Willow Lung-Amam: Trespassers?: Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia

book cover with a mother and father laughing and walking with their son and daughter

Willow Lung-Amam is an assistant professor in the urban studies and planning program and director of community development at the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her scholarship focuses on the link between social inequality and the built environment. Lung-Amam has written extensively on immigrant suburbanization, equitable development, gentrification, suburban poverty, and geographies of opportunity. She is the author of Trespassers?: Asian Americans and the Battle for Suburbia (University of California Press, 2017). Her research has also appeared in various journals, books, and reports, such as Journal of Urban Design and Journal of Planning, Education and Research, and popular media outlets, including the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Enterprise Community Partners, and other local, state, and federal agencies and foundations. Lung-Amam holds a Ph.D. in landscape architecture and environmental planning from the University of California–Berkeley; an M.C.P. in urban studies and planning from the University of Maryland, College Park; and a B.S. in comparative studies in race and ethnicity from Stanford University.

Abstract:

Over the last few decades, California's Silicon Valley has become not only the world's technological epicenter but also one of the fastest growing, and most racially and ethnically diverse regions in the U.S. Spurred by the rise of tech giants like Google and Facebook, the region has attracted diverse, highly-educated immigrants from across the globe, particularly Asia. These migrants have built their new lives among the region's many predominately white, middle-class suburbs. Trespassers? explores the dreams and struggles of Asian Americans as they have made their homes in Silicon Valley suburbia, and the tensions that have often emerged over the region's changing character. Join Lung-Amam as she discusses her new book on the vital role of immigrants in the changing urban landscape and their fight for inclusion within the suburban American Dream.

Sponsored by Cornell Baker Program in Real Estate.