Neil Smith (geographer)

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Neil Smith is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Geography and Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. In 2009 he will have a 10% appointment as Sixth Century Professor of Geography and Social Theory, University of Aberdeen, in his native Scotland. He received his B.Sc. from the writing jobs in University of St. Andrews, and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University where he studied with David Harvey. Formerly, the Robert Lincoln McNeil Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, he has also taught at Columbia University and at Rutgers University, where he was chair of the geography department from 1991 to 1994 and a senior fellow at the Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture.

His research explores the broad intersection between space, nature, social theory and history, including trenchant analysis of Americian geopolitics. His major work of social theory (Smith 1984) proposed that uneven spatial development is a function of the logic of capital markets and processes, and thus society and economies 'produce' space.[1] [2] He is credited with some of the most convincing theories of inner city gentrification, arguing the process is driven by land prices and urban speculation rather than cultural preference for inner city living (Smith 1979, 1986, 1996). His 1979 article has been cited over 300 times.

Main Publications


  • 2006 The Politics of Public Space, Routledge (with Setha Low)
  • 2005 Endgame of Globalization, Routledge
  • 2002 American Empire: Roosevelt's Geographer and the Prelude to Globalization. University of California Press. (winner, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography)
  • 2000 Globalización: Transformaciones Urbanas, Precarización social Y Discriminación De Género, (with Cindi Katz). Nueva Grafica, S.A.L. La Cuesta, La Laguna
  • 1996 The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City. Routledge.
  • 1994 Geography and Empire: Critical Studies in the History of Geography, Basil Blackwell, Oxford (edited with Anne Godlewska)
  • 1986 Gentrification of the City, George, Allen and Unwin, London (edited with Peter Williams)
  • 1984 Uneven Development: Nature, Capital and the Production of Space. Basil Blackwell. 2nd Edition 1990.


  • 2003 Foreword, pp vii-xxiii in Urban Revolution by Henri Lefebvre. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • 2003 "Geographies of Substance" in Envisioning Human Geography, Paul Cloke, Philip Crang, and Mark Goodwin, eds.
  • 2003 "Gentrification Generalized: From Local Anomaly to Urban 'Regeneration' as Global Urban Strategy" in Frontiers of Capital: Ethnographic Reflections on the New Economy, M. Fisher and G. Downey, eds.
  • 2003 "Generalizing Gentrification" in Retours en ville, Catherine Bidou, Daniel Hiernaux, and Helene Riviere D'Arc, eds. Paris: Descartes & Cie. January.
  • 2002 "Scale Bending" in Rethinking Scale, E. Sheppard and R. McMaster, eds.
  • 2002 "Remaking Scale: Competition and Cooperation in Prenational and Postnational Europe" in State/Spaces.
  • 2002 "Scales of Terror: The Manufacturing of Nationalism and the War for U.S. Globalism," pp 97-108 in After the World Trade Center, Sharon Zukin and Michael Sorkin, eds. New York: Routledge.
  • 2002 "New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy," Antipode 34(3): 434-457. Reprinted in Neo-Liberal Urbanism, Neil Brenner and Nik Theodore, eds. Malden, MA: Basil Blackwell.
  • 2002 "Ashes and Aftermath," Studies in Political Economy 67. Spring issue, pp 7-12.
  • 2002 "Ashes and AFtermath," Philosophy & Geography 5(1): 9-12.
  • 2002 "Kontinuum New York," pp 72-86 in Die Stadt Als Event, Regina Bittner, ed. Dessau, Bauhaus.
  • 1979 "Toward a Theory of Gentrification A Back to the City Movement by Capital, not People" Journal of the American Planning Association 45: 4, pp 538-548. DOI: 10.1080/01944367908977002


  1. Patrick Bond. 1999. What is Uneven Development?. In P.O'Hara (Ed), The Encyclopaedia of Political Economy, London, Routledge.
  2. Neil Smith, The Production of Space.

External links