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Ana Paula Pimentel Walker

Assistant Professor in Urban and Regional Planning

Ana Paula Pimentel Walker is an assistant professor in urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She teaches graduate courses in participatory planning and community development, comparative housing, environmental planning, award-winning capstones, and comparative planning law.

Pimentel Walker investigates how disenfranchised communities engage with urban governance and evaluates the significance of participatory institutions in planning socially and environmentally just cities. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies.

Pimentel Walker’s research goal is to identify institutional designs and participatory planning practices that have the potential to produce socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable cities. She is conducting three research projects: 1) “The Significance of Participatory Institutions in Planning Socially Just Cities,”  which examines the outcomes of participatory urban governance from the perspective of those living in informal settlements and Afro-Brazilian territories, 2) “Legal Institutions and the Planning Process: Conflicts between the Right to Adequate Housing and to a Sustainable Environment,” which investigates how the São Paulo courts manage a pervasive problem of the Global South: environmental degradation and risk in areas informally occupied by very low-income families, and 3) “Migrant-run organizations (MROs) in Michigan,” which documents the nature and scope of immigrant- and refugee-led community-based organizations and civic inequalities in the undercounting and underfunding of MROs.

Pimentel Walker received a PhD in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego; a Master of Urban Planning and a Master or Arts in Latin American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles; and a law degree from the University of Cruz Alta in Brazil.