Nathan McClintock is an associate professor of urban studies and urban environmental politics at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Montréal, Québec, Canada, and an editor of the journal Urban Geography. Engaging with debates in urban political ecology and critical urban geography, Nathan's focus over the past decade has been on the relationship between urban agriculture (UA), urban political economy, and social justice in North American cities. He has engaged extensively with scholarship on food justice and food systems planning, environmental justice, and critical physical geography, and has recently begun to focus on the historical and contemporary entanglements of land, property, and racial capitalism in the settler-colonial city. By conducting both applied and theoretically engaged research, his goal is to bring agri-food and urban environmental research into conversation with critical social science scholarship that draws attention to how UA policy and practice articulate with power, political economy, race, class, gender, and settler colonialism. At the same time, he hopes to contribute to critical geography via his commitment to community-engaged research.
He recently completed a 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, and how alternative knowledges and practices have emerged and circulated, both creating new spaces of production and contributing to the rise of equity framing within UA and food policy-making forums. Currently, he is working with researchers at the Université du Québec à Montréal on a study funded by the climatology research institute Ouranos and provincial health ministry that examines the socio-economic differentiation of residential UA motivations and practices in five boroughs and municipalities in the Montréal metro region. He is also working with the urban farming organization MudBone Grown on the Portland Black Gardens History Project, funded by an Antipode Foundation Scholar-Activist Grant. He is also a contributing member of the RESTING SAFE collaborative of university and community researchers examining environmental justice issues in two houseless rest areas (or homeless encampments) in Portland and Baltimore and working with residents to develop an easy-to-use toolkit to assess contamination.
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), has worked on farms in British Columbia, Ireland, and North Carolina, and was a founding member of the Oakland Food Policy Council from 2009 to 2011. Nathan received his PhD in geography from UC Berkeley where his dissertation work focused on urban agriculture and soil contamination in the low-income flatlands of Oakland, CA. He received his BA in French 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 working at INRS he was a professor of urban studies and planning for nine years at Portland State University.