Portrait of Fernando Burga
Assistant Professor
295A Humphrey School
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Urban and Regional Planning Area
Areas of Expertise
Race and ethnicity; race and diversity; sustainable development; urban design; urban and regional planning; civic engagement and public participation; land use planning; immigration and refugee services and policy


    H. Fernando Burga is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota with a dual appointment at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and University of Minnesota Extension. His research, teaching, and service focus on urban planning, particularly the incorporation of immigrant populations into planning, and urban food systems. Fernando‘s work is informed by three principles: a reflexive inquiry into the ethics of expert knowledge and the use of qualitative research; the application of design to build awareness, harness data, and enable urban planning and public policy advocacy; and a commitment to engage community actors who are disenfranchised from the fields of planning and public policy due to their race, class, and citizenship status. Fernando has a background in architecture, urban design, and urban planning. Before transitioning into academia, Fernando worked on an array of sustainable urbanism projects. His experience includes the designing of Hope VI communities, mixed-use infill developments, transit-oriented developments, and military communities. Following his professional tenure, Fernando obtained his doctorate degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a fellow at the Center for Research on Social Change at UC Berkeley and a lecturer at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and San Jose State University. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Fernando conducted qualitative fieldwork with Latino immigrants to assess the application of planning tools in addressing housing, transportation, education, economic development, and nutrition needs. This project won the 2016 American Planning Association Academic Excellence Award for Northern California and subsequently the California State-wide Award. Currently, Fernando is involved in several planning and food justice related projects in Minnesota. He is also writing a book on Cuban American empowerment and planning in Miami, Florida, under contract by University of Toronto Press. Fernando’s research has been published by Harvard University Press under an anthology sponsored by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, entitled: “On the Spatial Epistemologies of Politics, or how we know Politics through Space: Essays for Design Studies.”


    PhD in City and Regional Planning (University of California, 2013)

    Master's in Urban Design and Town Planning (University of Miami, 2002)

    M.ARCH in Architecture (University of Miami, 2000)