Irene Farah

Department and Institution: 
City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley

Irene Farah is a PhD candidate in City & Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the political economy of street vending in Mexico City and San Francisco, with a focus on intra-urban inequalities. She received her BA in Political Science from ITAM in Mexico City and her MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. Irene works closely with street vendors and street vending associations to understand their relationship with the state and the impact that regulations have on workers’ livelihoods. Her research aims to shed light on the complex relationships between urban development, street economies, and organizational power to reflect on broader uneven power dynamics within cities and to visibilize a population that is often misunderstood and over simplified. Another line of her work focuses on the retail food environment and the importance of incorporating informal outlets in food policy interventions. Lastly, she is building a teaching curriculum which integrates methods of spatial analysis with critical theory to improve the ways policymakers and planners use spatial statistics to reduce inequities in cities. In her free time, she enjoys music, exploring cities by bike, and swimming in open waters.