Elizabeth Mueller


Elizabeth J. Mueller’s work focuses on the ways that patterns of economic and racial segregation and inequality were established and continue to be produced in growing cities. She has examined how contemporary local planning initiatives, aimed at increasing density and reducing driving, affect patterns of racial and economic segregation and exposure to environmental hazards and poor housing conditions.

As a PI or Co-PI on several research projects, she is currently studying 1) the past and ongoing role of planning in shaping existing patterns of segregation/inequity in Austin; 2) how non-institutional landlords make decisions regarding rental housing ownership and management; and 3) the historical factors shaping how zoning protects or exposes particular groups and communities to environmental hazards and other threats to property values and living conditions. Her work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

She is co-editor of The Affordable Housing Reader (second edition, Routledge, June 2022) and co-author of Uprooted: Gentrification in Austin’s Residential Neighborhoods and What Can Be Done About It (2018), a report commissioned by the Austin City Council.

She has received awards for her teaching, research, and public service. Her work developing the Corridor Housing Preservation Tool was recognized with an APA Smart Cities Award and by the Scenario Planning Analysis Network. Her co-authored paper “Sustainability and Vulnerability: Integrating Equity into Plans for Central City Redevelopment,” won the 2012 UT Coop Best Research Paper Award. She has served on many city boards and commissions and is also on the board of Texas Housers.

Her academic work has appeared in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Literature, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Housing Policy Debate, Community Development, Economic Development Quarterly, Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Urbanism, The Journal of Ethnicity and Migration, and Landscape and Urban Planning.


  • B.S., School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • M.C.P., University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley



K. Lieberknecht and E.J. Mueller. Planning for Equitable Climate Relocation: Gaps in knowledge and a proposal for future directions. Journal of Planning Literature. Published online 2 Jan 2023. https://doi.org/10.1177/08854122221147696

E. J. Mueller and J. R. Tighe, eds. The Affordable Housing Reader, second edition, Routledge, June 2022.

E. Tretter, E. J. Mueller, and R. Heyman. “YIMBYism, the environment, and the remaking of race and class coalitions in Austin”, Symposium on YIMBYism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.  46, 1 (2022). Published online December 23, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.13066.

H. K. Way, E. J. Mueller. “Opinion: Rent is Due: Texas Must Do More to Protect Tenants During the COVID-19 Crisis,” Houston Chronicle, May 1, 2020.


H. Way, E. J. Mueller, and J. Wegmann. “City must halt displacement on the East Riverside Corridor,” Austin American-Statesman, October 22, 2019.


E. Mueller, H. Way, and J. Wegmann. “Freefall: Why our housing safety net is failing the lowest-income renters during COVID,” in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, 29, 2 (2020): 257-269. Special issue on Affordable Housing and Community Development in an Age of Pandemic.        

H. Way, E. Mueller, and B. Martin. “Uprooted: Local Efforts to Mitigate Displacement in Gentrifying Neighborhoods,” Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, 28, 1 (2019): 17-47.

K. L. Howell, E. J. Mueller, and B. B. Wilson. “One Size Fits None: Local context and planning for preservation,” Housing Policy Debate, 29, 1 (2019): 148-165. (Special issue on the future of housing policy.)

E. J. Mueller, H. K. Way, and Nicholas Armstrong. “The Guadalupe Neighborhood in Austin, Texas: 40 Years of Work to Fight Displacement,” Shelterforce: The voice of community development. (June 2019). https://shelterforce.org/2019/05/31/the-guadalupe-neighborhood-in-austin-40-years-of-pushing-backagainst-displacement/?utm_source=sfweekly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=060319DisasterAid  

E.J. Mueller. “A Green and Fair New Deal Must Prevent Poverty Sprawl,” Los Angeles Review of Books (Blog), June 5, 2019. http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/essays/green-fair-new-deal-must-prevent-povertysprawl/  

H.K. Way, E.J. Mueller, N. Armstrong. “The Guadalupe Neighborhood in Austin: 40 Years of Pushing Back Against Displacement,” Shelterforce, May 31, 2019. https://shelterforce.org/2019/05/31/the-guadalupe-neighborhood-in-austin-40-years-of-pushing-back-against-displacement/

E.J. Mueller, "Commentary: Why Gentrification is a fair housing issue." Austin-American Statesman, November 11, 2018. https://www.statesman.com/opinion/20181109/commentary-why-gentrification-isfair-housing-issue  

E.J. Mueller, T. Hilde, and M. Torrado. “Methods for Countering Spatial Inequality: Incorporating strategic opportunities for housing preservation into Transit-Oriented Development planning,” Landscape and Urban Planning 177, (2018): 317-327.

E. J. Mueller. “Struggling toward a Livable Austin,” chapter 5 in Livable Cities from a Global Perspective, R. Caves and F. Wagner, eds. Routledge, (2018).

E. Tretter and E. J. Mueller. “Transforming Rainey Street: Decoupling equity from environment in Austin’s Smart Growth Agenda,” in Spaces of Urban Politics, B. Miller, ed. Taylor and Francis (2018).  

E. J. Mueller. “Neighborhood Amenities” in Introduction to Housing. K. Anacker, et al., eds. University of Georgia Press. 2018.

E. J. Mueller and S. Van Zandt. “Using housing policy to improve access to quality education: contrasting place-based and mobility-based strategies,” in Education, Land and Location. Cambridge, MA: Lincoln Land Institute. 2014.

E.J. Mueller and S. Dooling. “Sustainability and Vulnerability: Integrating equity into plans for central city redevelopment,” Journal of Urbanism, 4, 3 (Nov 2011): 201–222. Winner of 2012 UT Coop Society Hamilton Award for Best Research Paper.

E. J. Mueller, H. Bell, B. B. Chang and J. Henneberger. “Looking for Home: Disaster Housing Policy after Katrina,” Journal of Planning Education and Research, 31, 3 (Sept 2011): 291-307. 


My Home is Here: Harris County’s Housing Needs Assessment and 10-Year Strategy. Final Report and Technical Appendix: Opportunity Cluster Analysis. October 2021. Research team: Kinder Institute/Asakura Robinson/Ford Momentum/UT Center for Sustainable Development.  Contributor to final report. Primary author of technical appendix.

D.J. Almy, M. Hattasch, J. Wegmann, E. Mueller, C. Lewis, and A. Shearer. 2020. Revitalization Strategies: Policies and Procedures of Transformation in the St. John Neighborhood. Center for Sustainable Development, University of Texas at Austin. Prepared for the City of Austin. https://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/EDD/Revitalization%20Strategies_St.%20John_utsoa%20issuu_condensed.pdf

H.K. Way, E. J. Mueller and J. Wegmann. 2018. Uprooted: Residential displacement in Austin’s gentrifying neighborhoods and what can be done about it. Report produced for the Austin City Council. UT Austin: Center for Sustainable Development and UT School of Law. https://sites.utexas.edu/gentrificationproject/..austin-uprooted-report-maps/

E. J. Mueller and C. Kaplan. 2013. Coming Home: The benefits of housing choice for low-wage commuters in Austin, Texas. UT: Center for Sustainable Development. 

photo of Elizabeth Mueller
  • Social Inclusion and Justice in Cities
  • Affordable Housing Policy
  • Urban Politics
  • Urban History

Affordable Housing Seminar

Community Development Seminar

Planning Practicum (topics vary)

Urban Politics Seminar

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Stephen Zigmund


Terry Kahn

Professor Emeritus

Ryan Robinson