John Garrard Stehlin
PhD, Geography, 2015
Designated Emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies
University of California, Berkeley
I received my PhD in Geography in 2015 from the University of California, Berkeley, with a research focus that combines urban geography, political economy, and critical social theory to understand contemporary processes of urban change in North American cities. After graduating from Vassar College in 2004 with a degree in Political Science and Hispanic Studies, I moved to Philadelphia, where I worked as a bicycle mechanic at a shop serving a culturally and economically diverse world of cyclists at a time that the public image of cycling as a white, middle class activity was growing. My experiences there would go on to inform my dissertation, Business Cycles: Race, Gentrification & the Production of Bicycle Space in the San Francisco Bay Area, which I am now revising and expanding as a book.
My next long-term research project takes the core concerns of my previous work in new directions. It investigates the global dimensions of the emerging normative ideal of “world class” urban design focused specifically on sustainable mobility, political contests surrounding their implementation in cities of North America, and new initiatives to weave street redesign into development policy throughout the global South.
I currently live in Oakland, California, where I remain a bicycle mechanic and avid cyclist, as well as an occasional college radio DJ.