Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice: An Introduction to GIS
Yiping Fang, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Vivek Shandas, Portland State University
Eugenio Arriaga Cordero, Portland State University
Copyright Year: 2014
ISBN 13: 9781312778986
Publisher: Portland State University Library
Conditions of Use
Covers fundamental areas, and refers to existing texts for other areas to cover in-depth; love the practicality of topics covered read more
Covers fundamental areas, and refers to existing texts for other areas to cover in-depth; love the practicality of topics covered
Really does a great job of covering not just technical aspects of GIS software, but potential areas for bias
Both a pro and con I think; the text doesn't provide any direction for using specific software (Which can become easily outdated) but on the other hand, it doesn't provide any direction for using specific software :). I love the grounding in historical use of maps (in public health) and how it ends with using maps to promote public decision making
Writing is extremely well written and easy to understand
Very little use of jargon throughout
It may not be practical to have students read some chapters as standalone chapters, some chapters simply refer to other books readings; there's a lot that's also built upon sequentially throughout; however, the book is well organized and easy to get through
Flow and structure is straightforward
Easy to read and navigate
Again, very well written. the writing does not detract from the meaning and message
I actually enjoyed how relevant the book example were to issues of diversity, even though this is a very US centric book
The short textbook is intended to serve the needs of students who plan to use GIS to analyze U.S. census data but has no such experience. It discusses three main topics: the basics of GIS, the nature of census data in the United States, and the... read more
The short textbook is intended to serve the needs of students who plan to use GIS to analyze U.S. census data but has no such experience. It discusses three main topics: the basics of GIS, the nature of census data in the United States, and the potential and pitfalls of analyzing census data in GIS. In order to cover this wide range of topics in a very short textbook (61 pages in total), the authors have chosen to be very brief and highly selective. The book does cover the basic concepts of GIS—e.g., projection systems, vector and raster data models, and a quick survey of a few simple analyses one can perform in GIS. However, even for an introductory course, one finds the coverage on GIS inadequate. It offers no discussion, for example, on spatial or table joins, labels and legends, etc. Therefore, for teachers who are not interested in the U.S. census data but plan to use this textbook only as an introduction to GIS, they will find its “introduction to GIS” insufficient (despite what the book has in its subtitle).
The book is generally accurate and unbiased. It is particularly commendable for inviting readers to think critically on the representation of spatial data and the interpretation of maps. It includes, for example, a chapter that draws on Mark Monmonier’s seminal article “Lying with Maps” and discusses how a mapmaker’s choices on styles of representation may mislead viewers.
The textbook will certainly not become obsolete within a short time. The topics it covers are fundamental for understanding the basic concepts of GIS, different types of spatial analysis, and the nature of U.S. census data. The relevance of this textbook is limited mainly by its somewhat narrow focus on the U.S. census data (ignoring all other possible data sources even for urban planning and all other possible ways of using GIS) and its failure to provide sufficient practical instructions. Its discussion of GIS is limited to theoretical and conceptual overviews. It seldom offers concrete examples to illustrate how these concepts and methods of analysis actually work in the real world. Nor does it provide any exercises for students. In discussing the different types of map projections (p.15), it would be very useful if the book includes a few maps of our world that show how the world looks different when we project the Earth to different surfaces.
The first four chapters and Chapter 9 (chapters on basic concepts of GIS and the nature U.S. census data) are generally written in a lucid and accessible way. While they usually provide adequate context for technical terminology, the discussion of technical terms is sometimes implicit rather than explicit. One section, for example, is titled “Features and Feature Class,” but it does not explain what differences there are between “features” and “feature class,” if any. Likewise, one of the discussion questions at the end of Chapter 1 asks, “How do the differences between discrete and continuous attribute data impact the selection of using vector and/or raster data models?” However, the chapter never discusses discrete and continuous attribute data explicitly, despite the fact that these notions are implied in many of the discussions. However, Chapters 5–8 and Chapter 10 are very frustrating to read. Each of these chapters is nothing but a short summary of one or two articles, without any attempt to situate these articles in a broader context of scholarship conversation. Nor do they attempt to introduce readers to the complexity and scholarly debates on these topics. These chapters cannot stand by themselves, and they should better be considered study guides to the articles they reference. Because of the nature of these chapters, they usually contain many unexplained terms (e.g., “transverse projection” in Chapter 7) which makes them difficult to comprehend. These “article summary” chapters are also poorly written, compared to earlier chapters. The first section of Chapter 7, in particular, is full of misspellings and grammatical and punctuation errors (containing more than ten mistakes in four short paragraphs).
This textbook may be considered consistent only if it is used for a course that teaches both the basics of GIS and uses U.S. census data. Otherwise, one might find some sections in Chapter 4 and 7, which discuss the procedures of U.S. census data compilation and geocoding, somewhat distractive. This textbook is also inconsistent in its style of writing. As mentioned above, Chapters 1–4 and 9 are well-written standalone pieces, while the other chapters are no more than summaries of specific articles that are barely comprehensible if one has not read the relevant articles beforehand.
This textbook is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course. Each chapter focuses on a specific topic that can be handled in one or two class meetings, e.g., vector and raster data models and overlay analysis (Chapter 1), coordinate systems and map projections (Chapter 2), thematic mapping (Chapter 4), critical reflections on rhetorical honesty in thematic mapping (Chapter 5), raster data analysis (Chapter 9), and so forth.
The topics are presented in a logical and clear fashion. It begins with basic concepts in GIS and moves on to thematic mapping (Chapters 1–4). Chapters 5 and 6 provide critical reflections on “rhetorical honesty” and data quality and standards. In Chapters 7–9, the textbook introduces the reader to spatial analysis at more sophisticated levels. The discussion is brief and nowhere near adequate for a textbook, but it provides an overview of the most frequently used methods of analysis on both vector (Chapters 7 and 8) and raster data models (Chapter 9).
The text has no significant interface issues. Images and charts are usually displayed with clarity.
Most of the chapters do not contain grammatical errors or misspellings, with the exception of Chapters 6 and 7, which are glutted with grammatical errors, misspelling, and improper punctuation marks.
It may be unfair to expect too much of “cultural sensitivity” in a textbook that teaches GIS technology and city planning using U.S. census data. Indeed, I have found no examples or expressions in the text that may be considered insensitive or offensive to particular cultural, racial, and ethnic groups. However, I do wish that the text included some critical reflections on how both GIS and the census data may have privileged the Western, official conceptions of geographic space, an issue that David J. Bodenhamer has discussed in his thoughtful article “The Potential of Spatial Humanities” (The Spatial Humanities, pp.14-29).
Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice: An Introduction to GIS is a well-written book that covers the length and breadth of geographic information system. As an introductory book, it breaks down the complex concept for easy assimilation by newbies... read more
Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice: An Introduction to GIS is a well-written book that covers the length and breadth of geographic information system. As an introductory book, it breaks down the complex concept for easy assimilation by newbies to GIS. It provides ample examples with clarity in content and good visualization that complements the text. The book begins with chapters on introduction to GIS, coordinate systems, and map scale, which the foundational block for understanding GIS and its applications. The book provides assignments and activities at the end of each chapter, which is helpful for instructors and students.
Having taught an introduction to GIS and Map Analysis for the past three years, I find the content of this book to be accurate and provides a good explanation of the critical concept of the discipline. There are no errors, and the materials are unbiased. There is a lack of quality introduction to GIS book, that provides a detail explanation to students, and this book does exactly that.
Overall, the textbook is up-to-date. GIS key concept like map scale, coordinate systems, and data models do not become obsolete over time since they are the fundamental concept of GIS, but the chapter on “the future of GIS” needs to be updated. The book was written in 2014, and over the past four years various developments have revolutionized and shaped GIS and its application. Although most of the fundamental concepts of GIS are up-to-date, updating and adding more examples and applications of GIS to chapter 10—the future of GIS—will help users understand current development in the field of GIS.
The textbook is written in a concise and clear way for students to understand. There are quality images to complement the text in the book. Key concepts are defined appropriately but providing multiple examples and details will be helpful to the user.
The terminology and concepts are consistent throughout the textbook. The chapters fit perfectly with each other and very useful for students new to GIS.
The book is structured into different modules which are very useful and easy to read. The references are enough to the user. The chapters have proper headings and subheadings which are very good especially being an introductory textbook, and it is easy for newbies to read it.
The organization of the book is excellent with the chapters fitting perfectly with other. The author begins with the basics of the GIS and transition to the applications of GIS.
The text has no interface issues. All images and charts have no distortions, and their placement within the text is perfect. The images and chart are not distracting to readers.
The textbook contains no grammatical errors.
The textbook is appropriate for all users. It is not offensive or culturally inappropriate to users of all background.
This textbook offers detailed information on the basic concepts of GIS (Ch.1~Ch. 3 and Ch 9) reasonably. However, later chapters except Ch 9 are only 1~2 pages long and it seems that topics are not necessarily applied to planners specific. The... read more
This textbook offers detailed information on the basic concepts of GIS (Ch.1~Ch. 3 and Ch 9) reasonably. However, later chapters except Ch 9 are only 1~2 pages long and it seems that topics are not necessarily applied to planners specific. The text has the table of contents but no index or glossary. It is a good start and other users may add more contents.
Overall, the contents in the text are accurate and unbiased. It could be better if the glossary/index were presented.
The fundamental concepts of GIS do not change much over time. It could be better if more recent topics were used for some of the contextual applications of each chapter. Overall, the text is currently up-to-date and necessary updates will be relatively easy to implement in the future.
I believe that it is not easy to write any introduction book for every reader because readers expect the different level of details even for beginners. I feel that the text is clear within the length of the text.
As other reviewers mentioned earlier, the basic concept parts are internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. However, later chapters are from other authors so they are not always consistent. Some of the contextual applications are not consistent with the topic in the chapter.
The text is well divided into each separate chapters and somewhat stand-alone especially earlier chapters for the fundamental concepts of GIS. However, other experts may expand later chapters to be more rich contents.
I probably have all fundamental concepts of GIS in the earlier chapters as one module group and planning specific chapters in another module group.
The text is free of significant interface issues (e.g., navigation problems, distortion of images, etc.).
No major grammatical errors found.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way at all.
It is a good starting point as an introduction to GIS for planners as it covers the basic concepts of GIS. However, planning specific topics will need to be expanded by other experts within the discipline.
This book is an introduction to GIS for planning students. Its main goal (from the preface) is to “help students acquire the technical skills of using software and managing data base, and develop research skills of collecting data, analyzing... read more
This book is an introduction to GIS for planning students. Its main goal (from the preface) is to “help students acquire the technical skills of using software and managing data base, and develop research skills of collecting data, analyzing information and presenting results.” The essential concepts of GIS (e.g., GIS introduction, data models, and coordinate systems) are covered in the first part of the book, but could be made more relevant for planning students using more examples from this discipline throughout the text in addition to the case studies that are provided as additional materials. Also, adding a section on scale and its relation with resolution would be appropriate for an introductory text. Developing the research and technical skills described in the preface would require a more substantial and extensive coverage of concepts and methods in GIS/Spatial Analysis in addition to a hands-on tutorial (the latter is mentioned by the authors at the end of the preface). A table of contents is provided, but there is no glossary or index of terms which would be very useful.
It is not easy to write an introductory text that accessible, rigorous, and technically sound. The book is accurate overall, but some paragraphs and concepts would benefit from a more technical, rigorous, and/or precise coverage in addition to the more “casual” introduction of the concepts provided. For example, these two sentences need revision in my opinion: page 5 “the features will not float somewhere within the cell”, and, on page 15 “The Earth’s constant spinning […], ruining its perfect spherical shape […].” Some key concepts need to be defined explicitly in the text. For instance, there is not a definition of GIS in chapter 1 (Defining a GIS) and chapter 2 (Coordinate systems and Projecting GIS data) mentions the terms geoid and ellipsoid in a discussion about projections without defining them first. This can be challenging for students that are not familiar with these concepts, which is likely in this case. In some cases, I believe that some important points where omitted or not emphasized sufficiently, for example: real-world features can be represented using both models (vector and raster). However, the vector model is more adequate to represent discrete data and the raster model for continuous data. The same feature (e.g. a city) can be represented using different vector geometries (e.g. as a point or polygon) depending on the scale.
Most of the concepts covered in the first part of this book are the fundamentals of GIS (data models, coordinate systems) and are up-to-date. The content that will need more revisions to remain updated (e.g., Chapter 10, Future of GIS), will be relatively easy to update since it is divided into separate chapters. The main recommended reading in Chapter 10 is from 2008, more recent references are needed here giving the rapidly evolving nature of this field (and the variety of perspectives about its future). The links to other materials are useful, but will need to be checked to ensure they work.
The authors aim to introduce key concepts in an accessible manner. This is very important for novice students of GIS and urban planning, however, there are several concepts in the text that need to be defined more precisely or that need to be fully defined before introducing them into the text (as noted above,on accuracy). Overall, I think the text could be clearer and more direct. Some content could be omitted or structured differently to make the text more concise. For instance, the advantages/disadvantages of raster data formats are discussed in both chapter 1 and 9.
The book seems consistent overall, at least in terms of terminology. However, it is important to consider that the first part is written by the authors, but chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 mostly consist of an introduction from the authors followed by a recommended book chapter from other authors in the field.
Yes, the book can be read/assigned as separate chapters, but it is important to understand the fundamentals before the chapters on analysis.
The sequence of the first chapters presents the fundamentals for GIS in a logical manner, but the remaining sequence of chapters looks less coherent to me. Chapter 9 seems to belong to the fundamentals, but perhaps the authors thought it is less important for planning and included it at the end. Likewise, chapter 5 is more of a reflection on the representation of spatial information that could be better understood after covering the methods to represent this information. A table of contents is provided, but perhaps the organization would improve having some chapters (e.g., Raster data models) at the beginning and renaming some sections (e.g., “to standardize or not to standardize”) to be more consistent with the others. I would revise the organization of some sections within chapters and the order in which the material is presented to facilitate its understanding and establishing relationships among concepts. For instance, I think chapter 2 needs a clear differentiation between projected (planar) and not projected (geographic coordinate systems) coordinate systems. Since there is only one level of organization in the chapter, the headings for Geographic coordinate system, UTM, Sate Plane, Datum, and On-the fly projection are at the same level, which blurs the relationships existing among these concepts (e.g., UTM and Sate plane are both examples of projected coordinate systems).
The interface is appropriate. Updating some figures will make the book more appealing, some are a little blurry too (e.g. Fig. 1.5, 1.6).
There are a few typos and subject-verb agreement errors.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive.
The book seems to assume students’ familiarity with ArcGIS and its use, adopting and discussing some of its terminology. This is not mentioned in the description of the book or its preface.
As an instructor teaching GIS in planning, I am looking for a good textbook. I totally agree with the authors that there is a “deficit of introductory textbooks specifically written for planning students, whose career paths may require a certain... read more
As an instructor teaching GIS in planning, I am looking for a good textbook. I totally agree with the authors that there is a “deficit of introductory textbooks specifically written for planning students, whose career paths may require a certain set of GIS skills that differ from those taught in geography or other departments.” I am glad to see this book tries to fill this deficit.This book does cover most of the essential or fundamental areas for planning practice, such as data format, coordinate system, topology, mapping ,etc. However, I would suggest to add a couple of additional topics, since there are 10 chapters in this book, which might be a little short using as the textbook for a semester-long course.
The contents presented in this book are accurate and unbiased.
The external links are relevant and provide additional contextual applications. However, I do have the concern that some links might not be available with the time goes.
It is not possible to write a GIS book without any technical terminology. The authors have done a good job to keep the book easy to understand.
The first half of the book is consistent in terms of concepts and fundamentals. However, the second half of the book refers more chapters from different other books, which are not always consistent.
When I look for a good textbook, I hope to find a book that the whole book is broken into multiple modules. Each module is a bigger topic with multiple chapters and each chapter is suitable for one week. The contents and chapters in this book are kind of organized and laid out in this way. Also, inside each chapter, there are subheadings breaking down blocks.
As I mentioned in the last comment, the organization of this book is in a logic and clear flow. It starts with essential concepts and fundamentals of GIS, then goes toward more planning related.
The text is free of significant interface issues.
When reading through the book, I did not notice significant grammatical errors.
No content in this book is culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.
Although it requires additional work on tutorials and exercises, I would consider to use this book in future.
The authors present a moderately detailed explanation of the common areas for an introduction to geographic information systems class. Further details for the topics are linked at the end of the sections and that helps bring additional content to... read more
The authors present a moderately detailed explanation of the common areas for an introduction to geographic information systems class. Further details for the topics are linked at the end of the sections and that helps bring additional content to the user. I was hoping for more content with some of the sections, but as an introduction book, this can be added by the users.
The content presented is accurate although I would present a few of the topics in a different order.
The topics outlined are mainstays in this field. The authors don't do into web technologies, but I think that may be helpful to mention disseminating data.
The text is very easy to read and isn't filled with complex terms (that is somewhat typical in this field).
Terminology is consistent across the chapters.
With additional links and study areas, the content can be expanded quickly.
A couple of the topics (Chapter 2), could be moved around to be organized better for real world knowledge.
I enjoyed the visuals (some need to be a little higher resolution) and the flow of the book was smooth.
The text is neutral.
The textbook presents more of a summary of fundamental GIS topics than it does a comprehensive review of the material. However, this is exactly what is needed and is perfect for an introduction course in GIS. Chapter 1 provides a nice background... read more
The textbook presents more of a summary of fundamental GIS topics than it does a comprehensive review of the material. However, this is exactly what is needed and is perfect for an introduction course in GIS. Chapter 1 provides a nice background about how the concepts of GIS have actually been around for a very long time, but is now handled more efficiently with computer technology. It provides an overview of raster and vector data and extended descriptions of points, lines, and polygons. It gives an excellent description of data categories (for levels of measurement) and their possible analytic operations. Chapter 2 presents a good discussion of map projections and the graticule and explains about the choices of projection based on least distortion. This section explains how even though GIS software can convert projections on the fly, it is still important for the student to understand the reasons for the projections they will use. It also gives a good explanation of commonly used UTM and State Plane projections and a quick overview of most common datums: NAD27, NAD83, and WGS84 which is commonly used in most GPS devices. Chapter 3 presents a good definition of topology as a field of mathematical relationships between nodes, edges, and faces with descriptions of each and how they share their geometry. Chapter 4 gives an overview section on viewer's perception of different types of thematic maps that are available. It explains in a very simply way single point, dot density, graduated symbol, pie chart, bar chart, choropleth maps and how patterns can be recognized and interpreted by viewers more easily. Chapter 5-9 discuss additional GIS topics that are detailed in other references and encourages the students to review those texts.
The textbook accurate on the GIS topics presented and cites the references for further review.
The text content is currently up to date and relevant in the GIS field. However, since GIS is based on growing and ever changing technology some chapters may need to be revised and updated at times to include new technology. The text is laid out with chapters 4 presenting fundamentals and chapters 5-9 presenting summaries of other texts that can should be reviewed for full details. This layout can easily be updated as technology changes.
The textbook is written such that a beginning student without previous or technical knowledge of GIS can understand. The definitions and explanations given in the beginning chapters are clear and concise.
The beginning chapters present some fundamentals of GIS that are absolutely necessary for any student beginning to learn how to use GIS. However, chapters 5-9 give a brief summary of other topics presented in other texts and encourage the reader to view those references for more in depth detail. This switch in style does tend to break the consistency in reading just a bit. But I do find that it entices the reader to review the additional references.
This text can definitely be divided and used in preparation of individual lectures in an introductory GIS course. None of the chapters present material that is not needed and the order is as expected for teaching students that are just learning about GIS. It laid out in a manner that is already organized and can follow along with introductory course lecture notes.
The first four chapters take the beginning student through fundamentals necessary for GIS work. The last chapters however lead the student to other references for an in depth review. Although still logical and clear, this switch does disrupt the flow of the text a bit. The was one topic that was not discussed that would definitely be useful to the beginning GIS student. I believe it would be helpful to have a section on scale. Scale is a topic that often confuses student when creating maps as well as understanding how some maps may have scale issues that can impact how results are interpreted.
There were no interface issues, navigation problems, distortion of images, or any other distractions noticed.
Only one typographical error and no grammatical errors were noticed.
This textbook does not have any cultural influence of any kind.
I plan to use this textbook in a Civil Engineering GIS Applications course. The first four chapters are perfect for the student with no previous GIS knowledge. These chapters will help the student understand different data models, proper use of projections, topology, and the different types of thematic maps.
This text covers many areas of GIS within planning practice. The basics of GIS are presented substantially more strongly than their connection to planning; however, there are hyperlinked readings that provide nice examples for the applications. ... read more
This text covers many areas of GIS within planning practice. The basics of GIS are presented substantially more strongly than their connection to planning; however, there are hyperlinked readings that provide nice examples for the applications. I do think the presentation of GIS ideas within the framework of urban planning is a helpful innovation. In many cases, the concepts are not presented in a stand-alone manner within the text, but would require the lecturer to clarify ideas. For example, many terms are introduced without adequate definitions for beginning students. There is no index or glossary, but there is a table of contents and the text is searchable.
The content is accurate and without bias. There are some typos.
The text is certainly relevant and will be easily updated and ideally more fleshed out.
There is a fair amount of variance in the clarity of the text. As I noted earlier, there are a lot of terms that are introduced without adequate definitions which would, I think, be difficult for a student first encountering the material. The beginning sections are very clear while the latter sections are less so.
The text is consistent in terms of terminology, but there are many some cases where a list does not align with the text that is supposed to accompany it. For example, the discussion of types of projects, a key topic for using GIS, is not consistent with the list that precedes it on the same topic.
The text is certainly modular, There are some sections I feel are much stronger than other and would be more likely to assign.
The beginning is very strong, but the organization suffers in the later chapters - particularly those that address application in planning practice.
I think this is fine.
Some small lack of subject verb agreement.
The book is not insensitive in any way.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Defining a Geographic Information System
- Chapter 2: Coordinate Systems and Projecting GIS Data
- Chapter 3: Topology and Creating Data
- Chapter 4: Mapping People with Census Data
- Chapter 5: Lying with Maps
- Chapter 6: To Standardize or Not to Standardize?
- Chapter 7: Geographic Considerations in Planning Practice.
- Chapter 8: Manipulating GIS Data
- Chapter 9: Raster Data Models
- Chapter 10: The Future of GIS
About the Book
The goals of this textbook are to help students acquire the technical skills of using software and managing a database, and develop research skills of collecting data, analyzing information and presenting results. We emphasize that the need to investigate the potential and practicality of GIS technologies in a typical planning setting and evaluate its possible applications. GIS may not be necessary (or useful) for every planning application, and we anticipate these readings to provide the necessary foundation for discerning its appropriate use. Therefore, this textbook attempts to facilitate spatial thinking focusing more on open-ended planning questions, which require judgment and exploration, while developing the analytical capacity for understanding a variety of local and regional planning challenges.
While this textbook provides the background for understanding the concepts in GIS as applicable to urban and regional planning, it is best when accompanied by a hands-on tutorial, which will enable readers to develop an in-depth understanding of the specific planning applications of GIS. In the end of each chapter, we also provided several discussion questions, together with contextual applications through some web links.
About the Contributors
Yiping Fang is an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her research and teaching examines spatial structures from social sciences' perspective, focusing on China's urbanization, and other international urban development challenges. Dr. Fang has an undergraduate degree in Architecture, Masters in Urban planning from Tsinghua University in Beijing, and completed her PhD in Design and Planning at the University of Colorado. Prior to joining Portland State, she worked as a research associate at Brown University (Rode Island), and an academic staff at Erasmus University (Rotterdam, the Netherlands).
Vivek Shandas is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of humans, their biophysical environment, and the role of institutions in guiding the growth of urban areas. Dr. Shandas has an undergraduate degree in Biology, Masters in Economics, and Environmental Management and Policy, and completed his PhD at the University of Washington. Prior to joining Portland State, he worked as an outdoor school teacher (Oregon), grade-school curriculum developer (California), and a policy analyst and regional planner (New York).
Eugenio Arriaga is a doctoral candidate in Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. His areas of research are sustainable transportation –with an emphasis on bicycling; access to public transit; and the role of the built environment on gendered travel behavior and how it vary by class, race, and family structure. Eugenio has an undergraduate degree in Law, a Masters in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University, and a Masters in Public Management from ITESO University. Before starting his PhD in Portland he worked for the city of Guadalajara in Mexico in the fields of social policy, cultural affairs, city planning, and active transportation, where he was responsible of the construction of the first segregated cycle-track.