PhD Candidate, Urban Planning and Policy
Andrea Craft is a doctoral student in UIC's department of Urban Planning and Policy. Andrea is interested in the politics of economic development, centering on community responses to how cities finance development projects. Their current research examines the potential for governmental transparency - through disclosure policies and the open data movement - to advance more equitable economic development goals and to build accountability to the public.
Andrea holds a M.A. in Geography from the University of Kentucky, where they conducted research on participatory planning for public housing redevelopment in their hometown of Memphis, TN. Their B.A. thesis at DePaul University was a critical mapping of Chicago's queer spaces and an examination of the use of gay cultural capital for urban development goals.
Andrea's research aims to critically interrogate the techniques of democratic participation and representation, particularly by uncovering the politics inherent in technology and its application to urban governance. This work is particularly important as cities invest in tech-based infrastructure and services, and increasingly collect and probe data for solutions to the long-standing political, economic, and social concerns of urban life.
Prior to academia, Andrea worked for several years for a Chicago-based economic development consulting firm. In their free time, Andrea organizes gender-neutral folk dances, is a contra dance caller, and raises chickens in their backyard.