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Meet Professor Nathan McClintock
Meet Professor Nathan McClintock

Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning

Professor McClintock is on sabbatical leave for the 2018-2019 academic year

Examining urban political ecologies of food systems and social change

Ph.D. Geography, University of California, Berkeley

M.S. Crop Science/Agroecology, North Carolina State University
B.A. French, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Associate Professor, Urban Studies and Planning
  • Affiliated Faculty, Geography and Sociology
  • Editor, Urban Geography
  • Faculty Governance Group, Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems

Urban agriculture, urban political ecology, uneven development, food systems planning

  • USP 313U Urban Environmental Issues
  • USP 576, Feeding the City
  • USP 589, Theorizing Urban Natures
  • USP 617, Sociology and Politics of Urban Space
  • USP 689, Advanced Readings in Urban Sociology and Politics
Cultivation, Capital, and Contamination: Urban Agriculture in Oakland

Office: Urban Center, room 350 E
Phone: (503) 725-4064

Professor McClintock is a geographer whose research and teaching engages with urban political ecology, critical urbanism, and food systems planning to examine the intersections of urbanization, social and environmental change. His primary focus is on urban agriculture policy and practice, and how they articulate with political economy, race, class, and gender. Ongoing comparative projects underway in Portland, Vancouver, and Montreal explore how UA is entangled in processes of gentrification and the spatial politics of the Sustainable City. He has also researched the socio-ecological dynamics of urban soil contamination and its implications for environmental justice. His work appears in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Geoforum, Urban Geography, Agriculture and Human Values, Landscape and Urban Planning, and the Journal of the American Planning Association, among others. Visit his website for more on his research, teaching, and a complete list of publications.

Dr. McClintock received his PhD in geography from UC Berkeley, focusing on urban agriculture and food justice in Oakland, and conducted his MS research at NCSU’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems and in Senegal with the Rodale Institute. He has been involved in food systems work for more than two decades, wearing a variety of hats along the way. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, was a founding member of the Oakland Food Policy Council, and has worked as a researcher and extensionist in the US and internationally (Canada, Mali, Senegal, Haiti, Mexico, Brazil, Nepal, Bangladesh). He is committed to community-engaged and participatory action research and has worked closely with a variety of organizations in Portland, including Growing Gardens, the Urban Farm Collective, Verde, and the Multnomah County Health Department. With MudBone Grown, he is leading the Portland Black Gardens Oral History Project to collect and archive the experiences of African American gardeners in Albina during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. He is an editor of the journal Urban Geography.

What Professor McClintock has to say...

BEST PARTS OF JOB: Collaborating with students, having the time and space to bridge applied, community-engaged participatory action research with more abstract, theoretical work, and being able to incorporate teaching into it all.

VISION FOR THE TOULAN SCHOOL: To serve as a nexus for critical scholarship and community-engaged research on sustainability and social justice in metropolitan regions.

APPROACH TO TEACHING: Critical, participatory, reading-heavy, discussion-centered, bridges social theory with on-the-ground empirics.

ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS: Don’t go straight from undergrad to grad school, wait two or three years while you go out into the world, bear witness to its inequities, and figure out what kind of change you’re most passionate about and the skills you’ll need to contribute towards it.

Urban waterfronts, ports, railyards, used bookstores, city parks, anywhere with a view…

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT PORTLAND:  The grain elevators and ships docked by the Steel Bridge. Fleeting glimpses of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. Doug firs and dogwoods. Parkside in Kenton and Hat Yai on Killingsworth. Proximity to the Oregon Coast, Cascades, and Salish Sea. And I actually do really love the rain!

Uneven Development by Neil Smith; Unsettling the City by Nicholas Blomley; American Babylon by Robert Self; Agrarian Dreams by Julie Guthman; Limits to Capital by David Harvey; Caliban and the Witch by Silvia Federici; Practical Reason by Pierre Bourdieu; Black Marxism by Cedric Robinson; Urbanizing Frontiers by Penelope Edmonds; In the Nature of Cities by Nik Heynen, Maria Kaika, and Erik Swyngedouw (eds)