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Yuki Kato

Associate Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University
Areas of Expertise:

About Yuki

Kato's research focuses on urban agriculture, post-disaster recovery, grassroots social movements, public spaces, and food insecurity. Overarching themes in Kato's writing include food justice, environmental justice, cultural meanings of places, generational disconnects, and green gentrification. Kato is active in DC Food Policy Council's Urban Agriculture Working Group.

In the News

Opinion: "City Park Should Embrace, Not Destroy, Grow Dat Youth Farm," Yuki Kato (with Jeanne Firth), Verite News, April 3, 2024.


"Pandemic Gardening: Variant Adaptations to COVID-19 Disruptions by Community Gardens, School Gardens, and Urban Farms" (with Caroline Boules). Journal of Urban Affairs (2022): 1-21.

Examines the responses of different types of urban agriculture to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the DC metropolitan area. Findings reveal significant differences in the immediate impacts, with community gardens experiencing the least disruption and urban farms implementing the most varied adaptation strategies. Underscores the importance of acknowledging the diversity of urban agriculture in assessing its capacity for transformation and potential.

"Gardening in Times of Urban Transitions: Emergence of Entrepreneurial Cultivation in Post–Katrina New Orleans" City & Community 19, no. 4 (2020): 987-1010.

Explores how urban farming grew in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, especially focusing on entrepreneurial urban cultivation (UC) projects. Findings indicate that the reasons for starting cultivation projects shifted from social missions to economic interests over time, as the city transitioned from recovery to redevelopment. Suggests that while growers tended to view themselves as alternative to the dominant political–economic system, they also benefitted from the market–driven redevelopment of the city that expanded UC opportunities.

"A Recipe for Gentrification" (with Alison H. Alkon and Joshua Sbicca) (NYU Press, 2020).

Offers insights into gentrification across various cities, exploring the roles of food enterprises such as restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers' markets. Examines why gentrification occurs and how communities utilize food initiatives to resist displacement. Unpacks the consequences for vulnerable people and neighborhoods, highlighting how food practices reflect the rapid and contentious changes in American cities in the twenty-first century.