Hammelman To Study Urban Foodscapes With NSF CAREER Award

Colleen Hammelman, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, has received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Grant to study population change and gentrification in urban foodscapes.

With her five-year funding, which is expected to total $461,555, Hammelman will investigate the impact of changing urban economies on landscapes created and used by underrepresented populations. Her  research broadly considers questions of social justice in urban food systems.

Urban landscapes in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Washington, DC have seen new investments as a result of dense, modern, transit-oriented development and an influx of upscale coffee, grocery, and other food retail establishments. These investments have the potential to change settlement and entrepreneurship patterns, such as through rising rent for homes and small businesses.

Colleen Hammelman

Through the illustrative lens of food systems analysis, this project will systematically investigate the ways that restaurants, groceries, food trucks, and other elements are changing urban landscapes; where and how new foodscapes are constructed; and the implications of this relocation on cultural, social, and economic outcomes for diverse groups.

This longitudinal and comparative project will analyze demographic and property data, as well as data generated by gentrification field surveys, in-depth interviews, and interactive community forums with key stakeholders. It will also engage students in landscape surveys and in contributing in-depth StoryMaps to a digital database. Research results will make visible the impacts of development decisions on diverse communities while also advancing theory in urban geography and food studies.

This project also will broaden participation in STEM while educating undergraduate and graduate students in geographic research. Hammelman will share results with social service providers, community organizations, and local government agencies, with implications for human health and wellbeing.

Hammelman earned a doctoral degree in geography and urban Studies from Temple University, a master’s degree in international affairs from American University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and technical journalism from Colorado State University.