California + Bay Area

I’ve been fortunate to live in different cities and countries, but the Bay Area will always be home, and I am thrilled to be back. While I will continue to write about housing and urban development more broadly, my advocacy and policy work is focused on California.

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I began my career in housing as a tenant organizer on the West Side of Manhattan, and it has been an important part of my writing, research, advocacy and policy development ever since. I am increasingly active in California housing politics, and write about housing frequently in my Substack newsletter Where We Go From Here.

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Suburbs + Regions

I began my academic career thinking that I would focus on gentrification, but quickly realized that I needed a wider perspective on urbanization. I’ve written extensively on regions and megaregions – very large regions like Northern California – and on suburbia, both in the US and in France. My suburbia work pays very close attention to the role of race and segregation, and to discourse – how we talk about places.

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How we talk about places matters. It affects how people in those places see themselves. Language can reinforce existing stigmas, or make certain problems or policies seem unchangeable. We understand and misunderstand through language, particularly around ideas like ‘suburb’ or ‘city’ which carry connotations but little fixed meaning. Racism can be entrenched through how we talk about places. Language also travels – from city to suburb, and from country to country, even across language barriers.

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France + Northern England

I’ve always considered myself a writer first and a researcher second, and am always looking for ways to write with smart partners that expand my own understanding of issues. While I am not an expert on these subjects, I’m proud of the limited contributions I have made on economic structure, transportation, and the development of the North of England.

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Economics + Theory

I’ve always considered myself a writer and thinker first and a researcher second. While I often struggle with the unspoken rules of theory, and the at-times impenetrable language, the need to write at the more foundational level of ideas is too tempting to pass up. The Spatial Contract is the best example of this kind of work, but this book was built on the backs of other pieces.

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