Urbanization and the Environment; Urban Ecology and Urban Theory; Racism and Environmental Justice; Urban Adaptation and Public Policy
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, where I study urbanization and its intersections with race, culture, knowledge, political economy, public policy, and the environment.
My first book, Parks for Profit: Selling Nature in the City (Columbia University Press, 2022) examines the High Line in New York, the Bloomingdale Trail/606 in Chicago, and Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston to offer a critical perspective on the rise of the postindustrial park. Tracing changing ideas about cities and nature and underscoring the centrality of race and class, I argue that postindustrial parks aestheticize past disinvestment while serving as green engines of gentrification.
My engagement with urban-environmental concerns also includes pressing questions of adaptation in the time of climate change. I have been investigating flood control programs in the U.S. and particularly the growing use of voluntary property buyouts as a public policy tool in recent decades. This ongoing project has resulted in publications in Population and Environment, Natural Hazards Review, Social Problems, Socius, and Social Currents and has recently been awarded a National Science Foundation grant.
Other work has examined the politics of historic preservation, race and public space, and the urban theory of W.E.B. Du Bois.
I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University in 2017. Prior to coming to Temple, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University.
- Loughran, Kevin. 2022. Parks for Profit: Selling Nature in the City. New York: Columbia University Press.https://cup.columbia.edu/book/parks-for-profit/9780231194051
- Loughran, Kevin, and James R. Elliott. 2021. “Unequal Retreats: How Racial Segregation Shapes Climate Policies.” Housing Policy Debate. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1080/10511482.2021.1931928
- Elliott, James R., Kevin Loughran, and Phylicia Lee Brown. 2021. “The Divergent Residential Pathways of Climate Adaptation: Resettlement from Flood-Prone Homes in a Major Metropolitan Area.” Social Problems. Online first: https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spab059
- Loughran, Kevin. 2020. “Urban Parks and Urban Problems: An Historical Perspective on Green Space Development as a Cultural Fix.” Urban Studies 57(11): 2321-38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098018763555.
- Loughran, Kevin, and James R. Elliott. 2019. “Residential Buyouts as Environmental Mobility: Examining Where Homeowners Move to Illuminate Social Inequities in Climate Adaptation.” Population and Environment 41(1): 52-70. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11111-019-00324-7.
- Loughran, Kevin. 2015. “The Philadelphia Negro and the Canon of Classical Urban Theory.” Du Bois Review 12(2): 249-67. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742058X15000132
Kevin Loughran's new work is featured in an interviewed in The Grid.
Kevin Loughran published this op-ed,...