Allison Laskey

Allison Laskey

Postdoctoral Fellow


Allison Laskey


Allison Laskey, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow at Wayne State University. She uses ethnographic methods to study how working class Black residents assert demands for equitable development and racial justice in Detroit. In particular, she is interested in the roles that knowledge and organization play in the activism of working class Black Detroiters and how factors such as historical memory, institutional dynamics, and community morale influence that activism.

Additionally, her interests include sustainability and resilience of critical urban systems. A team science project funded by the National Science Foundation, “Water and Health Infrastructure Resilience and Learning,” supports Laskey’s postdoctoral research, which involves conducting a nationwide survey of water and public health systems to understand their interdependencies.

Prior to graduate school, Laskey worked as a federal science policy researcher in Washington, D.C. under the Bush Jr. and Obama administrations.

Laskey teaches an undergraduate seminar on Sustainable Cities and Master’s level Environmental Planning, courses she developed for Wayne State’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. She has interest in teaching courses in urban inequality, real estate justice, and qualitative methods.

Click here to view Curriculum Vitae

Degrees and Certifications

  • PhD in Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy, Critical Theory Emphasis, December 2019, University of California at Irvine, School of Social Ecology
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, magna cum laude, May 2006, Boston University, College of Arts and Sciences

Awards and Honors

  • 2018 Lincoln Land Institute Case Study Award
  • 2017 Social Ecology Dean’s Award for Community Engagement
  • 2015 Graduate Student Mentoring Award

Teaching Interests

  • Racial Justice
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Community Development
  • Planning Theory & History
  • Urban Studies
  • Qualitative Methods

Areas of Expertise

Equitable Development

Recent Publications

  • Laskey, A.B., & Nicholls, W. (2019). Jumping Off the Ladder: Participation and Insurgency in Detroit’s Urban Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 85(3), 348-362.
  • Laskey, A.B. (2015). Of Forms and Flow: Movement through Structure in Darkwater’s Composition. CR: The New Centennial Review, 15(2), 107-118.

Courses Taught

UP 6470 Environmental Planning
UP 4460 Sustainable Cities

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