THE COMPLEXITIES IN INEQUITIES: APPLYING CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE STUDIES TO URBAN GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
Many cities have turned to urban green infrastructure (UGI) to combat water pollution and urban heat island effect (UHIE). UGI is a multifunctional and serves multiple purposes to residents and the surrounding urban environment. For example, street trees not only provide temperature control for UHIE, but also provide housing for non-human species and as recreation for residents or urban agriculture has a positive effect on decreasing UHIE, but also effectively contributes to food sovereignty. This research aims to critique UGI development in the United States using David Naguib Pellow’s Critical Environmental Justice Studies framework. I will evaluate different UGI features, using his four pillars: intersectionality, multiscalar, the state and indispensability to understand how injustices occur within development. This research was conducted due to the seemingly lack of involvement of racialized people in the planning process. There is a continuous stress of developing more greening across the country, but usually does not account for the impacts it will have on vulnerable communities such as racialized people.
critical environmental justice, racialized peoples, cities, urban green infrastructure, urban agriculture, urban heat island effect, land banks, green gentrification