Segregating by Greening: What Do We Mean by Green Gentrification?
Lecture by Isabelle Angueloski, the director of BCNUEJ, an ICREA Research Professor, a Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator at ICTA and former coordinator of the research group Healthy Cities and Environmental Justice at IMIM. She obtained a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT before returning to Europe in 2011 with a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship. 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. Since 2016, she is the PI of a five-year ERC-funded project called GreenLULUs which examines green inequalities in 40 cities in Europe, the US, and Canada. She is the research group coordinator and co-leader of the research lines “Environmental and Climate Gentrification” and “Urban Climate Risk, Infrastructures, and Justice” at BCNUEJ. (Languages: Cat, Eng, Spa, French).
As the scholarship around green gentrification continues to mature, questions about the nature, magnitude, and scope of the process continue to be raised. Efforts to address these questions add nuance and depth to the topic: What is the spatial relationship between new urban greening initiatives and gentrification? Does greening explain, contribute to, and/or exacerbate gentrification? If so, where, how, and under what circumstances? What is the unique role of greening vis-à-vis other drivers of unequal urban development and displacement? Do residents mobilize against urban greening to resist gentrification or do they mobilize against other forces of displacement? Where does racial injustice and other racialized forms of unequal development fit into the picture of green gentrification? How is green gentrification different from any other processes of gentrification? In this talk, through a conversation with the growing literature on green gentrification and extensive empirical research on the topic in North America and Europe, I challenge the common usage of the term as an oversimplified stereotype of the actual relationship between urban greening and gentrification. I clarify what processes of injustice and exclusion are at stake as I argue how green gentrification is first and ultimately about a divided access to urban nature and its benefits by removing and segregating socially vulnerable residents. Last, I conclude by drawing lessons about future directions to address those inequities.