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. 


New reading list on Nature in the City available now at Places Journal.

I was recently interviewed on KZSC with my colleague Lindsey Dillon. Hear us both speaking with Sylvanna M. Falcón about the politics of urban greening here.   

Very excited about the publication of a new commentary piece in Nature with friends and colleagues David Wachsmuth and Daniel Aldana Cohen calling to "Expand the frontiers of urban sustainability." Check it out! 

My dissertation, "How Green Became Good, Urban Greening as Social Improvement in Germany's Ruhr Valley," was recently awarded the Theda Skocpol Dissertation Award from the Comparative and Historical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association 


2016. "From the City Lens toward Urbanisation as a Way of Seeing: Country/Cities Binaries on an Urbanising Planet." Urban Studies. DOI: 10.1177/0042098016629312.


Hillary Angelo - UC Santa Cruz