GEOG 442/542 Sustainable Cities: Getting Started

Where to Search

To find reliable sources on your topic, you can use library databases to find journal articles or the library catalog to find books and background information. You can also look at grey literature and other research generated by community resources such as university research centers and scholar networks as well as think tanks. It's usually a good idea to look at sources from all of these arenas in order to get a real sense of what's out there on your topic, how scholars are talking about your topic, and how the people most experiencing a situation are thinking about it.

Developing Search Terms

To begin your search for research articles, consider your research question, and identify the key concepts or variables. Then, brainstorm keywords and terms related to each concept.


Does racism influence where cities build parks

Racism: racial profiling, racial discrimination, residential segregation, redlining, environmental justice, environmental racism

Parks: green space, nature, community gardens 

Build: develop, development, resource distribution, urban growth

Cities: cityurban, Chicago

Generating keywords and related terms will help you start your search. Also, explore subject headings (descriptors) and keywords for articles you find most useful.

Using a Database Tutorial


Profile Photo
Elizabeth Pickard

Related Guides