Horizons of Urban Climate Justice

Authors: Anthony Levenda*, University of Oklahoma
Topics: Urban Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology, Environment
Keywords: climate justice, urban, right to the city
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 4:35 PM
Room: Columbine, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Terrace Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


How is urban climate justice conceptualized across a variety of urban climate mitigation and adaptation responses? What are the connections between theories of urban climate justice and on the ground actions to address the climate crisis? This paper investigates these questions through a systematic review of urban climate justice literature and investigates opportunities for theorizing across a broad range of urban climate activism and theory. Beyond academic literature, this paper brings activist voices to the fore to connect action to theory, looking for disconnections, frictions, and possibilities that emerge from work by groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise, Ruckus Society, and more. Building on a nationwide (US) interview-based survey of climate and environmental justice organizations, I ask to what extent current practices meet the actions desired by groups mobilized to fight for climate justice, and what needs to be done in the future. Building on Lefebvre’s idea of the right to the city as a process towards urban democracy, always on the horizon, I bring these disparate and specific case studies to focus on possibilities for radical adaptation and mitigation practices that strengthen urban democracy. As a response to warnings of climate apartheid and rising eco-fascism, this paper investigates the possible positive futures arising in practice and theory, conceptualized from the contested and multi-layered landscape of climate response.

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