Immigration Bibliography

visa stamps in a passportThis bibliography is an online resource for planners and researchers seeking an interdisciplinary, annotated bibliography of pertinent literature about immigration.

This list highlights articles, events, and other publications from the American Planning Association and other experts in the field.

New publications and educational opportunities will be added periodically so please revisit this list to see the most current ideas about immigration.

A Note on the Availability of Resources

Articles from Planning magazine are available online to members of APA.

Articles from JAPA, Zoning Practice, Planning & Environmental Law, and PAS Memo are available to those publications' subscribers in varying online formats. JAPA articles in the bibliography contain an access link for subscribers who are also APA members.


Fishman, R. 2005. "The Fifth Migration." Journal of the American Planning Association 71(4): 357-366.

  • In the 1920s, Lewis Mumford correctly predicted that the rest of the century would be dominated by a "Fourth Migration" from the central cities to their suburbs. In this article, the author makes that case that we are now at the beginning of a fifth migration that will reurbanize precisely those inner-city districts that were previously depopulated. Four sources for this trend are identified: downtown reurbanism; immigrant reurbanism; Black reurbanism; and White middle-class reurbanism. The challenges in planning the fifth migration are discussed.

Berg, Nate. 2009. "The Big Shift: The Nation Adapts to Its Growing Minority Population." Planning. July, 18-21.

  • Demographic roles are switching in the U.S., bringing on what many have labeled the "minority majority" — a future where the ethnic and racial groups we now call minorities tip the scales. As more and more cities face these population changes, cities will have to start thinking about how their planning processes need to evolve.

Bomba, Michael S. 2008. "Good Fences." Planning.  May, 36-41.

  • Communities along the U.S.–Mexico border are struggling with the new realities of homeland security.

Gabel-Luddy, Emily. 2004. "Planning for Diversity: Lessons from the Los Angeles Design Action Planning Team Program." PAS Memo. September. Available at

  • When working in an ethnically diverse community, planners face the challenge of understanding land uses unique to certain populations. This issue looks back at the successful approach of the Los Angeles Design Action Planning Team program, held in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as one way that planners can mobilize resources to meet the needs of minority populations and help them develop a sense of place and community identification.

Greco, JoAnn. 2008. "La Vida Local." Planning.  March, 14-19.

  • Fed up with federal inaction, America's small towns and large cities are finding ways to deal with a flood of immigrants — including many who are undocumented.

Hartman,Chester.  1994. "On Poverty and Racism, We Have Had Little to Say." Journal of the American Planning Association. 60(2): 158.

  • A commentary on the article "Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning," written by Paul Davidoff. The author touches on the following: the optimism and positive tone of Davidoff's message; the importance of plans and planning; the effects of open advocacy planning on immigration and race; and the projects of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC).

Lang, Robert, Mariela Alfonzo, and Casey Dawkins. "American Demographics – Circa 2109." Planning. May, 10-15.

  • This article presents predictions of America's population and demographics in 2109 based on measurements and analyses conducted in 2009. Barring major catastrophes, the size of the future population is estimated at around 600 million, with the center point population estimated to be moving both south and west. Immigration will continue to fuel growth as well as racial and ethnic mixing. Estimates are based on U.S. census data and the authors' own research.

Lucero, Lora. 2008. "Courts Uphold State and Local Immigration Laws." Planning. April, 47-48.

  • An examination of court decisions upholding state and local government immigration laws, particularly in the absence of significant federal action.

Meck, Stuart. 2009. "A Familiar Ring: A Retrospective on the First National Conference on City Planning (1909). Planning and Environmental Law  61(4): 3-10.

  • A commentary on the endurance of the urban planning themes discussed 100 years ago at the first national conference on city planning.

Pendall, Rolf. 2000. "Local Land Use Regulations and the Chain of Exclusion." Journal of the American Planning Association 66(2): 125-142.

  • Presents a study to test the connections between land use controls and the racial composition of the communities that use them. Findings that in the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, low-density-only zoning, which restricts residential densities to fewer than 80 dwelling units per acre, consistently reduced rental housing; Resulting limit in the number of black and Hispanic residents; Association between building permit caps with lowered portions of Hispanic residents.

Qadeer, Mohammad A. 1997. "Pluralistic planning for multicultural cities." Journal of the American Planning Association 63(4): 481-494.

  • Discusses the range of urban planning issues arising multiculturalism in Canada. Areas or aspects likely to be affected by cultural diversity; Steps in pluralistic practices of planning; Case histories and patterns of planning responses to multiculturalism in Canada.

APA Divisions

Ansong, Amy. 2006. "How many people can live in your house?" Housing and Community Development Quarterly. APA Housing and Community Development Division, Spring.

Vitiello, Domenic. 2009. "The Migrant Metropolis and American Planning." Journal of the American Planning Association 75(2): 245-255.

  • In this study the author considers how practitioners and scholars have understood and addressed the planning challenges and opportunities presented by the major migrations of ethnic minorities to U.S. cities and regions over the past century. He focuses on three principal eras: early 20th century southern and eastern European immigration; the mid-century internal migrations of African Americans and Puerto Ricans; and immigration in the late 20th and early 21st century. In his findings, the authors argues that the planning profession has had an ambiguous and often ambivalent relationship with migrant communities and has struggled to define specific roles for planners within those communities while social workers and other community and economic development practitioners played larger roles.


Lucy, William H., and David L. Phillips. 2006. Tomorrow's Cities, Tomorrow's Suburbs. Chicago: Planners Press.

  • Planning scholars William H. Lucy and David L. Phillips document signs of resurgence in cities and interpret omens of decline in many suburbs. They offer an extensive analysis of the 2000 census, with insights into the influence of income disparities, housing age and size, racial segregation, immigration, and poverty. Evidence is offered that the decline of cities can continue to be reversed, tempered by a warning of a mid-life crisis looming in the suburbs. Practical policies are given for local action, steps that planners, elected officials, and citizens can take to create an environment in which both cities and suburbs can thrive.

Past APA Presentations/Events

American Planning Association. April 14, 2012. "Student: Enhancing Social Equity through Green Infrastructure (W008S)." Workshop at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Learn how LA has used green infrastructure investments to enhance neighborhood quality of life, flooding mitigation, and economic outcomes in underserved neighborhoods. Explore the significant challenges of bringing new watershed design techniques to minority and underserved communities. Consider property owner involvement in redesigning lawns, driveways, and sidewalks in areas where chronic flooding, poor street conditions, and a lack of lighting have eroded trust.

Hanlon, Bernadette. 2012. "Crossing Into New Territory: Suburban Immigration and Local Government Reactions in the Washington DC Region." Available at

  • This webcast discusses the many immigrants bypassing cities and moving directly into suburbs. Learn about the new geography of immigration and differing policies at the federal, state, and local levels, focusing on the Washington, D.C., area.

Kim, Melissa, Philip Green, Stacey Chen, and Mindy Watts.  2012. "Planning for Immigrant and Multi-ethnic Communities." AICP CM course held by the APA New Jersey Chapter. June 12.

  • This forum presented an overview of some key concepts, trends and issues to consider when planning in immigrant and multi-ethnic contexts. A variety of tools (along with their advantages and drawbacks) were presented to (1) explore a range of possible planning approaches and tactics for communities with large immigrant populations and (2) illustrate how these approaches can enrich planning practice more generally.

Laughlin, Michael P. April 17, 2012. "Latino Urbanism: Retrofitting a Car Centric Suburb (W062)." Workshop at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Explore how Latino culture shapes the built environment. As immigrants settle in Los Angeles, they bring with them different ways of using urban spaces and layer them onto the existing built environment. Their experiences and expectations can be seen in the way Latinos retrofit the urban design of the streets. View some of LA's most vivid and unique landscapes on this walking tour.

Lum, Matthew, Alexander Holsheimer, and Beth Rodin. April 15, 2012. "Public Markets as Sites for Immigrant Entrepreneurship (S501)." Presentation at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Examine the results of research into the ability of public markets to serve as business incubators and expand opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs. The Thai Community Development Center, a nonprofit dedicated to community and economic development in the greater Los Angeles area, explores whether a public market housed in a multi-tenant warehouse with shared services can improve the situation of recent immigrant entrepreneurs.

Mack, Karen E. April 16, 2012. "Ethnic Communities in Los Angeles (W040)." Workshop at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Consider economic development in culturally rich, largely immigrant, low-income neighborhoods. Explore the rich traditions, history, art, cuisine, and community and discuss why some are able to leverage their cultural assets into increased tourist and economic activity while others struggle with disinvestment, poverty, and physical deterioration.

Myers, Dowell. April 15, 2012. "The Changing Face of America (P007)." Dinner program at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Who are we planning for? Demographics change quickly in a highly mobile society; who will be living in our communities 20 years from now? What are the population dynamics that we all need to be aware of? Dowell Myers, a contributor to Planning Los Angeles, will add insight to the Changing Face of America.

________. February 22, 2012. "The Great Immigration Turnaround: New Facts and Old Rhetoric." AICP CM course.

  • Changes before and after the Great Recession will be spotlighted, with discussions of how key immigration myths are now outdated. Fact-based trends are revealed using an animated presentation to reinterpret the benefits and costs of immigration in light of the aging baby boomer tsunami.

Padilla, Katherine, et al. April 15, 2012. "American Suburbs and Latino Transformations (W004)." Workshop at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Tour several places in Los Angeles County where Latinos have transformed main streets, blue-collar suburbs and shopping centers. Experience the vibrancy and diversity of LA's Latino neighborhoods. Learn why these places are anything but stereotypical ethnic enclaves. Gain insights into the ever changing landscape of demographic and economic diversity in cities and regions throughout the U.S.

Preston, Steven A., Dowell Myers, Sylvia Lewis, and Linda M. Jackson. April 15, 2012. "A Demographic Picture of America (S477)." Presentation at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Today's finely grained demographic data presents a textured picture of America. In a globalizing world, not only is the profile of Americans changing, but the implications of immigration have the potential to shape America's relationships with other countries.

Silver, Mitchell J., and Sarah C. Treuhaft. April 17, 2012. "Planning for the Demographic Remix (S626)." Presentation at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • America's greatest demographic shift will occur in the 21st century. The graying and browning of America, generational shifts, and fewer married couples and children will change the way we plan. The rise of the millennials and aging of the boomers will change market demand for housing and transportation choices. How will communities adapt to these dramatic changes?

Varma, Arthi L., Bill Watanabe, and Chanchanit Martorell. April 16, 2012. "Los Angeles Asian-Pacific Islander Communities (S531). Presentation at the APA 2012 National Planning Conference.

  • Investigate how Asian-Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles are changing the face of America by challenging outdated public perceptions about ethnic communities and shifting the stance from inward-oriented ethnic enclave to outwardly welcoming all. Develop strategies to enhance economic development through tourism in ethnic communities without jeopardizing cultural identity and practices.

Other Resources

Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration: Provides profiles of more than 75 promising program and policy models that can inform work in local communities in the areas of community planning, health and well-being, economic mobility, civic participation, and more.

National Equity Atlas: A comprehensive data resource to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth.