Prof. Gerald R. PATCHELL

PhD in Geography, Simon Fraser University

Associate Professor
Division of Social Science
Division of Environment and Sustainability
Division of Public Policy


Economic geography
Sustainable development
Environment and society
Regional integration


HBA, MA Western Ontario; PhD Simon Fraser

“I don’t do business that don’t make me smile.” Jimmy Buffett

Therefore, I teach courses on the environment and do research that integrates environmental issues with fun economic activities. To do so, I reoriented my training in economic geography to incorporate the environment and broaden my range of topic areas. I teach courses on sustainable development, environment and business, and environmental governance. I also teach a course on Japan because that’s where I’ve done most of my research and because my sons love sushi.

My research focus is on how competitors cooperate in inter-firm relations, in local and regional settings, in the global commons, and in support of sustainable development. My topic areas include competitive-cooperative relations in the robot, electric vehicle, Japanese houses, precious wood, multi-media, wine, and skiing industries. I’ve also delved into theory. Some of this research has been more fun than others.


  • 2004, "High tech 'Large Firms' in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia: Congregation without Clustering?", [co-authored with Hayter, R, Rees, K], in R B Le Heron and J W Harrington eds. New Economic Spaces, New Economic Geographies. London: Ashgate.

  • 2003, "Governance for University-Industry Collaboration in Hong Kong",[co-authored with Tony Eastham], in Roel Rutten, Frans Boekema, and Elsa Kuijpers (eds.) Universities, Knowledge Infrastructure and the Learning Region. London:Routledge.

  • 2002, "Linking Production and Consumption: The co-evolution of interaction systems in the Japanese house industry", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 92 pp. 284-301.

  • 1999, "Creating the Japanese Electric Vehicle Industry: the challenges of uncertainty and cooperation", Environment & Planning A, vol. 31 pp. 997-1016.

  • 1997, "Japanese Precious Wood and the Paradoxes of Added Value", [co-authored with Roger Hayter], Geographical Review, vol. 87 (3) pp. 375-395.

  • 1996, "Kaleidoscope Economies: cooperation, competition and control in regional development", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 86 (3), pp. 481-506.

  • 1993, "From Production Systems to Learning Systems: lessons from Japan", Environment and Planning A, Vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 797-815