Research Projects

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

     Green Redevelopment & Neighborhood-scale Politics
Pittsburgh & Braddock, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh has been hailed for its Richard Florida-style "creative city" rebirth. However, the city has lost more than half of its midcentury population and continues to struggle with poverty and abandonment. My focus is on neighborhood-scale reactions to current "green" and "sustainable" redevelopment strategies, with a particular interest in how long-term neighborhood residents cope with evolving notions of good neighborliness.
     Community Land Trusts & Non-state Regulation
Twin Cities Region, Minnessota
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.
     Space/Place Exclusion in South African Cities
Tshwane, Gauteng, South Africa
How is exclusion (both by the state and private entities) used as a strategy for managing social relations and the development machine in urban South Africa?
     The Politics of Place-making and Resistance
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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