School of Architecture  

University of Texas  


Patricia A. Wilson
Community and Regional Planning

Office: Sutton 3.122         Phone: 471- 0130         Email: 

B.A., Stanford, 1969 (honors in economics)
Master's in Regional Planning (MRP), Cornell, 1971
Ph.D., Cornell, 1975

Participatory Planning
Community Development--International and Local
Local Development in Latin America

Current Research, Scholarship and Teaching:
Dr. Wilson currently teaches international development, Latin American development, public participation, and conflict resolution skills. Her research focuses on individual and social transformation, grassroots democracy, and community-building. She uses the methods of appreciative inquiry, social narrative, and participatory action research, and draws upon the theories of communicative action, social learning, and holistic systems. Currently Dr. Wilson is doing field research on community collaboration in South Africa, India, and the Pacific for a new book entitled Building Deep Democracy.

Dr. Wilson holds a B.A. in economics from Stanford and a Master's and Ph.D. in Planning from Cornell. She has worked in economic development planning at the local and Federal level, for the City of San Francisco and the Economic Development Administration in Washington, DC. She has also worked in grass-roots community development in Hispanic neighborhoods in San Francisco and Austin, and was the principal investigator for a national study of subemployment and the urban underclass. At the University of Texas, she designed the economic development concentration in planning and developed the Joint Master's Program in Planning and Latin American Studies.

Dr. Wilson has had a long involvement in international planning, particularly in Latin America, where she taught regional economics at the Universidad Catolica in Lima, Peru, and regional development planning at the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, also in Lima. She has done extensive research and consulting on integrated regional development, export-led development, decentralization and municipal strengthening, and most recently democratization and participation. Besides Peru, she has worked in Mexico, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, and Chile. From 1990 to 1992 she served as president of the Sociedad Interamericana de Planificacion, the professional society of Latin American planners. She has published two books and numerous articles on planning and development in Latin America, including Exports and Local Development: Mexico's New Maquiladoras (University of Texas Press, 1992).

Courses and Syllabi:

CRP 381 : Planning Processes & Practices
CRP 384/LAS 381 : Local Development in Latin American
CRP 385c : Participatory Methods in Community Development
CRP 385c : Urban and Regional Theory (no longer offered)
CRP 386 : International Development and Participation

Selected Publications:

"Building Deep Democracy: The Story of a Grassroots Learning Organization in South Africa," Planning Forum, Vol. 9, Spring 2003, pp. 47-64 (co-authored with Christina Lowery).

Building Social Capital: A Learning Agenda for the 21st Century," Urban Studies, Vol. 34, Nos. 5-6, 1997, pp. 745-760.

"Embracing Locality in Local Economic Development," Urban Studies, Vol. 32, Nos. 4-5, 1995, pp. 645-658.

"Empowerment: Community Economic Development from the Inside Out," Urban Studies, Vol. 33, Nos. 4-5, 1996, pp. 617-630.

“El  Empoderamiento: Desarollo Economico Comunitario Desde Adentro Hacia Afuera”  Ecuador Debate, Vol. 44, 1998, pp. 143-162.

Selected Book Reviews:

Frederick Steiner, Human Ecology: Following Nature's Lead, in Planning Forum, Vol. 9, Spring 2003, pp. 102-105.

Course Projects:

CRP 385c : Community Visioning: St. John Community, Austin, Texas 

CV: Patricia A. Wilson