for presentation at the 41st EDRA Policy & the Environment Conference being held in Washington DC, June 2-6, 2010.
2010 “Identifying and Quantifying Critical Green Spaces in the Columbus Metropolitan Region” has been accepted for presentation at the 2010 CELA Conference, Landscape Legacy: Landscape Architecture Between Art and Science in Masstricht, The Netherlands May 12th-14th, 2010.
2009 Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day OSU, poster session of urban open space in Columbus funded research project.
2009 ACSP Washington D.C. presented a paper titled “Sustainable Urban Design Approaches for Phoenix through the Transfer of Knowledge of Best Practices”
2009 “Global Perspectives for Urban Sustainability: towards responsive and adaptive environments that focus on people and place” lecture at the School of Architecture/Landscape Architecture Victoria University of Wellington, Te Aro Wellington, New Zealand, Thursday 13th of August 2009
2009- EDRA Drawing on Architect Christopher Alexander’s Theory and Practice: Building Case Studies, Teaching Models, and Conceptual Critiques, Intensive full day presentation .
2009- BC LAND SUMMIT A Better Future: Adapting to Change. “Learning from Abroad: Knowledge Transfer and Approaches to Sustainable Development”, has been accepted for presentation at the 2009 BC Land Summit.
2009- CELA Invited to present “Urbanism Reconsidered: Rethinking the Urban Desert Sustainable Design Approaches for Phoenix”.
2008- “International Symposium of Landscape Architecture Education in Latin-America” School of Architecture at the University Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellin Colombia. In collaboration with IFLA, International Federation of Landscape Architecture. Guest speaker (Nov. 13-15)
2008- “International Week of Urbanism/Semana Internacional del Urbanismo”, VIII Congress of ALEUP Association of the Latin-American Schools of Urbanism and Planning,. Universidad de Guadalajara, México. Guest speaker (Oct. 8-10).
2008- “Remaking Metropolis: Global Environmental Challenges of the Urban Landscape.” Landscape Architecture Foundation Leadership and Landscape Change Symposium (May)
2008- "Learning From Abroad: Knowledge Transfer And Approaches to Sustainable Development " Environmental Design Research Association, EDRA 39 (May)
2006- International Workshop: “Environmental Modeling and Visualization”, School of Planning, Kaiserslautern University, Germany, March 12-14 2006.
2006-“Environmental/Ecological Responsibility of Home Builders and Land Developers: Dutch Case Studies”February, HUD 201 Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Richard Lai.
2006- “Critical Regionalism in Dutch Urban Practices” November, PLA 101/APH 200, Introduction to Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Dr. Edward Cook.
2005- “The Face of Sustainability in the Netherlands- case study” October, HUD 301 Creative Communities, Dr. Edward Cook.
2005- “McDowell Corridor a case study for urban regeneration” September, APH 598, Phoenix Urban Cultural Productions, Dr. David Foster.
2005- “Visioning Sustainability in the Moapa Valley, visioning session” August, PUP 598 International Planning Practices, Dr. David Pijawka.
2005- “Cultural Landscapes Urban Latino Landscapes” March, GEO 598 Cultural Landscapes, Dr. Dan Arreola.
2004- “Phoenix: Urban Transformations Towards a More Responsive Environment” September, PLEA 2004 - Conference. The 21st Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture. Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
2004- “Comparative Urban Developments in Phoenix and the Randstad”March, Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands Department of Urbanism and Landscape.
2003- “Urban Growth in Phoenix Arizona” November 2003, Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands Department of Urbanism and Landscape.
2003- EPA “Alamar River-Sustainable Restoration” March SCERP conference San Diego State University.
Publications and Citations
Sustainable Phoenix: Lessons from the Dutch Model, in “Visualizing Sustainable Planning” book chapter as result of the workshop “International Planning Systems” at University of Kaiserslautern Germany. Springer Berlin Heidelberg – Berlin Publishing Company, Incorporated. Pub. Date: August 2009, ISBN:3540882022 .
“Remaking Metropolis: Global Environmental Challenges of the Urban Landscape.”Landscape Architecture Foundation Leadership and Landscape Change Symposium (co-author)
"Learning From Abroad: Knowledge Transfer and Approaches to Sustainable Development " Environmental Design Research Association, EDRA 39 (Forthcoming, May/08)
“Phoenix: Urban Transformations Towards a More Responsive Environment”. PLEA 2004 - Conference Proceedings .The 21st Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture. Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 19 - 22 September 2004.
“Un-paving Paradise” Tree planting and previous surfaces. SHADE MAGAZINE October 2004 special issue.
“Peoria Facade Study: Evolution of the Built Environment”, 2003. A service-learning project involving School of Planning and the City of Peoria Planning Department.
Weaving a Useful Web, cited “THE PLANNING MAGAZINE” of the American Planning Association July 2005.
Forthcoming Books and Papers
Building Responsive and Adaptive Physical Environments that Focus on People and Place: “The McDowell Corridor’s reshaping of the Latino commercial landscape” book chapter in PLACEMAKING IN LATINO COMMUNITIES.
Remaking Metropolis (Book): Global Perspectives on the Urban Landscape (with Dr. Edward Cook) looks at the global impact of urbanizing landscapes and includes contributions authors from diverse locations around the globe addressing urban ecosystem regeneration, urban public life and alternative urban housing and development strategies.
“Phoenix Re-thinking the Urban Dessert Sustainable Approaches to Development” manuscript in process (I intend to submit it to the International Journal of Urban Design).
Visioning for Sustainability: The Moapa Valley Case Study (I intend to submit it to Journal of the American Planning Association).
McDowell Corridor: Urban Revitalization and the New Economic Latino Landscape
ACSP, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning
CELA, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture.
IFLA, International Federation of Landscape Architecture.
EDRA, Environmental Design Research Association.
Terraventure: Network for Innovative Urban Research, project coordinator, based in the Netherlands. http://www.terraventure.org/
APA, American Planning Association.
ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects.
ASPD, Association of Students of Planning and Development at USC: External liaison student representative.
CLEA USA, Council of Latin-American Students of Architecture: Member of the Special Events Committee for the CLEA 2000 Event.
Riordan Outreach Pilot Program: I provided academic and career mentoring and information to motivate under-represented minorities at a Los Angeles County High School and help them prepare for University of California college requirements.
Fulfillment Fund Career Day Conference: Volunteer panelist, goals: to expose students and their families (grades 8th through 12th) to a variety of career options, and to provide a better understanding of College-Life and related issues.
Educational Opportunity Program: Summer Bridge participant and mentor to incoming students.
Literate with IBM and Macintosh computers.
Windows Applications: Microsoft Office.
Graphic Applications: Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Corel Draw.
Multimedia Applications: Macromedia Director, Adobe Premier, Sound Edit.
Web Publishing: Microsoft Front Page, Macromedia Dream Weaver, Flash, Fireworks.
Speak, read and write Spanish fluently,
Speak and read some Italian.
The trip from Guadalajara, Mexico to the Austin Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University is a long journey, but well worth the trip for Jesus J. Lara, Assistant Professor. It has taken him to Southern California, Phoenix and across Europe providing a richness of experience through both observation and education.
Prof. Lara demonstrates consistently that his work is about people and place. His current research, “Designing for People and Place” explores existing knowledge on the benefits of green urban spaces and their impact on mental, physical and community health.
“Strategies for creating sustainable communities must be tailored to each area and to the people who live there. The city form is never static, but is constantly changing under pressures of growth and development; its design, layout, and political decisions have a great impact in the health, socioeconomic factors of its residents, and the environment in general.”