Urban geography has been a central focus of scholarship in Georgia State University’s geography program for decades. Broadly, urban geographers ask questions about the interaction of social and spatial phenomena in cities, ranging from urban politics, transportation geography, neighborhood identity, urban health disparities, urban political ecology, comparative urbanization, global cities, and third world urbanization.
Currently, Dr. Katherine Hankins contributes to the urban and metropolitan studies concentration in the department, focusing on issues of urban politics, neighborhood activism, and place-making. Dr. Hankins’s work highlights the role of various actors in shaping social and spatial processes at the scale of the neighborhood. She has pursued research projects on the creation of a charter school in a gentrifying neighborhood (the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta), the livability of a large new urbanist development (Atlantic Station in midtown Atlanta), the role of race and class in urban politics that shapes place identity (Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood), and most recently, she is examining the role of faith-motivated actors in shaping under-resourced neighborhoods in the city.