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Personal profile

Personal profile

Julie Cidell is a native of the Chicago area with a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota.  She has published papers on airport expansion, the suburban logistics landscape, the geography of chocolate, and green buildings.  She has worked as a transportation engineer in Boston and taught physical geography in northern and southern California.  Currently, she is an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her work focuses on two main areas: the political economy of transportation, and green buildings and public policy.

Research Interests

green buildings
urban sustainability
urban political ecology

Professional Information

At the broadest level, my research in urban, political, and economic geography focuses on urban infrastructure, specifically transportation and green buildings. Using the theoretical frameworks of cultural economy and urban political ecology, I ask how local government and individual actors matter in struggles over large-scale infrastructure and policy development and the corresponding environments that are produced. I incorporate insights from cultural economy on how economic and cultural activities are intertwined and from urban political ecology on the discursive and material construction of urban environments. In so doing, I seek to broaden the study of transportation within the discipline of geography and to understand how changes in urban sustainability go hand in hand with changes in urban governance.


Ph.D., University of Minnesota
M.A., University of Minnesota
B.A., University of Chicago


Honors & Awards

Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois, 2012-13
Finalist, Nystrom Award, Association of American Geographers


"The Conventions of Building Green: The Role of Public Policy in the U.S. Green Building Industry." National Science Foundation

Office Address

251 CAB
605 E Springfield
Champaign, IL 61820

Office Phone

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Research Output

Cooperating on Urban Sustainability: A Social Network Analysis of Municipalities across Greater Melbourne

Cidell, J., Apr 2 2020, In : Urban Policy and Research. 38, 2, p. 150-172 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Assembling and re-assembling Asian carp: The Chicago area waterways system as a space of urban politics

    Cidell, J., Jan 1 2018, The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics. Ward, K., Jonas, A. E. G., Miller, B. & Wilson, D. (eds.). Taylor and Francis, p. 426-438 13 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Aero-automobility: getting there by ground and by air

    Cidell, J., Sep 3 2017, In : Mobilities. 12, 5, p. 692-705 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle