Richard Walker’s research covers a broad range of fields in human geography. Walker is well known for his work in economic geography, especially The Capitalist Imperative: Territory, Technology and Industrial Growth (Blackwell, 1989), one of the most cited books in the field. His work as an urban geographer stretches from a dissertation and early articles on suburbanization through essays on the urban landscape to recent debates over the origins of cities and global urbanization. He began his career writing about environmental issues and came back to the subject with his definitive history of the conservation and environmental justice in Northern California, The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area (University of Washington Press, 2007).
Professor Walker is a widely recognized expert on California, a major economic, political and cultural hearth of world capitalism. He has explored the state’s economic development, natural resources, racial conflict and political upheavals.
He has also been an activist in public affairs and on campus, fighting against such monstrosities as the Peripheral Canal, the Gulf War, and the Patriot Act.