Joan Fitzgerald is a Professor of Urban and Public Policy at Northeastern University. She focuses on urban climate action and strategies for linking it to equity, economic development, and innovation. In her fourth book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (Oxford Univ. Press, 2020), she argues that the climate strategies of too many cities represent random acts of greenness rather than integrated and aggressive action. She points to leading cities in North America and Europe and offers strategies for lagging cities to accelerate their action. Her ongoing Climate Just Cities Project examines strategies for post-Covid urban climate action to emphasize equity. She blogs on viral inequality and urban climate action on Planetizen.
She previously published Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development (Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), which examined how cities are creating economic development opportunities in several green sectors. Fitzgerald has published in academic journals such as Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, Economic Development Quarterly, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Urban Affairs, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and the political quarterly, The American Prospect. Her academic and consulting work has been supported by the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Sustainable Communities, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, Annie E. Casey, Rockefeller Brothers, Rockefeller, Surdna, Century, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations and the Urban Sustainability Directors’ Network. She has also conducted research for the U.S. Department of Labor, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Boston Housing Authority and other government agencies.
Before coming to Northeastern University, Fitzgerald taught urban planning and policy at the New School University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University.