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Deirdre Pfeiffer

Deirdre Pfeiffer

Associate Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Arizona State University
PO Box 855302
Tempe, AZ 85287-5302


  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
  • Associate Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Deirdre Pfeiffer is an associate professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. She currently is on sabbatical leave in Los Angeles and is a visiting scholar in the University of California-Los Angeles Ziman Center for Real Estate, Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, and Department of Urban Planning.

Pfeiffer is a housing planning scholar, with expertise on housing as a cause and effect of growing social inequality and the role of housing planning in meeting the needs of diverse social groups. Her most recent research appears in Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Cityscape, Housing Studies, and Housing Policy Debate. She currently is exploring the interconnections between housing and health, the housing experiences of Millennials and seniors, and the effects of single-family rentals on neighborhoods.

Pfeiffer also is deeply committed to community partnerships to help solve pressing housing issues in Arizona. Her recent collaborators include Vitalyst Health Foundation, the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, the Arizona Housing Alliance’s Mobile Housing Working Group, and the Southwest Fair Housing Council. Dr. Pfeiffer holds a MA and PhD in Urban Planning from UCLA.


  • PhD, Urban Planning, University of California-Los Angeles, 2011
  • MA, Urban Planning, Housing Policies and Development, University of California-Los Angeles, 2007
  • BS, Anthropology and Performance Studies, Northwestern University, 2005


Journal Articles


Pfeiffer, D., M. M. Ehlenz, K. L. Larson, S. Cloutier and R. Andrade. 2020. Do neighborhood walkability, transit, and parks relate to residents’ life satisfaction? Insights from Phoenix. Journal of the American Planning Association 86(2):171-187. DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2020.1715824. (link )


Pfeiffer, D., A. Schafran and J. Wegmann. 2019. Exploring the relationship between housing downturns and partisan elections: Neighborhood-level evidence from Maricopa County, Arizona. Urban Affairs Review DOI: 10.1177/1078087418824748. (link )


Chamberlain, A., D. Wallace, D. Pfeiffer and J. Gaub. 2018. Housing disinvestment and crime in a Phoenix suburb: Exploring the differential effects of investors and owner-occupants. Urban Affairs Review 54(1):190-224. DOI: 10.1177/1078087416640126. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. 2018. Rental housing assistance and health: Evidence from the survey of income and program participation. Housing Policy Debate 28(4):515-533. DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2017.1404480. (link )

Wallace, D., A. Chamberlain and D. Pfeiffer. 2018. The relationship between foreclosures and intimate partner violence during the U.S. housing crisis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence DOI: 10.1177/0886260518818431. (link )


Lee, C. A., K. Wong and D. Pfeiffer. 2017. On the front lines of immigrant homeownership: Asian American nonprofits during the Great Recession. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 46(6):1209-1230. DOI: 10.1177/0899764017713726. (link )

Morris, E. A. and D. Pfeiffer. 2017. Who really bowls alone? Cities, suburbs, and social time in the United States. Journal of Planning Education and Research 37(2):207-222. DOI: 10.1177/0739456X16647160. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. and E. A. Morris. 2017. Are homeowners better neighbors during housing booms? Understanding civic and social engagement by tenure during the housing market cycle. Cityscapes 19(2):215-238. (link )

Pfeiffer, D., K. Wong, P. Ong and M. De La Cruz-Viesca. 2017. Ethnically bounded homeownership: qualitative insights on Los Angeles immigrant homeowners’ experiences during the U.S. Great Recession. Housing Studies 32(3):319-335. DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2016.1208159. (link )

Wegmann, J., A. Schafran and D. Pfeiffer. 2017. Breaking the double impasse: Securing and supporting the diverse housing tenures in the United States. Housing Policy Debate 27(2):193-216. DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2016.1200109. (link )


Pfeiffer, D. and S. Cloutier. 2016. Planning for happy neighborhoods. Journal of the American Planning Association 82(3):267-279. DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2016.1166347. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. and J. D. Lucio. 2016. Section 8 renters in the Phoenix, Arizona, foreclosure crisis: Implications for poverty deconcentration. Housing Policy Debate 26(2):362-379. DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2015.1091367. (link )


Cloutier, S. and D. Pfeiffer. 2015. Sustainability through happiness: A framework for sustainable development. Sustainable Development 23(5):317-327. DOI: 10.1002/sd.1593. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. 2015. Retrofitting suburbia through second units: Lessons from the Phoenix region. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability 8(3): 279-301. DOI: 10.1080/17549175.2014.908787. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. and J. D. Lucio. 2015. An unexpected geography of opportunity in the wake of the foreclosure crisis: Low-income renters in investor-purchased foreclosures in Phoenix, Arizona. Urban Geography 36(8):1197-1220. DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2015.1053201. (link )

Pfeiffer, D., D. Wallace and A. Chamberlain. 2015. Is investor purchasing of foreclosures related to neighborhood crime? Evidence from a Phoenix suburb. Housing Policy Debate 25(1): 67-90. DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2014.923924. (link )


Pfeiffer, D. and E. Tumpson Molina. 2013. The trajectory of REOs in southern California Latino neighborhoods: An uneven geography of recovery. Housing Policy Debate 23(1): 81-109. DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2012.731655. (link )


Pfeiffer, D. 2012. African Americans' search from "more for less" and "peace of mind" on the exurban frontier. Urban Geography 33(1):64-90. DOI: 10.2747/0272-3638.33.1.64. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. 2012. Has exurban growth enabled greater racial equity in neighborhood quality? Evidence from the Los Angeles region. Journal of Urban Affairs 34(4):347-371. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9906.2011.00596.x. (link )

Pfeiffer, D. 2012. Moving to opportunity: African Americans' safety outcomes in the Los Angeles exurbs. Journal of Planning Education and Research 33(1):49-65. DOI: 10.1177/0739456X12459359. (link )


Patraporn, R. V., D. Pfeiffer and P. Ong. 2010. Building bridges to the middle class: The role of community-based organizations in Asian American wealth accumulation. Economic Development Quarterly 24(7):288-303. DOI: 10.1177/0891242410366441. (link )


Pfeiffer, D. 2007. Passing a mandatory inclusionary housing ordinance: Lessons from San Francisco and San Diego. Berkeley Planning Journal 20(1):. (link )


Pfeiffer, D. 2006. Displacement through discourse: Implementing and contesting public housing redevelopment in Cabrini Green. Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development 35(1):39-74. (link )



Moos, M., D. Pfeiffer and T. Vinodrai eds. 2018. The Millennial City: Trends, Implications, and Prospects for Urban Planning and Policy. Routledge. ISBN: 978-1138631236.

Book Chapters

In Press

Pfeiffer, D. Diverging racial geographies in Phoenix's postwar and post-civil rights suburbs. In: Nijman, J. ed., North American Suburbanisms. University of Toronto Press. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Pfeiffer, D., A. Tziganuk, S. Cloutier, J. Colbert and G. Strasser. Realizing innovative senior housing practices in the U.S.. In: Anacker, K. B., M. T. Nguyen and D. P. Varady eds., The Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning. Routledge. ISBN: 9781138188433.


Moos, M., D. Pfeiffer and T. Vinodrai. 2018. The Millennial city, shaped by contradictions. Pp. 3-12 In: Moos, M., D. Pfeiffer and T. Vinodrai eds., The Millennial City: Trends, Implications, and Prospects for Urban Planning and Policy. Routledge. ISBN: 978-1138631236.

Pfeiffer, D. 2018. Chapter 17. Housing and agiig. Pp. 294-315 In: Anacker, K. B., A. T. Carswell, S. D. Kirby and K. R. Tremblay eds., Introduction to Housing, Second Edition. University of Georgia Press. ISBN: 978-0820349688.

Pfeiffer, D. and G. Pearthree. 2018. Is the real estate industry cementing Millennials’ residence in urban cores and central cities? Insights from Phoenix and Houston. Pp. Chapter 10 In: Moos, M., D. Pfeiffer and T. Vinodrai eds., The Millennial City: Trends, Implications, and Prospects for Urban Planning and Policy. Routledge. ISBN: 9781138631236.

Vinodrai, T., M. Moos and D. Pfeiffer. 2018. (Millennial) cities of tomorrow. Pp. 287-294 In: Moos, M., D. Pfeiffer and T. Vinodrai eds., The Millennial City: Trends, Implications, and Prospects for Urban Planning and Policy. Routledge. ISBN: 978-1138631236.


Cloutier, S. and D. Pfeiffer. 2017. Happiness: An alternative objective for sustainable community development. Pp. 85-96 In: Phillips, R. and C. Wong eds., Handbook of Community Well-Being Research. Springer Netherlands. ISBN: 978-94-024-0876-8.



Lobo, J., M. Alberti, M. Allen-Dumas, E. Arcaute, M. Barthelemy, L. A. Bojorquez-Tapia, S. Brail, L. M. Bettencourt, A. Beukes, W. Chen, R. Florida, M. Gonzalez, N. Grimm, M. Hamilton, C. Kempes, C. E. Kontokosta, C. Mellander, Z. Neal, S. Ortman, D. Pfeiffer, M. Price, A. Revi, C. Rozenblat, D. Rybski, M. Siemiatycki, S. T. Shutters, M. E. Smith, E. Stokes, D. Strumsky, G. West, D. White, J. Wu, V. C. Yang, A. York and H. Youn. 2020. Urban science: Integrated theory from the first cities to sustainable metropolises. Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation. Report submitted to the NSF on the Present State and Future of Urban Science Research Paper Series. (link )


Lobo, J., M. Allen-Dumas, L. M. Bettencourt, A. Beukes, Z. Neal, D. Pfeiffer, M. E. Smith, E. Stokes, D. Strumsky and J. Wu. 2019. Graduate Education for a New Sustainable Urban Systems Science: Designing a New PhD Curriculum Integrating Sustainability Science and Urban Science. School of Sustainability, Arizona State University. Conference Report (link )


Larson, K., R. Andrade, A. York, D. Childers, P. Coseo, S. Earl, M. Ehlenz, N. Grimm, S. Hall, S. Harlan, D. Hondula, S. Lerman, D. Pfeiffer, J. Ripplinger, V. K. Smith, P. Warren, M. Watkins, D. White, S. Wittlinger, M. Wright and A. Wutich. 2017. The Phoenix Area Social Survey IV: Linking Social and Biophysical Dynamics in Urban Neighborhoods. (link )

Pfeiffer, D., G. Pearthree and M. M. Ehlenz. 2017. Cementing Millennials Downtown: Expressions and Impacts. Kinder Institute of Urban Research. (link )