Catherine Brinkley

Catherine Brinkley

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Community & Regional Development


Dr. Brinkley’s research centers around One Health, a concept that considers health shared among humans, animals and the environment. She is a veterinarian (VMD) and a city planner (PhD) who conducts spatial analyses to inform practice. Her work is used internationally by the United National Food Agriculture Organization as well as local communities to guide plans and policies.

Dr. Brinkley’s lab group currently works on two main research projects investigating community food systems and district energy. Their research seeks to answer the broad question: how do food systems reorient diets and land-uses? Their findings are published in leading planning journals. 

Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2018); a Fulbright Fellowship (2005); and a Watson Fellowship (2004).

Research Interests

  • Planning for Healthy Communities
    • Food Security: healthy food access, diet-related health, land-use planning
    • Community Energy: planning for distributed energy solutions, sustainable development


Select Publications

Brinkley, C. (2018). The Small World of the Alternative Food Network.

Brinkley, C. (2017). Visualizing the social and geographical embeddedness of local food systems. Journal of Rural Studies54, 314-325. 

Brinkley, C. (2017). Fringe Benefits: Adding Rugosity to the Urban Interface in Theory and Practice. Journal of Planning Literature, 0885412217726772.

Brinkley, C., Raj, S., & Horst, M. (2017). Culturing Food Deserts: Recognizing the Power of Community-Based Solutions. Built Environment43(3), 328-342.

 Vaarst, M, Escudero, A.G.; M. Chappell, J.; BrinkleyC.; Nijbroek, R. Arraes, N.A.M.; Andreasen, L. et al. (2017) "Exploring the concept of agroecological food systems in a city-region context." Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems: 1-26.

Brinkley, C. (2014). Decoupled: successful planning policies in countries that have reduced per capita GHG emissions with continued economic growth, Environment and Planning C. 32(6): 1083-1099.

Vitiello, D and Brinkley, C (2014). Hidden History of Food System Planning, Journal of Planning History. 13(2): 91-112.

Brinkley, C and Vitiello, D (2014). From Farm to Nuisance: Animal Agriculture and the Rise of Planning Regulation, Journal of Planning History. 13(2): 113-135.

Brinkley, C, Chrisinger, B, and Hillier, A. (2013). Tradition of Healthy Food Access in Low-income Neighborhoods: Price and Variety of Produce Vending Compared to Conventional Retail, Journal of Agriculture Food Systems and Community Development. 41(11): 155-169.

Brinkley, C. (2013): Avenues into Food Planning: A Review of Scholarly Food System Research, International Planning Studies. 18(2): 243-266.

Brinkley, C., Birch, E., and Keating, A. (2013). Feeding cities: Charting a research and practice agenda toward food security. Journal of Agriculture, Planning, Food Systems and Community Development. 34(8): 81-87.

Brinkley, C. (2012). Evaluating the Benefits of Peri-Urban Agriculture. Journal of Planning Literature. 27(3). 259-269.



Veterinary Medical Degree. University of Pennslyvania.


Ph.D., City and Regional Planning. University of Pennslyvania.


M.S., Virology. Göteborg University, Sweden.


B.A., Biology and Russian Area Studies. Wellesley College.

Curriculum Vitae

Faculty CV