Keith PezzoliKeith Pezzoli

Director, Urban Studies and Planning Program

Teaching Professor, Communication Department

For CV, click here (pdf)


Ph.D., Urban and Regional Planning, University of California, Los Angeles, 1990


Keith Pezzoli's research and multimedia production focuses on sustainability, bioregional theory, science communication, green infrastructure, and coupled natural-human system interactions in the development of cities and regions around the world. Since 2000, Pezzoli has been leading the Community Engagement Core and Research Translation Core of UCSD’s Superfund Research Center (SRC) funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The SRC is an interdisciplinary research center:  ten UCSD departments and institutes are working together to generate new perspectives on the biological effects of toxicant exposure. Pezzoli’s contribution to the SRC concentrates on new methodologies for gauging health risks posed pollution and assessing health effects; innovative detection and monitoring systems for toxicity; ecotoxicology and novel models for bioremediation. He is currently engaged in collaborative studies examining the food-water-climate nexus, integrated regional watershed management, urban-ecological restoration in the U.S.-Mexico border region, and urban agriculture and food disparities (a UC Global Food Initiative)


Courses Keith Pezzoli has taught include Sustainable Development, Politics of the Environment, Urban World System, and Field Research Methods. His methods course is capstone requirement for UCSD’s Urban Studies and Planning Program—a 12 unit, fall-winter field research practicum called the Senior Sequence. The Senior Sequence guides students in designing/doing civically engaged research, writing a scholarly thesis, producing a scientific poster, artfully crafting a video that highlights findings of their senior research project, presenting their work publically at an annual Urban Expo. Pedagogically, Pezzoli is keen to continually improve his current repertoire of courses, and develop new courses, that enable students to gain field based experiential learning through community-university engagement. Topics and themes that run through Pezzoli’s in-class and off campus teaching are listed below:

Food Justice

Food justice spurring communication/linkages among social, labor, race, ethnicity, gender and environmental justice. Food justice organizations and movements.

Bioregional Theory/ Justice

Space, power and inequality; discourse analysis of socio-ecological change literature, bioregional movements and justice.

Ecopolity and Communication

New institutional and communication systems for rooted community, drivers of localization in relations of governance, economy and lifeplace stewardship, watersheds/foodsheds.

Epistemic Cultures & Science Communication

The ontological/logistical/communicative and business model challenges of federating distributed intelligence across time, space, cultures in use-inspired, problem solving ways.  New means of data visualization, mapping, integration for common wellbeing.

Citizen Science and Popular Education

Gathering, sharing and communicating data/information/knowledge by non-specialists, use of social media, crowdsourcing, democratization of science and technology, participatory planning and decision support systems.

The Engaged University

Historical-Comparative perspective of higher education, globalization of science and academic communications, community-university relations, engaged scholarship.

Key Publications (partial list)

Pezzoli, K. (forthcoming) “Bioregionalism.” In Keywords for Environmental Studies, edited by Joni Adamson, William Gleason, David Pellow. NY: New York University Press.

Pezzoli, K., Justine Kozo, Karen Ferran, Wilma Wooten, Gudelia Rangel Gomez, and Wael K. Al-Delaimy 2014. “One Bioregion/One Health: An Integrative Narrative for Transboundary Planning Along the US–Mexico Border”, Global Society, 28: 419-40.

Pezzoli, K. 2012. “The Global Action Research Center: Bioregional Portal Project, U.S.-Mexico Border “, Global Planning Educators Interest Group (GPEIG) Newsletter, Fall: 16-18.

Pezzoli, K., Kerry Williams, and Sean Kriletich. 2011. “A Manifesto for Progressive Ruralism in an Urbanizing World”, Progressive Planning, 186, Winter: 16-19.

Pezzoli, K., Michael Hibbard, and Laura Huntoon.  2009. “Introduction to Symposium: Is Progressive Regionalism an Actionable Framework for Critical Planning Theory and Practice?”, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28: 336-40.

Pezzoli K, Tukey R, Sarabia H, Zaslavsky I, Miranda ML, Suk WA, Lin A, Ellisman M. 2007. “The NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Data Resource Portal: Placing Advanced Technologies in Service to Vulnerable Communities.” Environ Health Perspect: doi:10.1289/ehp.9817. [Online 22 January 2007]

Pezzoli, K. 2000. Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability: The Case of Mexico City. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press.

Websites and Multimedia

Doing Civically Engaged Research – Overview, by Keith Pezzoli
Keith Pezzoli provides a broad overview of the meaning and practice of  "Civically Engaged Research" at the outset of a field research practicum he teaches at UC San Diego.

Los Laureles Canyon: Research in Action
Premiere Date: 11/2/2009; 29 minutes.
Keith Pezzoli led researchers from Mexico and the United States in a collaborative effort to address environmental challenges along the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Bioregional Theory Part 1, by Keith Pezzoli
Part of a series that examines the bioregionalization of planning in theory and practice.

Global Action Research Center (The Global ARC):
Vimeo channel with 57 videos re sustainability: