Shannon Sweeney

Benjamin F. Teresa


Dissertation Topic/Title: The Politics of Speculation in Multifamily Housing in New York City


Advisor: Kathe Newman


Previous Degrees: M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago, Urban Planning and Policy, 2008; B.S., Davidson College, Chemistry, 2004 .


Contact Information



Research Interest

I am interested in processes of financialization—the growing importance of financial actors, instruments, and logics—in urban development and government. My dissertation research explores speculation in low income and rent-regulated multifamily housing in New York City, investment that displaced tenants through rent increases and physical deterioration of buildings. The study focuses on how what I call the “politics of value”—the support and government of financial value by financial and state institutions and its contestation by community actors—unfolds through the buying and selling of multifamily housing based on the expectation of higher rent and investment return.


A second research project involves the role of planners within the entrepreneurial state, which assumes all urban development projects that lead to economic growth are unambiguously valuable. I explore how planners navigate this planning bias through the practice of using Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to subsidize corporate headquarters relocation in downtown Chicago. This case shows how the project-based planning of the entrepreneurial strategy emphasizes planners’ roles as technical experts and negotiators, but can also constrain planners from assessing the prudence of the assumptions underlying the entrepreneurial paradigm.


Teaching and TA Experience


Complete Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)