Biography 2018-04-22T18:20:57+00:00

Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, the intentional integration of social justice and sustainability defined as:

the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now, and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.

Trained initially in Geography and Botany (B.Sc.), Conservation Policy (MA), and finally Urban Studies (Ph.D.), he is better known today as a critical urban planning and environmental social science scholar. His combined science and social science background, together with extensive experience in local government, consulting, working for, and board-level advising of NGOs and community-based organizations, helps frame his perspectives, research and writing. This allows him to thrive at the borders and intersections of a wide range of knowledges, disciplines and methodologies which he uses in creative and original ways.

His focal areas of research and expertise are:

just sustainabilities in policy and planningenvironmental and food justiceplanning in, and for Sharing Cities; planning in, and for intercultural cities.

Worldwide, he is recognized as an expert, innovator and thought leader. He is one of the top 15 most highly cited North American urban planning academics. Among his wide-ranging and influential publications is Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? (2002). It is the most highly cited journal article by a North American urban planning academic. In addition to its theoretical contributions, Mind the Gap continues to have practical impact around the world, influencing government policy in the USACanada, Australia, New Zealand, UKFrance, Ireland, as well as within the European Commission and the United Nations (UNEP and FAO).

He is the author or editor of 11 books, including Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (MIT Press 2003), Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice (NYU Press 2005), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press 2011), Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice (Zed Books 2013), Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, and Possibilities (Routledge 2014) and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (MIT Press 2015), one of Nature’s Top 20 Books of 2015. His latest book is Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice: From Loncheras to Lobsta Love (MIT Press 2017). His next book, Immigration, Immigrants, Agriculture and Food in North America, is under contract with MIT Press.

He was co-founder in 1996, and is now Editor-in-Chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. He is Series Editor of Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice published by Zed Books and Co-Editor of the Routledge Equity, Justice and the Sustainable City Series. He is also Contributing Editor to Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and a member of the Editorial Board of the Australian Journal of Environmental Education.

Julian sits on the Academic Board of The Future of Places (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden), the Board of Directors of EcoDistricts (Portland, OR, USA) and on the Advisory Boards of Shareable (San Francisco, USA), Participatory City (London, UK), Urban Sharing (Lund, Sweden), Sharecity (Dublin, Ireland), and the McConnell Foundation’s Cities for People and Future Cities programs (Montréal, Canada).

He has held Visiting Professorships at the University of South Australia, Adelaide (2008-13), Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK (2010-14), McGill University, Montréal (2017-18), the Walker Ames Visiting Professorship, University of Washington, Seattle (Feb/March 2017) and a Visiting Fellowship at The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, hosted by the University of Victoria, BC (April-May 2011). He was Senior Scholar at The Center for Humans and Nature, Chicago (2013-16) and a Fellow of the McConnell Foundation Cities for People program in Montréal (2017-18).

Julian was co-founder in 1988, and chair until 1994, of the Black Environment Network (BEN), the first environmental justice-based organization of its kind in Britain. In 1996, he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) in the UK, a network of people dedicated to enriching society and shaping the future through ideas and action, and in 2016 he became a Fellow of the UK Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), the learned society and professional body advancing geography and supporting geographers.

His most recent Curriculum Vita highlights his career achievements. His Google Scholar citations highlight the (academic) impact of his work. To keep up with his latest ideas, visit his Just Sustainabilities Blog and follow him on Twitter @julianagyeman