Urban Ecology

Global commitments to combat climate change and attain more equitable urban environments have thus been given new urgency by the Paris Accord and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is increasingly clear, however, that ostensibly neutral concepts like “sustainable urbanism” obscure issues of power and inequality. The research therefore interrogates the meaning of “sustainability” amidst conditions of political and socio-economic precarity. Why? Sustainability as a discourse, practice, or complex of infrastructures is often not evenly distributed or equally accessible. Furthermore, while there is a lengthy history of state-led urban experimentation, one significant change is the diminished role of the state in the creation and implementation of urban design schemes.  Conditions of “actually existing neoliberalism” have radically changed civic engagement vis-à-vis the state. Under current regimes of global capitalism and urban development, it is important to focus on those who fall outside the scope of state-led, top-down interventions made on behalf of sustainable or climate-friendly urbanism. Class, gender and ethnic inequality must be foregrounded to capture the full extent of climate change and sustainability efforts in cities around the world.

Research Projects

The Practice and Politics of Urban Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Efforts at the Margins

A warming climate and the increased pace of urbanization across the world are two indisputable facts of the 21st century. The proposed research takes as its point of departure high degrees of urban inequality in the context of uneven state presence. The research project therefore interrogates a set of interrelated questions examining how people at […]

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