Green Gentrification looks at the social consequences of urban "greening" from an environmental justice and sustainable development perspective. Through a comparative examination of five cases of urban greening in Brooklyn, New York, it demonstrates that such initiatives, while positive for the environment, tend to increase inequality and thus undermine the social pillar of sustainable development. Although greening is ostensibly intended to improve environmental conditions in neighborhoods, it generates green gentrification that pushes out the working-class, and people of color, and attracts white, wealthier in-migrants. Simply put, urban greening "richens and whitens," remaking the city for the sustainability class. Without equity-oriented public policy intervention, urban greening is negatively redistributive in global cities.
This book argues that environmental injustice outcomes are not inevitable. Early public policy interventions aimed at neighborhood stabilization can create more just sustainability outcomes. It highlights the negative social consequences of green growth coalition efforts to green the global city, and suggests policy choices to address them.
The book applies the lessons learned from green gentrification in Brooklyn to urban greening initiatives globally. It offers comparison with other greening global cities. This is a timely and original book for all those studying environmental justice, urban planning, environmental sociology, and sustainable development as well as urban environmental activists, city planners and policy makers interested in issues of urban greening and gentrification.
Table of Contents
1. Urban Greening and Social Sustainability in a Global Context
2. Conceptualizing Green Gentrification
3. Prospect Park: From Social Hazard to Environmental Amenity
4. Brooklyn Bridge Park: From Abandoned Docks to Destination Park
5. Gowanus Canal: From Open Sewer to the Venice of Brooklyn
6. Contested Spaces: Bush Terminal Park and Bushwick Inlet Park
7. Making Urban Greening Sustainable
Kenneth A. Gould is Director of the Urban Sustainability Program and Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York/Brooklyn College and Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center in Sociology and Earth and Environmental Sciences, USA. He is Chair of the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Tammy L. Lewis is Director of Brooklyn College's Macaulay Honors Program and Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York/Brooklyn College and Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center in Sociology and Earth and Environmental Sciences, USA. She is Chair-Elect of the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Green Gentrification is a remarkable book. Gould and Lewis offer important insights for activists, policy-makers, and residents on one of the most central problems facing New York City today: how can cities "go green" without triggering gentrification? This book should be required reading for those interested in urban life today.
Professor Julie Sze, Professor and Chair of American Studies at University of California, Davis
In this path-breaking book, Gould and Lewis demonstrate that social inequality and injustice are not inevitable outcomes of urban sustainability projects. When community leaders demand that social equity becomes a core component of these plans, and public policy initiatives embrace that vision, Gould and Lewis find that urban greening can facilitate just sustainabilities. Green Gentrification offers some of the most persuasive arguments and evidence I am aware of that urban sustainability projects will succeed only when they take social justice and equity seriously.
Professor David N. Pellow, Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project, University of California, Santa Barbara
This book provides a much needed analysis of the challenges of urban sustainability and equity issues from the field of urban sociology. Their work is applicable to cities around the world, where efforts to clean-up toxic environments often create economic hardship for low-income and working poor urban residents. The reality that "greening whitens" socially diverse neighborhoods makes evident the persistent contradictions involved in how cities try to create just and livable places. These case studies offer historical accounts that provide insights into developing new strategies for equitable and ecologically vibrant places.
Dr. Sarah Dooling, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas