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Gergely Baics
Basic Information
Barnard College, Columbia University
Associate Professor of History & Urban Studies
3009 Broadway

New York, NY  

Additional Information
About My Work
My scholarly interests are situated within four fields: urban history, American social and economic history, transnational urbanism, and social science history methods. The key site of my research has been 19th-century New York City. I recently published my first book, Feeding Gotham: The Political Economy and Geography of Food in New York, 1790-1860 (Princeton University Press, 2016). I have also published a number of articles on urban food access, land use, and historical GIS in journals such as the Journal of Urban History, Urban History, the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, and Planning Perspectives. I am currently at work on a new book project, entitled Transitional City: Built Environment and Social Distance in New York, 1840s-1890s. My goal is to bring the systematic application of GIS to reexamine a central tenet of American urban history, the transition from walking city to modern metropolis, by focusing on three key issues: land use, residential distance, and transportation. I am also involved in a collaborative research project on mapping Copenhagen in the late 19th to early 20th century, as well as working on developing new methods and metrics for 19th-century urban GIS.
Gergely Baics, Feeding Gotham: The Political Economy and Geography of Food in New York, 1790–1860 (Princeton University Press, 2016).

Recent articles:
Gergely Baics and Leah Meisterlin, “The Grid as Algorithm for Land Use: A Reappraisal of the 1811 Manhattan Grid,” Planning Perspectives 34, no. 3 (2019), 391-414

Gergely Baics and Mikkel Thelle, “Introduction: Meat and the Nineteenth-Century City,” Urban History 45, 2 (2018): 184-92.

Gergely Baics and Leah Meisterlin, “Zoning Before Zoning: Land Use and Density in Mid-Nineteenth-Century New York City,” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106, 5 (2016): 1152-75.

Gergely Baics, “The Geography of Urban Food Retail: Locational Principles of Public Market Provisioning in New York City, 1790-1860,” Urban History 43, 3 (2016): 435-53.

Gergely Baics, “Mapping as Process: Food Access in Nineteenth-Century New York,” Global Urban History (May 2016). Available:

Gergely Baics and Leah Meisterlin, “Old Maps, New Tricks: Historical Maps and Data Visualization,” Urban Omnibus (June 2015). Available:

Gergely Baics, “Meat Consumption in Nineteenth-Century New York: Quantity, Distribution, and Quality, or Notes on the ‘Antebellum Puzzle,’” in Institutions, Innovation, and Industrialization: Essays in Economic History and Development, eds. Avner Greif, Lynne Kiesling, and John V.C. Nye (Princeton University Press, 2015), 97-127.

Gergely Baics, “Is Access to Food a Public Good? Meat Provisioning in Early New York City, 1790-1820,” Journal of Urban History 39, 4 (2013): 643-68.
Professional Associations
Social Science History Association; Urban History Association; European Association for Urban History