Pushing the boundaries of urban sustainability and climate planning – Isabelle Anguelovski (BCNUEJ)
Abstract: In the past two decades, cities in the Global North and South have invested in urban greening projects such as parks, gardens, greenways, or green climate resilient infrastructure to address a variety of environmental, health, economic, and social challenges. In this presentation, I hypothesize that the marriage of greening and urban redevelopment creates a paradox: Even while greening certainly provides a variety of benefits to many, it may create new social vulnerabilities and exacerbate existing inequalities in the urban space. Drawing from our research at the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability, I present a variety of drivers, paths, and implications for these new green injustices and discuss counter-movements and counter-policies that can help ensure the creation of green and health cities for all.
Isabelle Anguelovski 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.
Situated at the intersection of urban planning and policy, social inequality and development studies, her research examines the extent to which urban plans and policy decisions contribute to more just, resilient, healthy, and sustainable cities, and how community groups in distressed neighborhoods contest the existence, creation, or exacerbation of environmental inequities as a result of urban (re)development processes and policies. She explores how environmental gentrification processes lead to new forms of locally unwanted land uses (LULUs), how municipalities protect vulnerable communities from climate risks and inequality, and the initiatives and obstacles to transitioning towards a low-carbon economy within European urban regions.