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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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Environmental Justice Perspectives on Solid Waste Siting: A Case Study of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Landfills

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Waste generation in the U.S. has reached new heights, but the exploitation of Native American lands for waste disposal is nothing new. Many of the negative effects of massive waste production and toxic pollution, such as poor health outcomes and

Waste generation in the U.S. has reached new heights, but the exploitation of Native American lands for waste disposal is nothing new. Many of the negative effects of massive waste production and toxic pollution, such as poor health outcomes and decreased property values, disproportionately burden impoverished, minority communities inside and outside the United States (Brulle and Pellow, 2006). Native American communities have long been exploited for their natural resources and land-use, but in recent decades Indian country has also become a common place to store nuclear, hazardous and municipal wastes. This project is a case study of a local Indian reservation, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and examined the socio-historical context of the landfill operations in terms of five principles of environmental justice. Each principle was defined and key moments from the SRPMIC's landfill history were discussed to demonstrate ways that the situation has improved, stayed the same or worsened with regard to the rights outlined in each principle. It was concluded that there needs to be an acknowledgement by involved municipalities and industries of the historical context that make the SRPMIC and other nearby Native American communities "ideal" contractors for waste management. Additionally, while the SRPMIC could currently benefit from looking into the principles of environmental justice as a guide to manage past and operating landfills, the Community will have a specific opportunity to revisit these issues under closer scrutiny during the closure of the Salt River Landfill in 2032 in order to ensure more environmentally just outcomes. Finally, it was concluded that scholarship at the intersection of environmental justice and Native American communities should continue because looking closer at the ways that local Native American communities are facing and resisting environmental injustice can serve to develop future models for other communities facing similar challenges to achieving environmental justice.

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2015-05

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Media Witnessing for Environmental Justice

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Media witnessing and storytelling for environmental justice (EJ) provide an avenue to understand the relationships between “multiple realities of environmental injury” and to analyze “fleeting phenomena with lasting form; thereby transforming phenomena that are experienced in a plurality of lives

Media witnessing and storytelling for environmental justice (EJ) provide an avenue to understand the relationships between “multiple realities of environmental injury” and to analyze “fleeting phenomena with lasting form; thereby transforming phenomena that are experienced in a plurality of lives into publicly recognized history” (Houston, 2012, 419, 422). This creates opportunities to challenge and eradicate the oppressive structures that deem certain individuals and groups disposable and ultimately protect the possessive investment in whiteness. Therefore, for the purposes of EJ, media witnessing creates space for dynamic, citizen-based storytelling which can undermine narratives that promote the life versus economy framework that has perpetuated oppression, injustice, and state sanctioned violence. Media witnessing in an EJ context demonstrates the potential for collective understanding and action, political opportunities, and healing.<br/>This paper is an analysis of the process of media witnessing in regards to the Flint Water Crisis and the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and will apply an EJ lens to this phenomenon. It will discuss how media witnessing in response to these two crises can be used as a precedent for understanding and utilizing this framework and digital storytelling to address the crises of 2020, primarily the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice. It will then examine how the intersectionality of race, gender, and age has implications for future media witnessing and storytelling in the context of EJ movements. Finally, it will explain how media witnessing can motivate holistic policymaking in the favor of EJ initiatives and the health and wellbeing of all Americans, as well as how such policymaking and initiatives must acknowledge the double-edged sword that is social media.

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2021-05

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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