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About Lisa K. Bates

Lisa K. Bates, PhD is Associate Professor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, affiliated faculty in Black Studies, and is the Portland Professor in Innovative Housing Policy. Her scholarship focuses on housing and community development policy and planning, and her research and practice aims to dismantle institutional racism. Recognition of her work includes the 2019 UAA-SAGE Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award and the 2016 Dale Prize for scholarship advancing community self-determination and racial justice.

Dr. Bates has engaged in research, planning, and policy formulation and evaluation  with a variety of government and nonprofit partners, including ACORN Housing Corporation, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Portland Housing Bureau, the Urban League, Multnomah Youth Commission, PolicyLink, and the Portland Housing Center. Her work to describe gentrification and displacement in Portland has been widely cited and continues with current research on the impact of new transit investment on neighborhood housing markets.

Dr. Bates is a founder of the collective the Black Life Experiential Research Group, working at the intersection of art, urban planning, and radical geographic thought. This interdisciplinary, multimedia art collaborative uses research, socially engaged art practice, and spatial intervention to develop new visions of Black history, present, and possibility. The Black Life ERG is a 2019 Creative Capital awardee.

Her B.A. is in Political Science from the George Washington University, and she holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining PSU’s faculty, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Present Associate Professor, Portland State University Urban Studies and Planning
Present Director, Portland State University Center for Urban Studies
Fellow, Portland State University Institute for Sustainable Solutions

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Dale Prize for Excellence in Scholarship in Urban Planning

Contact Information

Urban Center 370E


Recent Works (4)

Journal Articles (12)

Contributions to Books (3)

Reports (9)