Research Projects

I have several active empirical and theoretical projects in various stages of development. Currently, I am working in the following areas:

Pluralist Place-making & Local Development
Aberdeen, Scotland
How can cities like Aberdeen work to improve the lives of residents by building more pluralist infrastructures and facilitating more diverse imaginations of the city? Building on theoretical work in geography on the concepts of place and place-making, colleagues and I are seeking to experiment with strategies for creative, pluralist, non-blocking place-making in the City of Aberdeen and its surrounds.
Redevelopment Politics & Race
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Atlanta has entered a period of rapid reconfiguration of the urban core. Much of this new development rehearses well-trod tropes of gentrification and large-scale displacement. However, the Atlanta region is home to one of America's largest black middle-class communities, and both its suburbanization and its contemporary "return to the city" reflect an unusual set of racial (and regional) community dynamics. I am interested in how communities develop and mobilise divergent place-imaginaries, as well as how race (especially whiteness) is leveraged in neighbourhood change.
Community Land Trusts & Non-state Regulation
Twin Cities Region, Minnessota, USA
Urban Land Trusts offer a novel, supported gateway to home ownership for residents who for a variety of reasons might not otherwise be able to become homeowners. However, these trusts also become very involved in neighborhood politics and the reproduction of local identity. I am interested in how these typically nonprofit agencies interact with both residents and the local state as they execute their mission of expanding stable ownership opportunities to a wider population.
The Politics of Place-making and Justice
Growing from an interest in geographical theory, I am working with a variety of collaborators to further develop contemporary theories of place and place-making. Building on the concept of "relational place-making," we are exploring how place theory helps to expand the empirical range of critiques of urban development.

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