Luke Drake

Associate Professor
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
California State University, Northridge
Northridge, California, USA


PhD, Geography
MA, Geography
BS, Business Administration

Honors and Awards

(2019) First Place at CSUN Service Learning Symposium, Office of Community Engagement 

(2014) Totten Fellow at U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service New York City Field Station

Research Interests

My research focuses on the spatial networks that link communities together, and it contributes to knowledge of the relationship between economy, environment, and development. This work is driven by underlying questions of space and place, particularly how communities improve livelihoods by using local resources and also by connecting to other places through networks. Projects have included urban agriculture and farmer’s markets in the U.S. and grassroots disaster response in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu. This has drawn on training in urban geography, political ecology, and geographic information systems.


Drake, L. 2024. Participatory Cartographies for Social Change. In Introducing Human Geographies (4th edition), eds. P. Cloke, K. Dombroski, A. Williams, J. Qian and M. Goodwin. Routledge.

Drake, L., Liunakwalau, H.M. and Hango Hango Community Association, Port Vila, 2022. Locating the traditional economy in Port Vila, Vanuatu: Disaster relief and agrobiodiversity. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 63(1), pp.80-96.

Drake, L. 2020. Visualizing and analyzing diverse economies with GIS: A resource for performative research. In The Handbook of Diverse Economies, (eds.) J.K. Gibson-Graham and K. Dombroski. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Drake, L. 2019. Network analysis of local food in California: A study of farmers’ markets in Los Angeles and their farm supply chains. California Geographer 58: 1-20.

Drake, L. 2019. Surplus labor and subjectivity in urban agriculture: Embodied work, contested work. Economic Geography 95(2), 179-200.

Drake, L., Ravit, B., and Lawson, L. 2016. Developing a vacant property inventory through productive partnerships: A university, NGO, and municipal planning collaboration in Trenton, New Jersey. Cities and the Environment (CATE) 8(2), Article 6. Available at:

Lawson, L., Drake, L., and Fitzgerald, N. 2016. Foregrounding community-building in community food security: A case study of the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market and Esperanza Garden. In Cities of Farmers: Problems, Possibilities and Processes of Producing Food in Cities. Edited by Alfonso Morales and Julie Dawson. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press. Invited chapter.

Drake, L. and Lawson, L. 2015. Best practices in community garden management to address participation, water access, and outreach. Journal of Extension 53 (6)

Drake, L., Ravit, B., Dikidjieva, I., and Lawson, L. 2015. Urban greening supported by GIS: From data collection to policy implementation. AIMS Environmental Science 2(4), 910-934. Invited article.

Drake, L., and Lawson, L. 2015. Results of a U.S. and Canada community garden survey: Shared challenges in garden management amid diverse geographical and organizational contexts. Agriculture and Human Values 32 (2), 241-254

Lawson, L., and Drake, L. 2015. From beets in the Bronx to chard in Chicago: The discourse and practice of growing food in the American city. In Food in the City: Histories of Culture and Cultivation (pp. 143-162). Edited by Dorothée Imbert. Washington D.C.: Harvard University and Dumbarton Oaks

Drake, L. 2014. Governmentality in urban food production: Following “community” from intentions to outcomes. Urban Geography 35 (2), 177-196.

Drake, L., and Lawson, L. 2014. Validating verdancy or vacancy? The relationship of community gardens and vacant lands in the U.S. Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning. 40, Part B (0):133-142.