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David Wilson

Profile picture for David Wilson

Contact Information

235 CAB
605 E Springfield
Champaign, IL 61820



David Wilson is currently investigating projects pivoting around the political economy of the U.S. and global north city. Specific projects examine the politics of urban growth regimes in these cities, the politics of competing discourses that generate gentrified neighborhoods and poverty communities, and the racializing of the contemporary urban issues of crime and city growth. Professor Wilson has served on the editorial boards of Urban Geography, Professional Geographer, Social and Cultural Geography, Syracuse University Press (Society, Space, and Place Book Series), Inter-Cultural Studies, the International Encyclopedia of Human Geography project and ACME: International Journal for Critical Geography.

David has been a visiting scholar at universities in China, Germany, and Canada. He was recently listed in a global study of urban geographers (The Professional Geographer) as the eleventh most productive scholar in this field in the world.

Research Interests

Political Economy of Global North Cities 
Urban Political Processes
Cultural Studies of Global North Cities
Social Theory and the Built Environment
Qualitative Methods 


Ph.D., Rutgers University
B.A., State University of New York at Albany

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Geography and Geographic Information Science
Professor, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Professor, African American Studies

Recent Publications

Wilson, D. (2023). Existential capitalism and gentrification in pandemic times. Human Geography(United Kingdom), 16(3), 334-342.

Schwarze, T., & Wilson, D. (2022). Silencing, Urban Growth Machines, and the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago's South Side. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, 4, Article 835674.

Wilson, D., & Heil, M. (2022). Decline machines and economic development: rust belt cities and Flint, Michigan. Urban Geography, 43(2), 163-183.

Wilson, D. (2022). People as infrastructure politics in global north cities: Chicago’s South Side. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 40(1), 165-179.

Wilson, D., & Jonas, A. (2021). The people as infrastructure concept: appraisal and new directions. Urban Geography, 42(9), 1333-1340.

View all publications on Illinois Experts