Savannah Cox

City and Regional Planning,
University of California, Berkeley
CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Designated Emphasis in STS
Affiliation period: November 2018 -
Advisor(s)Stephen Collier and Sarah Vaughn
Degrees MA International Affairs :: The New School
BA Political Science and Spanish :: Bellarmine University

I study the technologies and forms of expertise that cities use to constitute climate change as a problem that requires intervention. Specifically, I examine how these instruments—such as catastrophe models, financial risk assessments and ratings, and flood maps—become authoritative to urban planners, as well as the assumptions and values that often undergird them. As planners typically employ these tools to inform future land use decisions and infrastructure investments, interventions inspired by the use of these devices inevitably interact with existing political and social terrains whose unique histories, possibilities, and needs may often go unaddressed or misunderstood by city officials. Thus, in my research I am equally invested in interrogating how climate risk-driven planning may incite (or attempt to curtail) novel forms of segregation, political claims- and counter claims-making, and insurgent citizenship in climate-changing cities. As a former journalist, I am deeply committed to producing work that is useful for activists, planners, journalists, researchers, and members of the general public who wish to better understand, and perhaps re-shape, the ways that cities often think, see, and act with respect to climate change.

last updated: April 17th, 2020