Dr. Heim LaFrombois’, AICP, research within the city/community planning discipline broadly focuses on community development, urban inequalities, participatory forms of community planning, public policy, and feminist approaches to urban studies and research. Central to her research approach is a focus on community engagement as a vehicle for addressing urban inequalities with the goal of informing planning practice and policy, and improving cities. Overarching themes in Dr. Heim LaFrombois’ scholarship include an examination of how urban space is used and by whom, and how urban space is regulated, both formally and informally. This research pays special attention to the roles of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the creation, maintenance, and regulation of cities and their spaces. Her research also focuses on planning paradigms and plan evaluation methods with the goal of examining how cities’ use and present data to set their planning agendas and allocate scare public resources. This research examines two separate facets of this topic: one related to exploring how cities are planning for demographic change and issues associated with uneven growth/decline; and the other related to exploring how coastal cities are engaging in resiliency planning.
Examines the mismatch between the reality of a city’s population loss and the planning strategies they have adopted. A majority of cities acknowledge depopulation; however, they rely on optimistic population projections for the future, while using a mix of planning strategies, ranging from smart decline to pro-growth, regardless of a city’s acknowledgment/acceptance of population loss.
Explores how women bicyclists must demand and negotiate public space; how their movement and activities are constrained in public space; how gender roles and social reproduction issues intersect with bicycling; and how social, quasi-advocacy group bicycle rides are used as a strategy, with mixed results, to address barriers to women bicyclists’ mobility.