Gordon Douglas is the Associate Director of IPK and a postdoctoral research fellow. He works to develop new research and programming initiatives, and is a liaison between IPK and its many partners across the university and the globe. As an urban sociologist, Gordon is also conducting research on urban policy, planning, and development in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and their implications for local identity, social justice, and inequality.
Much of Gordon’s research concerns people’s relationships to their physical surroundings in the contexts of urban processes ranging from gentrification to climate change. At NYU, he is conducting fieldwork and policy analysis for areas severely flooded during Hurricane Sandy and examining the storm’s impact on local identity, economic development, and people’s changing relationship to the water. He is collaborating on several projects concerning the social inequalities of extreme weather vulnerability and shifting attitudes toward climate change and resilience efforts throughout the Sandy-affected region. Other recent studies have focused on the cultural geographies of “first-wave” gentrification; how community character influences urban development projects; and the role that mass transit can play in promoting neighborhood identity. His forthcoming book concerns people who create unauthorized but functional and civic-minded “do-it-yourself urban design” contributions and what these informal improvement efforts tell us about the state of the contemporary city. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2014.