Oscar Sosa López is a critical planning and international development scholar. His research and teaching are concerned with uncovering and overcoming existing barriers to equitable and sustainable urban development. His work draws on theories and methods from planning, geography, sociology and anthropology to examine the relationship between policymaking, democracy and social justice across three sites: 1) climate change governance and urban citizenship Mexico City; 2) immigrant spaces and social movements in US suburbs; and 3) regional governance and economic development in the Mexico-US border region.
Oscar’s current research is focused on understanding the relationship between sustainable transportation policy and urban citizenship. His book project, The Politics of Immediacy: Citizenship, Infrastructure and Sustainable Mobility in Mexico City, examines sustainable transportation policy in a Global South metropolis to show how transportation innovations are generating new forms of political and material inequality. The book makes two arguments. First, that in Mexico City the focus on the rapid implementation of transportation projects in a context of conflict and distrust has resulted in a fragmented transportation governance structure with limited planning capacity that reinforces class-based infrastructure inequalities. Second, that while opening transportation policymaking to new actors–including technical NGOs and international experts–has introduced effective technocratic and purportedly democratic planning tools, low-income citizens continue to be excluded from decision-making processes. Thus, while sustainable transportation reforms have rationalized transportation planning, there remains a large gap between the needs of low-income citizens and the current offer of infrastructure and services in the city. This work provides scholars, policymakers, planning practitioners and civil society groups with important insights into how to design and implement socially inclusive sustainable urban policies and create more just and equitable cities. Oscar was previously a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design. He has taught at the University of Georgia, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.
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PhD in City and Regional Planning with a concentration in Global Metropolitan Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (2017)Masters of City Planning, UC BerkeleyBA in Communications, Universidad Iberoamericana, MexicoRecent PublicationsSosa Lopez, Oscar and Montero, S. (2017). “Expert-citizens: producing and contesting the “Sustainable urban mobility” paradigm in Mexico”. Journal of Transport Geography. 67, 137- 144.Sosa Lopez, Oscar (2017). “Urban Mobility Politics in Mexico City: The Case of Frente Amplio Contra la Supervía”. Latin American Perspectives. 44(2), 184-204.Schafran, A., Sosa, O, & Gin, J. L. (2013). “Politics and possibility on the metropolitan edge: the scale of social movement space in exurbia”. Environment and Planning A. 45(12), 2833-2851.Sosa, Oscar (2008). “Border Planning in the San Diego–Tijuana Region: Local Planning vis-à-vis National Policy”. Berkeley Planning Journal, Vol. 21, 169-185.Research Interests: Urban Citizenship; Sustainable Urban Infrastructure; Experts, Innovation and Urban Policy; Comparative Urban Politics; Qualitative Methods for Planning and Policy Analysis.