10-11 Lisa K. Bates


What is a “good neighborhood”?: Exploring the Choices of Low Income Households in Portland
Lisa K. Bates is assistant professor at the Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning of Portland State University. Professor Bates' interests lie in the connection between housing and neighborhoods, with a focus on the opportunities of low-income residents and people of color.  Her research has examined urban neighborhood revitalization planning and its effects on the housing market, mortgage borrowing decisions by low-income and minority homeowners and the recovery of the housing market in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Her WCPC funded research seeks to understand what the poor define as a “good neighborhood,” its attributes and location, whether or not they believe they have attained or could attain residence in such a neighborhood. Past research on housing mobility for poor families addresses the choices made by households and how to incentivize (or require) a move to opportunity; this research tends to focus on how to improve decision-making, assuming that poor households’ choices are a case of bounded rationality. Through qualitative study, her research aims to form a picture of how poor households construct their geographic and sociological imaginaries of neighborhoods and their assessments of quality. She seeks to better understand residential location choice by examining how poor households view neighborhoods, their values and desires for neighborhood attributes, and how they relate to external (i.e. middle-class or policy driven) definitions of “good neighborhoods.”

Contact Info

Email: lkbates@pdx.edu
Homepage: http://www.pdx.edu/cupa/profile/meet-assistant-professor-lisa-bates