John I. Gilderbloom

Professor of Urban Planning and Director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods, University of Louisville

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About John

Gilderbloom’s primary areas of research are housing, community development, urban policy in radical cities (Amsterdam/Havana), green/sustainable urbanism, advanced research methods/statistics, and experiential learning in graduate education. His research has earned him numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career, including being ranked one of the “Top 100 Urban Thinkers in the World.” He has conducted extensive research and published widely on rent control and tenants’ rights and on the development of affordable, accessible, and attractive housing for all – and for poor or otherwise marginalized neighborhoods in particular. Gilderbloom acted as a consultant for the Clinton administration on various projects. In his position at the University of Louisville, he enjoys working with motivated and creative graduate students who love to publish cutting edge research.


How Environmental Toxins Reduce Life Expectancy in Many American Neighborhoods

  • John I. Gilderbloom

In the News

Opinion: "How Many More Children Must Be Hurt by Pollution?," John I. Gilderbloom (with Gregory D. Squires and Isaiah Kingsberry), Center for Primary Care Harvard Medical School, March 3, 2021.
Opinion: "Pollution Is a Form of Racial Injustice Crippling Western Louisville," John I. Gilderbloom (with Gregory D. Squires, LaGlenda Reed, Dwan Turner, and Michael Brazley), Courier Journal, January 28, 2021.
Opinion: "Pollution in Black Neighborhoods Part of Louisville’s Systemic Racism," John I. Gilderbloom (with Gregory D. Squires, Robert P. Friedland, and Dwan Turner), Courier Journal, June 25, 2020.
Research discussed by Alfred Miller, in "Reviving the Neighborhood May be as Easy as Painting Your Home Pink," Louisville Courier Journal, October 9, 2018.
Research discussed by Lexy Gross, in "4 Reasons Two-Way Streets are Better," Courier-Journal, February 26, 2016.
Quoted by Eric Jaffe in "The Many Benefits of Making One-Way Streets Two-Way," Citylab, July 20, 2015.
Opinion: "Study Found PVA Assessments Fair," John I. Gilderbloom, Courier-Journal, May 14, 2015.
Quoted by Emily Badger in "Why One-Way Streets are Bad for Everyone but Speeding Cars," The Washington Post, April 17, 2015.
Opinion: "'Two-Ways' to Fix Our Neighborhoods," John I. Gilderbloom (with William Riggs), Planetizen, April 8, 2015.
Quoted by Richard Florida in "Walkability is Good for You," Citylab, December 11, 2014.


"Investors: The Missing Piece in the Foreclosure Racial Gap Debate" (with Joshua D. Ambrosius, Gregory D. Squires, Matthew J. Hankla, and Zachary E. Kenitzer). Journal of Urban Affairs 34, no. 5 (2012): 559-582.
Examines how speculation by investors in majority African-American neighborhoods along with degree of walkability and the concentration of high-priced loans have contributed to recent increases in foreclosures and variation across neighborhoods. Together, the findings demonstrate that these three factors help to better explain the contemporary causes of greater foreclosures in African-American neighborhoods.
"Invisible City: Housing, Poverty and New Urbanism" (University of Texas Press, 2008).
Draws on fascinating case studies in Houston, Louisville, and New Orleans, and analyzes census information as well as policy reports to offer a comprehensive, engaging, and optimistic theory of how housing can be remade with a progressive vision.
"Promise and Betrayal: The University and the Battle for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods " (with R. L. Mullins and Jr.) (State University of New York Press, 2005).
Details how higher education institutions can play an important role in helping to revitalize our poor neighborhoods by forming partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit groups; advocates leaving the "ivory tower" and supplying the community with expert knowledge as well as creative and technical resources.
"Community Versus Commodity: Tenants and the American City" (with Stella M. Capek) (State University of New York Press, 1992).
Examines the progressives as a movement coming to power, investigates progressive housing policies once in power and offers a wealth of information about tenant behavior and attitudes.
"Rethinking Rental Housing " (with Richard P. Appelbaum) (Temple University Press, 1987).
Challenges conventional assumptions concerning the operation of housing markets and provide policy alternatives directed at the needs of low- and moderate-income families. Includes a discussion of tenant movements that have tried to implement community values in opposition to values of development and landlord capital.
Rent Control: A Source Book (Foundation for National Progress, Housing Information Center, 1981).
Isolates the effects of rent control by systematically examining a comparable set of rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled cities and by adequately controlling for potentially confounding effects.