The Green City and Social Injustice
21 Tales from North America and Europe
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Ltd
Published:30th Nov '21
Available for immediate dispatch.
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This book examines the recent urban environmental trajectory of 21 cities in Europe and North America over a 20 year period. It analyses the circumstances under which greening interventions can create a new set of inequalities for socially vulnerable residents while also failing to eliminate other environmental risks and impacts.
The Green City and Social Injustice examines the recent urban environmental trajectory of 21 cities in Europe and North America over a 20-year period. It analyses the circumstances under which greening interventions can create a new set of inequalities for socially vulnerable residents while also failing to eliminate other environmental risks and impacts.
Based on fieldwork in ten countries and on the analysis of core planning, policy and activist documents and data, the book offers a critical view of the growing green planning orthodoxy in the Global North. It highlights the entanglements of this tenet with neoliberal municipal policies including budget cuts for community initiatives, long-term green spaces and housing for the most fragile residents; and the focus on large-scale urban redevelopment and high-end real estate investment. It also discusses hopeful experiences from cities where urban greening has long been accompanied by social equity policies or managed by community groups organizing around environmental justice goals and strategies.
The book examines how displacement and gentrification in the context of greening are not only physical but also socio-cultural, creating new forms of social erasure and trauma for vulnerable residents. Its breadth and diversity allow students, scholars and researchers to debunk the often-depoliticized branding and selling of green cities and reinsert core equity and justice issues into green city planning—a much-needed perspective. Building from this critical view, the book also shows how cities that prioritize equity in green access, in secure housing and in bold social policies can achieve both environmental and social gains for all.
"Based on comparative case studies, this important addition to the literature on environmental justice exposes the conflicts arising from plans for ecological improvements. The authors address how the seemingly positive effect of producing green amenities in low-income neighborhoods often leads to displacement of residents. They show how neoliberal competition for creative industries contributes to injustice, which its progenitors rationalize as producing generally desirable benefits to the urban landscape. They also describe ways by which mobilized, working-class citizens can confront the forces of gentrification while also bringing about improvements in their neighborhoods. Bringing together careful analyses of greening efforts in 21 European and North American cities, this book points to the variety of greening policies and their consequences for spatial equity."
Susan S. Fainstein, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Author, The Just City
"As sustainable urbanism gathers pace, a troubling question arises – is greening the city doing more harm than good? This book cuts to the heart of the issue, drawing on stories of urban sustainability and its potential injustices from around the world. Together, these cases demonstrate the vital importance of facing the uncomfortable truth that urban sustainability can lead to widening social inequalities and gives us the means to start ensuring that we are building just transitions."
Harriet Bulkeley, Professor of Geography, Durham University
"This impressive, international comparison of 21 cases of urban greening systematically illustrates the social costs of glitzy green urbanism, the compounded impacts of urban greening in post-industrial environments, the re-creation of unjust racialized landscapes, the complexities of intertwining gentrification processes, and green justice victories. This is essential reading for activists and scholars interested in creating a new tale for urban greening that incorporates all people’s rights to a healthy environment."
Professor Kenneth A. Gould and Professor Tammy L. Lewis, Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, City University of New York