Faculty Research & Creative Scholarship

The essential research of the CAPLA faculty goes well beyond the fields of design, development, planning and sustainability to the core of how we can live better lives in the built environment.

Faculty research solves problems, impacts decisions and shapes policy. Read our CAPLA faculty research stories:

Ghana street and residences Dec. 21, 2022

Ghana Digitized Its Address System: Its Failure Offers Lessons to Other African Countries Creating Smart Cities

Research by Seth Asare Okyere, CAPLA visiting assistant professor of urban planning, and Louis Kusi Frimpong, Matthew Abunyewah and Stephen Kofi Diko, show that digitalization initiatives in Ghana need to take local factors and engagement into account if they’re going to succeed.

Kelly Eitzen Smith Dec. 14, 2022

Interdisciplinary Insight: Kelly Eitzen Smith, Assessment Coordinator and Research Specialist

Kelly Eitzen Smith supports CAPLA and UArizona in a variety of important roles, from assessment coordinator to research specialist. Learn more about Smith, who worked in the Drachman Institute from 2010 to 2017 and joined the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning in 2017.

Nov. 30, 2022

Lecture Recap and Video: Sharon Collinge on 'Working with Communities to Build Environmental and Societal Resilience'

Sharon Collinge shares her experiences working at the interface of land use and climate change in the context of building resilient ecosystems and communities in this CAPLA Lecture Series lecture.

Ghana Nov. 17, 2022

Ghana’s Informal Residents Show How Social Innovation Can Solve Urban Challenges

A recent paper by Seth Asare Okyere, CAPLA visiting assistant professor of urban planning, and Stephen Kofie Diko, assistant professor at the University of Memphis, argues that the solutions residents in poor, marginalized, informal and crowded urban areas come up with to make everyday urban life livable are a form of social innovation.

Camp Naco Nov. 14, 2022

Award-Winning Heritage Conservation Efforts by CAPLA Faculty and Students Lead to $4.6M in State Restoration Funding for Buffalo Soldier Camp

CAPLA Heritage Conservation Program Project Director Helen Erickson and graduate students Sarah McDowell and Teresa DeKoker have been instrumental in efforts to preserve Camp Naco, a borderlands Buffalo Soldier camp located near Bisbee, Arizona, resulting in awards for their story map and new funding to preserve the site.

Tucson, Arizona Nov. 9, 2022

UArizona Researchers Awarded $3.5M to Fight Extreme Heat

A UArizona team led by CAPLA Assistant Professor Ladd Keith is collaborating with researchers from Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University on a $25 million project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to study the impact of climate change on Arizona's urban areas.

Oct. 31, 2022

Lecture Recap and Video: June Williamson on 'A Retrofitting Suburbia Agenda for Equity, Health and Resilience to Climate Change'

June Williamson lectures on the urgent challenges produced by northern American suburban form and showcases urban design strategies to mitigate and address these challenges.

Oscar Lopez Oct. 27, 2022

Haptics of Place: Oscar Lopez, Senior Lecturer in Architecture

Senior Lecturer in Architecture Oscar Lopez, who joined CAPLA in 2016, teaches undergraduate and graduate architecture studios while practicing architecture and conducting research on what he calls the haptics of place, "essentially, combining both the real and the unreal qualities of architecture."

Dry border Oct. 26, 2022

With $6M Grant, Researchers Will Explore How Southwest Communities Can Best Adapt to Climate Change

University of Arizona researchers, including CAPLA's Ladd Keith, are furthering their efforts to examine how water, aridity and heat impact communities in the American Southwest thanks to a $6 million grant from NOAA's Climate Adaptation Partnerships program.

Map of China Oct. 25, 2022

CAPLA Student-Faculty Team Uses GIS to Create Digital Atlas and Award-Winning Poster of Historical Buddhist Sites in Hangzhou, China

This spring, MS Urban Planning student Glenn Ingram, recent MLA graduate Mattea Wallace and Associate Professor Philip Stoker, working with UArizona East Asian Studies Professor Jiang Wu, created the “Regional Religious Systems in Hangzhou China” story map using GIS. This fall, Ingram's poster from the project won an award.

Sandra Bernal Cordove Oct. 11, 2022

Learning as Rich Experience: Sandra Bernal Cordova, Lecturer and UArizona Hispanic Serving Institution Fellow

UArizona Hispanic Serving Institution Fellow Sandra Bernal Cordova, who joined CAPLA in 2018 as a lecturer, uses her built environment research, community service and cross-campus collaborations to inform the classes she teaches and co-teaches, which include Water Efficiency in Building, Equitable Cities and the Sustainable Built Environments Capstone.

Oct. 5, 2022

Lecture Recap and Video: Seth Okyere on 'Walking the Unwalkable City: An Exploration of Walking Conditions, Experiences and Interventions in the Global South'

Seth Okyere lectures on "Walking the Unwalkable City," a discussion which brings forward conditions and experiences of a walking city that is not walkable and, most importantly, resident improvisations to minimize walking inequities.