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The Green City and Social Injustice: Tales from North America and Europe

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Introduce The Green City and Social Injustice book & examine the recent urban environmental trajectory of 21 cities in Europe & N. America.

About this event

In this presentation, we introduce our recent book The Green City and Social Injustice, which examines the recent urban environmental trajectory of twenty-one cities in Europe and North America over a 20 year period. We analyse 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 analysis of core planning, policy, and activist documents and data, our analysis offers a critical view of the growing green planning orthodoxy in the Global North.

About the presenters

Isabelle is the director of BCNUEJ, an ICREA Research Professor, a Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator at ICTA and coordinator of the research group Healthy Cities and Environmental Justice at IMIM. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Studies from Science Po Lille and a Master’s in International Development at the Université de Paris 1 Sorbonne, pursued a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Harvard University and obtained a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT before returning to Europe in 2011 with a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship.

As part of collaborative and individual international research projects, she studies how environmental injustice is materialized and contested. Currently, her focus is on four main research areas: 1) The politics of the green city as a growing global planning orthodoxy; 2) The social and racial manifestations and impacts of green gentrification for historically marginalized residents; 3) Urban planning for health and wellbeing, with a focus on health equity and justice; and 4) Justice and inclusivity in climate adaptation planning, including distributional and procedural insecurities produced by adaptation plans, interventions, and land use configurations and regulations.

James is codirector of BCNUEJ, a BCNUEJ Affiliated Researcher and Assistant Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Northeastern University and obtained a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia University where his research was supported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. His research explores how urban planning and policy serve as an arena for resolving social-ecological conflicts in cities – a key dimension of making cities green and just. He believes that a key challenge faced by cities today is ensuring that the goals of social equity and ecological health are considered in tandem and not traded off against one another.

His research examines green gentrification, urban environmental stewardship and land use politics, particularly the dynamics of coalition building across community development and mainstream environmental coalitions. He is interested in the spatial and political structure of institutions that shape urban environmental land use policy and how these are changed, and explores new applications of spatial analytic techniques for understanding urban socio-environmental processes. He has published widely in academic books and journals.

This event is part of a special 11-session event series hosted by professor Julian Agyeman and Cities@Tufts and sponsored by Tufts University and The Kresge Foundation with media partner Shareable.net.

More information can be found here: www.citiesattufts.com/fall-colloquium-2021

Limited space is available. Pre-registration is highly encouraged.

The Series Hosts:

Cities@Tufts is a cross-disciplinary academic initiative that recognizes Tufts University as a leader in urban studies, urban planning, and sustainability issues. Anchored by the department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, it aims to highlight our impressive contributions in community strategy, civic democracy, ethnographic research, urban and community health, food justice and security, urban politics and economics, social inequalities, and GIS. Cities@Tufts works with students, academics, policymakers and planners, businesses, and community stakeholders to develop cross-disciplinary and cross-sector collaborative and community-based research. We aim to develop solutions to today’s urban challenges and opportunities based not on presupposed notions but on being critical: first asking the right questions.

Shareable is an award-winning nonprofit media outlet, action network, and consultancy. Our mission is to empower communities to share for a more resilient, equitable, and joyful world. We inspire social change by publishing solutions-based journalism, running campaigns, and helping our consulting clients achieve their goals through sharing. For more information visit shareable.net.

The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit kresge.org.


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Shareable is an award-winning nonprofit media outlet, action network, and consultancy that empowers communities to share. In addition to our daily solutions news reporting, we provide a range of services to sharing change makers worldwide including consulting, keynotes, workshops, event support, and editorial projects. Stay in touch through our newsletterFacebookTwitter, or drop us a line: info@shareable.net. 

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