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Social Exclusion from Public Green Spaces: Dimensions of Sociolegal Barriers to Urban Park Access

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of various sociolegal practices of urban public park management on the populace that can access a public park. The theories of environmental justice, critiques of distribution theory, Henri Lefebvre's right

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of various sociolegal practices of urban public park management on the populace that can access a public park. The theories of environmental justice, critiques of distribution theory, Henri Lefebvre's right to the city, and sustainability are used as justification for this analysis: environmental justice considers the social implications of environmental benefits and burdens; critiques of distribution theory reveal the need to look beyond siting and proximity in environmental justice studies of urban parks; Henri Lefebvre's right to the city espouses the right of citizens to inhabit urban areas; and sustainability requires the balance of environmental, economic, and social factors in urban development. Applying these theories to urban parks reveals sociolegal factors that may inhibit public park use by a diverse public, namely environmental gentrification, park ownership, city ordinances, and physical layout. Each of these create barriers to park use by low-income, minority residents; even those that may live in close proximity to the park. These barriers violate environmental justice, right to the city, and sustainability principles in different ways but create two main problems: displacement and policing of vulnerable populations. This paper concludes with policy recommendations to alleviate the problems posed by these barriers.

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2017-12

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Disconnected: investigating the social and political conditions shaping Mexico City's air quality regulatory environment

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Mexico City has an ongoing air pollution issue that negatively affects its citizens and surroundings with current structural disconnections preventing the city from improving its overall air quality. Thematic methodological analysis reveals current obstacles and barriers, as well as variables

Mexico City has an ongoing air pollution issue that negatively affects its citizens and surroundings with current structural disconnections preventing the city from improving its overall air quality. Thematic methodological analysis reveals current obstacles and barriers, as well as variables contributing to this persistent problem. A historical background reveals current programs and policies implemented to improve Mexico’s City air quality. Mexico City’s current systems, infrastructure, and policies are inadequate and ineffective. There is a lack of appropriate regulation on other modes of transportation, and the current government system fails to identify how the class disparity in the city and lack of adequate education are contributing to this ongoing problem. Education and adequate public awareness can potentially aid the fight against air pollution in the Metropolitan City.

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2018

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Viewing Tellurium Production and Usage in Solar Panels Through an Energy Justice Lens

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Climate change has necessitated the transition from non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas to renewable, low-carbon energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric. These energy sources, although much better equipped to reduce carbon-induced climate change,

Climate change has necessitated the transition from non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas to renewable, low-carbon energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric. These energy sources, although much better equipped to reduce carbon-induced climate change, require materials that pollute the environment when mined and can release toxic waste during processing and disposal. Critical minerals are used in low-carbon renewable energy, and they are subject to both the environmental issues that accompany regular mineral extraction as well as issues related to scarcity from geopolitical issues, trade policy, and geological rarity. Tellurium is a critical mineral produced primarily as a byproduct of copper and used in cadmium-telluride (CdTe) solar panels. As these solar panels become more common, the problems that arise with many critical minerals’ usage (pollution, unfair distribution, human health complications) become more apparent. Looking at these issues through an energy justice framework can help to ensure availability, sustainability, inter/intragenerational equity, and accountability, and this framework can provide a more nuanced understanding of the costs and the benefits that will accrue with the transition to low-carbon, renewable energy. Energy justice issues surrounding the extraction of critical minerals will become increasingly prevalent as more countries pledge to have a zero-carbon future.

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2022-05