Diane E. Davis

Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism
Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design
Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Diane E. Davis, Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design and Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism, is the author of Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the Twentieth Century (Temple University Press 1994; Spanish translation 1999) and Discipline and Development: Middle Classes and Prosperity in East Asia and Latin America (Cambridge University Press, 2004) as well as co-editor of Irregular Armed Forces and their Role in Politics and State Formation (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Cities and Sovereignty: Identity Politics in Urban Spaces (Indiana University Press, 2011). Her published works examine the relations between urbanization and national development, comparative international development, the politics of urban development policy, and conflict cities. She has explored topics ranging from historic preservation, urban social movements, and identity politics to urban governance, fragmented sovereignty, and state formation to planning theory.

Her current research focuses on the transformation of cities of the global south, particularly the urban social, spatial, and political conflicts that have emerged in response to globalization, informality, and political or economic violence. A prior recipient of research fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Heinz Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the United States Institute for Peace, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Davis now coordinates a large scale project titled Urban Resilience in Conditions of Chronic Violence, funded by USAID.

Currently, Davis is involved in various research projects hosted at the GSD. She directs a project funded by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation titled “Transforming Urban Transport –­ The Role of Political Leadership” (TUT); is the co-PI for the project “Rethinking social housing in Mexico” (ReSHIM), funded by Mexico¹s National Worker Housing Agency (INFONAVIT); and heads the “The Mexican Cities Initiative” (MCI).


Harvard GSD