Faculty Picture

Laura Saija


(901) 678-2610
(901) 678-4162
215 McCord Hall
Office Hours
by appointment

Italian certified architectural engineer and planner with a PhD (2006) in City and Regional Planning and Design from the University of Catania, Italy. With a background integrating planning and geographic analysis, architecture and design, social sciences, and environmental sciences, her areas of specialization cross the traditional disciplinary boundaries of land-use planning, urban design, landscape architecture, environmental studies, historic preservation, and community development. Her research focus is on the theory and the practice of ecological approaches to planning and design, i. e. approaches able to improve the relationship between humans, other living communities and their life environment. Laura has developed her scholarship through a highly engaged research approach, inspired by the action-research paradigm.


Planning Theory and Perspectives - University of Memphis
Historic Preservation Planning - University of Memphis
Transportation Planning - University of Memphis
Land Use Planning and Control - University of Catania
Introduction to Urban Planning - University of Memphis
Urban Design - University of Catania
Regional Planning - University of Catania

Selected Publications

Saija, L. (2015) Questa Politica Parla Di Noi! Breve storia dell'autocandidatura della comunità della Valle del Simeto, in Territorio, n° 74, pp. 108-114. (http://www.francoangeli.it/riviste/Scheda_rivista.aspx?IDArticolo=55012&lingua=en)

Saija L. (2015) Education for Cubed Change, in Porter, L. (ed.) (2015). Partnerships of learning for planning education (interface). in Planning Theory & Practice, 16(3), 409-434. (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649357.2015.1060688)

Saija L. (2014) Writing about Engaged Scholarship. Misunderstandings on and the issue of quality Action Research publications. In Planning Theory & Practice, 15(2), pp. 187-201. (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649357.2014.904922)

Saija L. (2014) Proactive Conservancy in a Contested Milieu: From Social Mobilization to Community-Led Resource Management in the Simeto Valley (Sicily, Italy). In Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57(1), pp. 27-49. (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09640568.2012.735198)

Saija (2014) Map-Making. In Coghlan, D. & Brydon-Miller, M. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Action Research. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Saija L., Raciti A., Westendorff D. (2013) Planning under the Lion's Paw: A Memphis Tale. In Progressive Planning in the U.S. South, Special Issue of Progressive Planning, spring issue, edited by Clavel, P. and Lowe Nichola, pp. 18-21.

Saija L. (2012) Building' engagement into the fabric of the University. The LabPEAT experience in Librino, Catania, Italy." In Benneworth P. (ed.), University Engagement with Socially Excluded Communities: Towards the Idea of 'The Engaged University', Springer Higher Education series, pp. 125-141. (http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-94-007-4875-0_7)

Saija L. (2012). La citta educativa: riflessioni sulla funzione pedagogica dell'urbanistica (The Educative City: Reflections on the Pedagogic Function of Urban Planning and Design). Acireale: Bonanno Ed.

Saija L., Gravagno F. (2009) Can Participatory Action Research Deal with the Mafia? A Lesson from the Field, in Planning Theory and Practice 10(4), pp. 499-518; nominated by the Journal's editorial team for the 2010 AESOP best published paper award. (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14649350903417357)