Joan Fitzgerald focuses on urban climate governance and the connections between urban sustainability and economic development and innovation in European and North American Cities. She is working on her fourth book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (Oxford Univ. Press, 2018). Her third book, Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development (Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), examines how cities are creating economic development opportunities in several green sectors and discusses the state and national policy needed to support these efforts. Fitzgerald has published in academic journals such as Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Local Environment, Economic Development Quarterly, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Urban Affairs, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and the political quarterly, The American Prospect.
Her courses include Cities, Sustainability and Climate Change and Urban Revitalization at the graduate level, and an undergraduate course, Introduction to Law, Policy and Society. Before coming to Northeastern University, Joan taught urban planning and policy at the New School University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University.