Hillary Angelo, PhD Candidate in Sociology, New York University 


I am an urban sociologist who studies interactions between social understandings of nature and processes of urbanization, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

My research engages with urban and environmental sociology, geography, and sociology of knowledge, and draws on visual, historical, and ethnographic methods. I am interested in how ideas about nature are formed, the social conflicts they produce, and how they are deployed to influence the built environment.

My earlier work on the politics of killing birds in New York City examined the social conflicts that erupt when different understandings of "nature" collide in diverse urban environments. My dissertation examined this relationship at a greater spatial and temporal scale by tracing a century of urban greening in Germany’s Ruhr region. I am currently preparing a book manuscript based on the research in Germany, and am also at work on two new projects: one on infrastructure and sociology, and the other on issues of democracy and equity in "green" urban planning and sustainability initiatives.

I received my PhD in Sociology from New York University and hold a BA from Vassar College. Before returning to graduate school, I worked for five years with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, primarily on issues of participatory design, immigration, and public space use. 


I am on leave for the 2016-2017 academic year as a Berggruen Fellow at New York University's Institute for Public Knowledge.


2017. "From the City Lens toward Urbanisation as a Way of Seeing: Country/Cities Binaries on an Urbanising Planet." Urban Studies. 54(1): 158-178.

2016. (With David Wachsmuth and Daniel Aldana Cohen). "Expand the frontiers of urban sustainability." Nature News 536(7617): 391.

Hillary Angelo - UC Santa Cruz