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Nate Millington

Research Interests:
urban geography
Political Ecology
Brazil and Latin America
Environmental Hazards
cultural geography

PhD in Geography, University of Kentucky, 2016
MSc in Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010
BA in History and Urban Studies, University of Virginia, 2006


I received my PhD from the department of geography in 2016. I am broadly interested in urban cultural geography, political ecology, and science & technology studies. My specific research interests are concerned with how nature is represented and imagined in the city, and how natural systems intersect with the built environment in interesting ways. In my dissertation, I focus on flooding and urban water management in São Paulo, Brazil. My dissertation analyzes the politics surrounding flood events in the city, the changing paradigms of water management, and the experience of floods on the part of urban residents. With nearly twenty million residents, São Paulo is suggestive of the incredible promise and incredible hardship encountered in so-called megacities, and flooding binds together the city's built environment, its socio-natural environment, and broader structures of class and inequality. I think about the city using a set of theoretical approaches (Urban Political Ecology, Assemblage Theory, Cultural and Historical Geography).   

In addition to my research in Brazil, I am broadly interested in the politics of public spaces and urban nature. I have conducted research in Detroit, Michigan, and recently published an article that analyzes the politics surrounding the High Line in New York City. I am currently a researcher based in Cape Town. 

More generally, I’m fascinated by contemporary urban processes and form, the ways that cities play a double role as what Mike Davis called “coffins of hope,” and histories of architecture and infrastructure. Non-academically, I’m interested in watching movies, pickling things, riding bikes, the wipers, flannel, Wisconsin, walking, spicy food, and bourbon. I also once “starred” in a documentary about working in a parking lot. You can find more about it here: The Parking Lot Movie.

Selected Publications:

Millington, Nate. (2016) “The Taking Places: Book Review of Felipe Correa’s Resource Extraction Urbanism.” Landscape Architecture Magazine, August

Millington, Nate. (2015) “From Urban Scar to ‘park in the sky’: Terrain Vague, Urban Design, and the Remaking of New York City’s High Line Park.” Environment and Planning A 47, 2324-2338.

Millington, Nate. (2013). Post-Industrial Imaginaries: Nature, Representation and Ruin in Detroit, Michigan. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 37(1), 279-296. 

Millington, Nate. (2013). Book Review: Mobile Urbanism: Cities and Policymaking in the Global Age. Journal of Planning Education and Research 33, 130-132.