Green Cities: Inequality, Space, and Sustainability

Thursday, Sep 20, 2018

Green Cities: Inequality, Space, and Sustainability

Princeton University, Betts Auditorium
Friday, September 28, 2018, 9am 

From beautification in Detroit to climate resilience in New Orleans, cities across the United States have adopted the language and strategies of “greening” to confront urban problems. Indeed, a coalition of agents – from private foundations, to federal funding, grassroots nonprofits, and municipal planning - have united behind green solutions to address not only environmental vulnerability, but also depopulation, economic downturn, food insecurity, and spatial inequalities. The organizers propose an interdisciplinary conference on greening as a critical aspect of contemporary life and governance in American cities. We seek to bring together scholars from the humanities and social sciences who study green cities and inequality. 

First, we raise questions of greening as a situated process in particular moments and spaces. To what different ends do cities deploy greening? How is greening implicated in other urban governance logics and initiatives? And what is the social life of greening as these strategies are imagined, practiced, and reimagined in various contexts? 

Second, we critically examine the “green as good-for-all” framework that many cities deploy and raise questions of greening and urban inequality. As cities turn to green solutions to urban problems, how do greening initiatives interact with spatial, racial, and economic inequalities? Can green strategies be used to alleviate place inequality? 

Finally, we are interested in conceptualizing the links between urban greening and earlier environmental justice movements and frameworks. Does urban greening call for a new framework for understanding race, inequality, and the environment in the city?


9:00 - 9:30 Keynote Talk - Laura Lawson (Rutgers University)

9:30 - 11 :00 Green Governance: Contradictions of Green Urban Policy
Michael Finewood, Marissa Matsler, Sam Holleran, Max Holleran, Sam Hege, Theodore S. Eisenman

11: 15 - 12:45 Green Gentrification: Who is the Green City For?
Ryan Ehrhart, Emma Tome, Hamil Pearsall, Naomi Schiller, Ana Paula Pimentel Walker, Maria Arquero de Alarcon

2:00 - 3:30 Climate Change and Urban Sustainability
Kevin Loughran, Kalyani Jayasankar, Yuki Kato, Elizabeth Riedman

3:45- 5:15 Food Sovereignty and the Social Life of Urban Gardens
Diamond V.E. Holloman, Nate Ela, Jessica Robbins, Kimberly Seibel, Hugo Goeury

5:30 - 6:00 Keynote Talk - Melissa Checker (Queens College)

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