Social and Environmental Justice in Urban Greening

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM (MDT)
Room: Zulu, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Organizers: Jonah White
Chairs: Jonah White


As deindustrialization continues across urban areas in the United States, many cities embrace urban greening as an economic development tool and way to improve overall livability and quality of life. While these efforts undoubtedly redress inequalities and injustices related to environmental amenities and disamenities, a number of question persist about the equitable distribution of the benefits of urban greening. For instance, some residents, communities, and scholars have voiced concerns regarding the efficacy of environmental projects, such as redevelopment of industrial lands, creation of green space, or urban agriculture and forestry, and whether these ventures actually deliver benefits to all population groups or simply perpetuate already existing injustices. A number of urban greening projects have been criticized for excluding input from long-time residents and ultimately serving newer, wealthier, and whiter populations. While this is not always the case, urban greening as a tool has the potential to ignore the needs and wants of the most vulnerable populations and exacerbates their exclusion in the decision-making process as well as project implementation. As such, urban greening has become increasingly contested and a number of fundamental questions remain about how to improve the social justice and equity components of urban greening and assess the scope and magnitude of its impact. This session presents examples from several cities across the United States to highlight challenges related to urban greening as a means to benefit diverse population groups.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Lauren Tarr*, SUNY-ESF, Rooted in Empowerment: Community-Based Urban Forestry Experiences in Syracuse, New York 20 10:00 AM
Presenter Stephen Dickinson*, Temple University, Community land trusts in Philadelphia: Utilizing green infrastructure for social justice. 20 10:20 AM
Presenter Todd Sundberg*, University of Delaware, The Embodied Nexus of Social Justice and Urban Agriculture in Wilmington, Delaware 20 10:40 AM
Presenter Lauryn Duoto*, , Noise Pollution, Environmental Justice, and Urban Green Space Accessibility in San Jose, California 20 11:00 AM
Presenter Jonah White*, Michigan State University, Spatial Inequalities of Urban Greening: Environmental Injustice in the Seattle Metropolitan Region, 1990 to 2011-15 20 11:20 AM

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