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Photo of Jackson, April

April Jackson, MUP, M.Arch, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Urban Planning and Policy

Pronouns: She/her/hers


Building & Room:

227 CUPPA Hall, MC 348


412 S. Peoria St, Chicago, IL 60607, Suite 227

Office Phone:

(312) 996-2149

CV Download:



April is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Research Affiliate with the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities at Case Western Reserve University. As a community-engaged scholar-practitioner her research explores how to enhance planning practice and the built environment by promoting plans with a focus on equitable, inclusive, and just communities. Her work examines place-based, neighborhood-level affordable housing strategies that seek to embed racial equity in spatial plans and policies, highlighting inclusive planning processes that aim to improve communities of color. She also investigates ways to further advance diversity, equity and inclusion in planning education, workplaces and the communities in which planners serve.


Her current research explores how Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) facilitates racial equity in implementation of the built environment, community building practices, and neighborhood change in Chicago, IL. April has recently completed two projects that examine how urban planning programs, institutions and workplaces can work towards creating more inclusive places that value and promote diversity in partnership with the American Planning Association and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (Planner of Color Interest Group). More recently, she has expanded her work to address gentrification and implications for affordable housing and vulnerable populations through an evaluation of climate-driven displacement in Miami/Miami-Dade County, Jacksonville/Duval County and St. Petersburg/Pinellas County in Florida.


April also teaches courses in Spatial Planning, Community Engagement, Plan Making, Neighborhood Planning, Urban Design, Affordable Housing, and Visualization Methods. Prior to joining UIC in 2021, she was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. She also has extensive experience working in the private sector as an architect and urban designer at Destefano Partners and AECOM in Chicago, IL and Irvine, CA on public housing redevelopment projects, neighborhood revitalization plans, and new urbanist communities in the U.S., China, and the Middle East. She 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 Wisconsin at Milwaukee in Architecture and Urban Planning and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Selected Publications

Melix, B., Jackson, A., Butler, W., Holmes, T. (2022). Locating Neighborhood Displacement Risks to Climate Gentrification Pressures in Three Coastal Counties in Florida. The Professional Geographer. Retrieved from

Butler, W., Holmes, T., & Jackson, A. (2021). Addressing Climate Driven Displacement: Planning for Sea Level Rise in Florida. Leroy Collins Institute, Florida State University.

Khare, A., Jackson, A., Curly, A., McKinny, S., & Melix, B. (2021). Household and Community Change with the Woodlawn Neighborhood: A Research Report for the Preservation of Affordable Housing. National Initiative on Mixed Income Communities, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Jackson, A., Garcia-Zambrana, I., Chrisinger, B., Greenlee, A., Lee, A., & Yerena, A. (2021). Diversity Climate Study: Moving from aspiration to action: Reorienting planners values towards equity, diversity and inclusion. Chicago, IL (American Planning Association, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning – Planners of Color Interest Group).

Garcia-Zambrana, I., Jackson, A., Lee, A., Yerena, A., Chrisinger, B., & Greenlee, A. (2021). Feeling like the Odd Duck in the Room: The Experience of African American/Black and Latin/o/a Planning Practitioners. Journal of the American Planning Association, 30. Retrieved from

Garcia-Zambrana, I., Jackson, A., Harwood, S., Lee, A., Chrisinger, B., & Greenlee, A. (2020). “Like a Fish Out of Water:” The African American and Latino Experience of Students in Planning Schools. Journal of the American Planning Association, 30. Retrieved from

Jackson, A., Holmes, T., & McCreary, T. (2020). Gown goes to Town: Negotiating mutually beneficial relationships between college students, city planners, and a historically marginalized African American neighborhood. Societies, 10(3), 61, 30. Retrieved from

Jackson, A. (2019). Accountability Matters: Beyond Commitment, the Role of Intermediate Mechanisms in Implementing Plans in Mixed Income Communities. Housing Studies, 35. Retrieved from

Jackson, A., & Marques, M. (2019). DIY Do’s and Don’ts: Limitations to Building University Partnerships with Low Resource Communities of Color. Planning Practice and Research, 40. Retrieved from

Jackson, A. (2018). Barriers to Integrating New Urbanism in Mixed-Income Housing Plans in Chicago: Developer, Housing Official, and Consultant Perspectives. Housing Policy Debate, 35. Retrieved from


B.A (Architecture) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001
M.Arch & M.U.P (Architecture and Urban Planning) University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, 2004
Ph.D. (Urban Planning), University of Illinois at Chicago, 2015

Research Currently in Progress

Garcia, I., Jackson, A., Greenlee, A., & Chrisinger, B. (2023). The People that Represent the Region and The Year of Change. In Stepehen Diko, Leah Hollestein, Danilo Palazzo (Eds), Professional Awareness and Diversity Challenges in Urban Planning Education. Routledge.

McCreary, T., Craig, M., Jackson, A. (2023). Can 8 Wait? A review of use of force policies in Florida and perspectives on their effectiveness. Leroy Collins Institute, Florida State University.

Garcia-Zambrana, I., Jackson, A., Lee, A., Chrisinger, B., & Greenlee, A. (submitted). On the outside looking in: African American and Latinx student perspectives on community-engaged courses at predominantly white institutions.

Williams, P., Greenlee, A., Jackson, A., Krafty, R. Coutts. (submitted). Measuring Residential Displacement Risk Over Time and Space: Evidence from the Atlanta BeltLine.