Portrait of Danielle Rivera

Research Expertise and Interest

environmental justice, environmental and climate justice, urban planning, urban design, Puerto Rico, Borderlands, California, adaptation to flooding

Research Description

Danielle Zoe Rivera is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning in the College of Environmental Design. Rivera's research examines policy and design for environmental and climate justice. Her work uses community-based research methods to address the impacts of climate-induced disasters affecting low-income communities throughout California, South Texas, the Chesapeake Bay, and Puerto Rico. Her current work deeply engages rural and unincorporated communities of color reeling from disasters, challenging government agencies to recognize these communities and alter outdated policy and programmatic frameworks. Rivera teaches environmental planning and design, community engagement, and environmental justice.

Her work has been published by the Journal of the American Planning Association, Environment and Planning, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Environmental Justice, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR). In 2023, her article on procedural vulnerability was awarded Best JAPA Article by an Emerging Scholar by the Journal of the American Planning Association (JAPA) and the American Planning Association (APA). 

Rivera holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University. 

In the News

Berkeley Talks: Climate Displacement and Remaking the Built Environment

In Berkeley Talks episode 143, a panel of UC Berkeley experts discuss climate displacement — what it means to abandon places, the power dynamics between the Global South and the Global North, challenges for both the sending and receiving regions, and what needs to happen to address this fast-growing problem.

The Climate Crisis: Justice and Solutions

Despite the grim findings of the latest U.N. Climate Report, UC Berkeley associate adjunct professor and report lead author Patrick Gonzalez expresses a “science-based optimism” about humanity’s ability to cut carbon emissions and limit the worst projected impacts of climate change.
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