Yuki Kato is an urban sociologist whose research interests intersect the subfields of social stratification, food and environment justice, culture and consumption, and symbolic interaction. She has conducted research on the rise of urban agricultural cultivation and the alternative food movement in post-Katrina New Orleans, with a particular focus on food access disparity, spatial and social landscape of alternative food activism, and contested meanings of local during a major urban transformation. Her new research project examines the role of social entrepreneurs working on Environmental and Food Justice work in a gentrifying city. She also has another project underway that explores the impacts of urban agricultural policies in spurring and sustaining urban gardening and farming activities in North American cities.
She is writing a book, Cultivating the City: Urban Agriculture in Post-Katrina New Orleans, based on in-depth interviews with urban growers and activists and archival data. It examines when and how urban agriculture emerges in the city, and why gardening and farming have come to symbolize a panacea for a range of urban issues.
Her co-edited book with Alison H Alkon and Joshua Sbicca, Taste of Gentrification, is forthcoming from the NYU Press in 2020.