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Julie L Cidell

Profile picture for Julie L Cidell

Contact Information

251 CAB
605 E Springfield
Champaign, IL 61820

Office Hours

Wed. 2-4 P.M.
Associate Professor


Julie Cidell is a native of the Chicago area with a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota.  She has published papers on airport expansion, the suburban logistics landscape, the geography of chocolate, and green buildings.  She has worked as a transportation engineer in Boston and taught physical geography in northern and southern California.  Currently, she is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her work focuses on critical perspectives on transportation geography.

Research Interests

urban sustainability
urban political ecology

Research Description

At the broadest level, my research in urban, political, and economic geography focuses on urban infrastructure, especially transportation. I ask how local government and individual actors matter in struggles over large-scale infrastructure and policy development and the corresponding environments that are produced. I consider how space and mobility interact to produce places and processes. In so doing, I seek to broaden the study of transportation within the discipline of geography and to understand how changes in urban sustainability go hand in hand with changes in urban governance.


Ph.D., University of Minnesota
M.A., University of Minnesota
B.A., University of Chicago


"Using Arts and Culture to Mitigate the Effects of Transportation Infrastructure" Minnesota Department of Transportation

"Electrification, Emissions, Exposure, and Equity: Community-Driven Scenarios for Freight Vehicle Electrification" U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

"The Conventions of Building Green: The Role of Public Policy in the U.S. Green Building Industry." National Science Foundation

Awards and Honors

Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois, 2012-13
Finalist, Nystrom Award, Association of American Geographers

Additional Campus Affiliations

Head, Geography and Geographic Information Science
Professor, Geography and Geographic Information Science
Professor, Women & Gender in Global Perspectives
Professor, European Union Center
Affiliate, Center for Social & Behavioral Science

Honors & Awards

Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois, 2012-13
Finalist, Nystrom Award, Association of American Geographers

Recent Publications

Cidell, J. (2024). Canals, containers, and corridors: Bringing river geomorphology to North America's largest inland port. Journal of Transport Geography, 115, Article 103819.

Savitzky, S., & Cidell, J. (2023). Whose Streets? Roadway Protests and Weaponised Automobility. Antipode, 55(5), 1479-1495.

Cidell, J. (2022). The frictions of highway protests in U.S. cities and the legislative backlash. Journal of Race, Ethnicity and the City, 3(2), 142-163.

Minn, M., Brady, S., Cidell, J., Ratner, K., & Goetz, A. (2022). Shared-use rail corridors: a comparison of institutional perspectives in the United States and the European Union. Transport Reviews, 42(3), 384-407.

Cidell, J., Acosta-Córdova, J., Pimentel Rivera, A., & Zapata, R. (2021). Critical geographies of transport and mobility: Studying power relations through practice, academia, and activism. Geography Compass, 15(12), Article e12600.

View all publications on Illinois Experts