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Photo of López-García, David

David López-García

Post Doctoral Research Associate

Urban Planning and Policy

Pronouns: he / him


Building & Room:

412 S Peoria St., Room 236


I am a Bridge to Faculty (B2F) Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy, where I am affiliated with the Center for Urban Economic Development (CUED) and the Great Cities Institute (GCI). Broadly speaking, my research looks at how inequalities of accessibility to jobs within urban regions are produced and sustained. I examine who has access to which kinds of jobs, and why. I explore how the interactions between economic geographies, housing patterns, transport systems, and the socioeconomic characteristics of workers can often produce unequal access to urban employment. I also look at the politics of plans, urban policies, and infrastructure location decisions that affect urban spatial structure and accessibility to jobs. While I focus my research on Latin American urban regions, I occasionally work on other areas of the Global South and the United States.

My book titled “Worker mobility and urban policy in Latin America: Policy interactions and urban outcomes in Mexico City”, a result of my doctoral dissertation, was recently published by Routledge. I have conducted research in cities in the United States, Mexico, Bolivia, China, Uganda, and Tanzania. My research has been published in peer review journals such as Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Urbanism, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Estudios Demográficos y Urbanos, and the Journal of Public Deliberation. I am currently a guest editor for a special issue titled “Accessibility Turn in Urban Research: Policy Implications from Latin America and the Global South”, forthcoming in the journal Area Development and Policy.

I am part of several international research networks. I am a member of the Latin American Chapter of the International Network for Transport and Accessibility in Low-Income Communities (INTALInC-LAC), the Spatial Inequalities Working Group at El Colegio de México, and the Policy Mobilities Working Group (PMWG) organized by Tecnológico de Monterrey campus Mexico City and Universidad de los Andes.

Selected Publications

Peer review journals

López-García, D. & Baker, D. (2023) Diverging Mobility Situations: Measuring Relative Job Accessibility and Differing Socioeconomic Conditions in New York City. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 113(1), 149-168.

Whitney, R. & López-García, D. (2022) Fast-track institutionalization: The opening of urban planning best practice agencies in Mexico City. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. Online first.

López-García, D. & Heathcott, J. (2022) Showcase Politics: The production and distribution of new public space in Mexico City. Journal of Urban Affairs. Online first.

Heathcott, J. &  López-García, D. (2022) Design Highs and Policy Lows in the Making of New Public Space in Mexico City. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability. Online first.

López-García, D. & Gómez-Álvarez, D. (2022) Estructura urbana del Área Metropolitana de Guadalajara, 1999-2019: Un análisis de subcentros de empleo. Estudios Demográficos y Urbanos, 37(2), 427-481.

López-García, D. (2017) Mediation styles and participant’s perception of success in consultative councils: The case of Guadalajara, Mexico. Journal of Public Deliberation, 13(2), Article 10.

Authored books

López-García, D. (2023) Worker mobility and urban policy in Latin America: Policy interactions and urban outcomes in Mexico City. London: Routledge.

Edited books

Delgado, G. & López-García, D. (2020) Cities and COVID-19: New Directions for Urban Research and Public Policies. Mexico City: Knowledge Platform for Urban Transformation, International Network for Government and Science.

Book chapters

López-García, D. (forthcoming) Desigualdades en el viaje al trabajo en la Zona Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México. In Martha Schteingart, Clara Salazar, and Jaime Sobrino (Eds.), Desigualdades Territoriales: Miradas Cruzadas. México: El Colegio de México.

López-García, D. (forthcoming) Planeación e Infraestructura Urbana en Jalisco: Una Mirada al Transporte Público Masivo desde la Accesibilidad y la Exclusión Social. In David Gómez-Álvarez et al (Eds.). Jalisco, balance parcial 2018-2021: Diagnóstico, evaluación y recomendación de políticas públicas locales. Guadalajara: Universidad de Guadalajara.

López-García, D. (2022) Building Inequality: Infrastructure and Intra-Urban Inequality in the Capitalist City. In Deljana Iossifova, Yahya Gamal and Alexandros Gasparatos (Eds.), Urban Infrastructuring: reconfigurations, transformations, and sustainability in the Global South. Singapore: Springer Nature.

López-García, D. (2019) La Paz, Bolivia: The social construction of risk and vulnerability. In Michael Cohen, Margarita Gutman and María Carrizosa (Eds.) Facing Risk. New Urban Resilience Practices in Latin America, The New School.

Policy reports

López-García, D. (2022) How just is public transport in African Cities? Nairobi: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

Cohen, M., Simet, L., López-García, D., Orr, B., De La Cruz, M. & Issadeen, A. (2018) The Habitat Commitment Project: Monitoring and assessing progress at the city level. New York: Global Urban Futures Project, The New School.

Cohen, M., López-García, D., Jaimes, M., Simet, L., Gálvez, J., Delgado, G. & Verduzco, B. (2017) Análisis costo-beneficio de la Ecozona-Toluca [Cost-benefit analysis of Ecozona-Toluca]. New York: German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), The New School.

López-García, D. & Issadeen, A. (2017) Habitat Commitment Index: Access to safe, clean water. New York: Global Urban Futures Project, The New School.

Cohen, M., Orr, B., Simet, L., Carter, C., De La Cruz, M., Jaimes, M., Kim, Y., López-García, D. & Roberts, J. (2016) The Habitat Commitment Project: Assessing the past for a better urban future. New York: Global Urban Futures Project, The New School.


Ph.D. in Public and Urban Policy, The New School, 2021.
M.Phil. in Public and Urban Policy, The New School, 2018.
M.S. in Comparative Public Policy, FLACSO-México, 2014.
B.A. in Management, Universidad de Guadalajara, 2004.

Research Currently in Progress

  • The journey to work as relative accessibility to jobs in selected urban regions across the United States and Latin America.
  • Shifts in the spatial location of the demand for labor in Mexican metropolitan areas and its implications for accessibility to jobs.
  • Race, travel time, and quality job access in Chicagoland: Comparing models of job accessibility with actual commuting burden.