Daniel Aldana Cohen, Ph.D

Daniel Aldana Cohen

Assistant Professor of SociologyDirector, Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2


Office: McNeil 251


Ph.D. Sociology, New York University, 2016

B.A. Intellectual History and International Development Studies, McGill University, 2005

Research Interests

Daniel Aldana Cohen is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2. He is also a Senior Fellow at Data for Progress. In 2018-19, he was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (2018-19). He is the co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green Deal. He is currently completing a book project called Street Fight: Climate Change and Inequality in the 21st Century City, under contract with Princeton University Press, to be published in 2021. His research and writing have appeared in NaturePublic CultureThe International Journal of Urban and Regional ResearchThe GuardianThe NationJacobinDissent, and elsewhere.

He works on the politics of climate change, investigating the intersections of climate change, housing, political economy, social movements, and inequalities of race and social class in the United States and Brazil. And he is working on Green New Deal policy development, including the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, through collaborations between (SC)2, the McHarg CenterData for Progress, People’s Action’s Homes Guarantee campaign (where he serve on the policy committee), and several progressive members of Congress.

Select recent publications:


Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen, and Thea Riofrancos. 2019. A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal. New York and London: Verso Books.

(Note: More frequently updated publications, as well as writing for a non-specialist audience, available here.)

Journal articles:

Rice, Jennifer, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Joshua Long, Jason Jurjevich. 2019. Contradictions of the Climate‐Friendly City: New Perspectives on Eco‐Gentrification and Housing JusticeInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Online first. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12740

Cohen, Daniel Aldana. 2018. Water Crisis and Eco-Apartheid in São Paulo: Beyond Naive Optimism About Climate-Linked Disasters. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. “Spotlight on Parched Cities, Parched People” series. November.

Wachsmuth, David, Daniel Aldana Cohen, and Hillary Angelo. 2016. Expand the frontiers of urban sustainability. Nature, 536:7618, 391-393. DOI: 10.1038/536391a

Cohen, Daniel Aldana. 2016. The Rationed City: The politics of water, housing, and land use in drought-parched São Paulo. Public Culture, 28:2, 261-289.

Cohen, Daniel Aldana and Max Liboiron. 2016. New York’s Two Sandys. Metropolics. 20 October 2014.

Book chapters:

Cohen, Daniel Aldana. In press, out June 2019. Working-Class Environmentalism. In Klinenberg, Eric, Caitlin Zaloom, and Sharon Marcus eds. Antidemocracy in America: Truth, Power, and the Republic at Risk, New York: Columbia University Press.

Cohen, Daniel Aldana. 2017. The Other Low-Carbon Protagonists: Poor People’s Movements and Climate Politics in São Paulo. Pp 140-157. In Miriam Greenberg and Penny Luce eds. The City is the Factory: New Solidarities and Spatial Strategies in an Urban Age. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Cohen, Daniel Aldana. 2017. Urban Policy and Planning for Climate Change. In Alison Bain and Linda Peake eds. Urbanization In A Global Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 155-169.

Cohen, Daniel Aldana. 2016. Petro-Gotham, People’s Gotham. In Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Shapiro eds. Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas. Berkeley: University of California Press, 47-54.

White papers and other scholarly writing:

Cohen, Daniel Aldana, Thea Riofrancos, Billy Fleming, Jason Ganz. 2020. Green Industrial Policy for Domestic and Global Climate Justice is Popular. Polling Memo. Data for Progress. March 13.

Billy Fleming, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Nick Graetz, Katie Lample, Alexandra Lillehei, Kira McDonald, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Mark Paul. 2019. Public Housing At Risk: Adaptation through a Green New Deal. Research Report. Data for Progress. December 16.

Daniel Aldana Cohen, Billy Fleming, Kira McDonald, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Nick Graetz, Katie Lample, Alexandra Lillehei, Mark Paul, Anunya Bahanda. 2019. A Green New Deal for American Public Housing Communities. Research Report. Data for Progress. November 22.

Daniel Aldana Cohen, Billy Fleming, Kira McDonald, Nick Graetz, Mark Paul, Alexandra Lillehei, Katie Lample, Julian Brave NoiseCat. 2019. A Green New Deal for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Communities. Research Report. Data for Progress. November 14.

Sean McElwee, John Ray, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Julian Brave NoiseCat. 2019. The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act Can Stand Up to Scrutiny. Polling Memo. Data for Progress. November 14.

Daniel Aldana Cohen, Tara Raghuveer, Sean McElwee, Jack Nicol, John Ray. 2019. The Green Homes Guarantee is PopularPolling Memo. Data for Progress. October 19.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2019. Mitigate Housing and Climate Risk through a Green New Deal for Housing. Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center. September 10.


Daniel Aldana Cohen, Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Thea Riofrancos. 2019. For a Global Green New Deal. In Road Map to a Green New Deal: 3.N Internationalism. Common Wealth. London, July, pp 4-11.

Cohen, Daniel Aldana and Kevin Ummel. 2019. Follow the Carbon: The Case for Neighborhood-Level Carbon Footprints. Policy Digest. Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. July 2.

Paprocki, Kasia, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Rebecca Elliott and Liz Koslov. 2019. The Useful Discomfort of Critical Climate Social Science. In SSRC Items. May 7.

Cohen, Daniel Aldana. 2018. Climate Justice and the Right to the City. White Paper. Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Penn Institute for Urban Research, and Perry World House, at the University of Pennsylvania. <penniur.upenn.edu/uploads/media/Cohen.pdf>

Bergren, Erin, Jessica Coffey, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Ned Crowley, Liz Koslow, Max Liboiron, Alexis Merdjanoff, Adam Murphree, and David Wachsmuth. 2013. “A Tale of Two Sandys.” White paper. Superstorm Research Lab. New York. <http://superstormresearchlab.org/white-paper>


Public writing:

Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Thea Riofrancos. 2020. We Can Waste Another Crisis, or We Can Transform the EconomyJacobin. March 14.

Daniel Aldana Cohen and Julian Brave NoiseCat. 2019. Bernie and AOC’s Green New Deal for Public Housing Act Would Transform AmericaThe Nation. November 14.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2019. A Successful Climate Plan Must Also Tackle the Housing Crisis. The Guardian. October 1.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2019. Eco-Apartheid is RealThe Nation. July 26.

Kasia Paprocki, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Rebecca Elliott and Liz Koslov. 2019. The Useful Discomfort of Critical Climate Social Science. In SSRC Items. May 7.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2019. A Green New Deal for Housing. Jacobin. February 8.

Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen, and Thea Riofrancos. 2019. A Green New Deal can give us the freedoms to allow humanity to flourishThe Guardian. February 7.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2018. Stop Eco-Apartheid: The Left’s Challenge in Bolsonaro’s Brazil. Dissent magazine. November 14.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2018. Apocalyptic Climate Reporting Completely Misses the Point: Recent news commentary ignored the UN climate report’s cautiously optimistic findings. The Nation. November 2.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2017. Working Class Environmentalism. Public Books, The Big Picture series. November 16.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2017. The Last StimulusJacobin magazine. New York: Summer, 86-98.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2017. It Gets Wetter. Dissent magazine. New York: July 1, 6-11.


Book Reviews:

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2019. Review: Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds, by Sara Ann Wylie. In American Journal of Sociology, (124)6, 1862-1864.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2018. Review: Marxist Thought and the City, by Henri LefebvreCity & Community (17)2: 525-527. 

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2018. Review: Benjamin R. Barber. Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global WarmingJournal of World-Systems Research. (24)1: 227-229.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2016. Time to Pull the Plug on Urban Fossil Consumption. Review of Andreas Malm’s Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming. Verso Books blog. May 17.

Daniel Aldana Cohen. 2015. Forget Fertility, Get FeralReview essay of George Monbiot’s Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea, and Human Life. Public Books. 1 February.