Theorizing the Just City in the Era of Climate Change

Authors: Jennifer L Rice*, University of Georgia, Joshua Long*, Southwestern University, Anthony M Levenda, Arizona State University
Topics: Urban Geography, Social Theory, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: climate justice, urban theory, urban sustainability, climate urbanism, carbon gentrification
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Executive Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this paper, we examine what theoretical frameworks can will help us better understand the age of "climate urbanism" where resilience, preparedness, and adaptation to a changing climate are essential problems for urban governance. In particular, we are interested in identifying the key socio-ecological justice issues cities face as a result of the physical and social dimensions of climate change, including housing justice, environmental racism, securitization, infrastructure provision and protection, as well as general questions of urban democracy. For example, where local policies on climate change have been enacted, urban climate policies and programs are likely to exacerbate urban inequality, further marginalize underrepresented populations, and reinforce environmental privilege through securitization and militarization. In urban areas where officials have not acted on climate change, essential infrastructures are threatened, marginalized populations are left vulnerable to extreme weather events, and carbon-fueled capitalism remains unchallenged or unregulated. We conclude with a discussion of the complex landscape of socio-environmental injustice produced in the era of climate urbanism.

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