About Nathan's Work

Nathan McClintock is a geographer and an associate professor of urban studies at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) in Montréal, Québec, Canada. He is co-director of the Ville Voix Visions Collaboratory (C3V) at INRS, a space for collaborative research using audio, visual, and cartographic storytelling. He is also an editor of the journal Urban Geography and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Peasant Studies. 

Engaging with debates in urban political ecology, critical urban geography, and critical food studies, Nathan's focus over the past fifteen years has been on the relationship between food systems -- urban agriculture (UA), in particular -- urban political economy, and social justice in North American cities. He has also focused on EJ issues such as soil contamination, particularly as they relate to historical land use and racialized planning processes. How policy and practice articulate with power and political economy, racial capitalism, and settler colonialism is a key area of interest, and has guided recent work on green gentrification and the formal and everyday governance of food and waste. 

Nathan is currently wrapping up a 3-year, SSHRC-funded project on the governance of organic waste in Montreal, and has just begun two new projects: 'Scoping and storying food governance in Inuit Nunangat', a 5-year, SSHRC-funded project in collaboration with a youth council and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services that is examining the extent to which formal food policies and programs support Inuit food sovereignty; and "Labo équité en adaptation climatique", a 3-year, Ouranos-funded project examining equity concerns in climate adaptation initiatives across Quebec. Both projects integrate storytelling and sound recordings as a method of knowledge co-production with community collaborators. 

Recently completed projects include: CommunoSerre, a 2-year interdisciplinary project examining the social and technical challenges facing the development of community greenhouses in marginalized neighborhoods in Montreal; a 5-year, NSF-funded collaboration with researchers at Simon Fraser University focused on UA's entanglement in processes of gentrification and green entrepreneurial urbanism in Portland, OR and Vancouver, BC; an Ouranos-funded collaboration with researchers at UQAM examining the socio-economic differentiation of residential UA motivations and practices in metro Montreal; the Portland Black Gardens project, a collaboration with Mudbone Grown funded by an Antipode Foundation Scholar-Activist Grant integrating archival research and oral history; and RESTING SAFE, a 3-year, NSF-funded collaboration between university and community researchers working with residents to develop an easy-to-use toolkit to assess environmental hazards in houseless communities in Portland and Baltimore. 

Nathan's research builds on more than two decades of experience working on sustainable food systems in North America and across the 'global South'. He has worked on agricultural development projects with the Rodale Institute in Senegal and Partners in Health in Haiti, and on short-term projects in Bangladesh, Nepal, Mali, and Mexico. He served as a Peace Corps agricultural extension volunteer in Mali (1998-2000), worked on farms in British Columbia, Ireland, and North Carolina, and was a founding member of the Oakland Food Policy Council. Nathan received his PhD in geography from UC Berkeley where his dissertation work focused on food justice, urban agriculture, and soil contamination in the low-income flatlands of Oakland. He received his BA in French with a minor in folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill, and MS in crop science/agroecology from North Carolina State, where he conducted research on compost and nutrient cycling in sustainable farming systems. Prior to his move to INRS in 2020, he was a professor of urban studies and planning for nine years at Portland State University.