Matching Items (18)

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Emerging Environmental Justice Issues in Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination

Description

Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste,

Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste, and are subject to catastrophic contamination events. Justice concerns include plant locations and the large potentially exposed populations, as well as issues in siting, nuclear safety, and barriers to public participation. Other justice issues relate to extensive contamination in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, and the mining and processing industries that have supported it. To approach the topic, first we discuss distributional justice issues of NPP sites in the U.S. and related procedural injustices in siting, operation, and emergency preparedness. Then we discuss justice concerns involving the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and the ways that uranium mining, processing, and weapons development have affected those living downwind, including a substantial American Indian population. Next we examine the problem of high-level nuclear waste and the risk implications of the lack of secure long-term storage. The handling and deposition of toxic nuclear wastes pose new transgenerational justice issues of unprecedented duration, in comparison to any other industry. Finally, we discuss the persistent risks of nuclear technologies and renewable energy alternatives.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-07-12

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Resisting displacement through culture and care: workplace immigration raids and the Loop 202 Freeway on Akimel O'odham land in Phoenix, Arizona, 2012-2014

Description

Low-income communities of color in the U.S. today are often vulnerable to displacement, forced relocation away from the places they call home. Displacement takes many forms, including immigration enforcement, mass

Low-income communities of color in the U.S. today are often vulnerable to displacement, forced relocation away from the places they call home. Displacement takes many forms, including immigration enforcement, mass incarceration, gentrification, and unwanted development. This dissertation juxtaposes two different examples of displacement, emphasizing similarities in lived experiences. Mixed methods including document-based research, map-making, visual ethnography, participant observation, and interviews were used to examine two case studies in Phoenix, Arizona: (1) workplace immigration raids, which overwhelmingly target Latino migrant workers; and (2) the Loop 202 freeway, which would disproportionately impact Akimel O'odham land. Drawing on critical geography, critical ethnic studies, feminist theory, carceral studies, and decolonial theory, this research considers: the social, economic, and political causes of displacement, its impact on the cultural and social meanings of space, the everyday practices that allow people to survive economically and emotionally, and the strategies used to organize against relocation.

Although raids are often represented as momentary spectacles of danger and containment, from a worker's perspective, raids are long trajectories through multiple sites of domination. Raids' racial geographies reinforce urban segregation, while traumatization in carceral space reduces the power of Latino migrants in the workplace. Expressions of care among raided workers and others in jail and detention make carceral spaces more livable, and contribute to movement building and abolitionist sentiments outside detention.

The Loop 202 would result in a loss of native land and sovereignty, including clean air and a mountain sacred to O'odham people. While the proposal originated with corporate desire for a transnational trade corridor, it has been sustained by local industry, the perceived inevitability of development, and colonial narratives about native people and land. O'odham artists, mothers, and elders counter the freeway's colonial logics through stories that emphasize balance, collective care over individual profit, and historical consciousness.

Both raids and the freeway have been contested by local grassroots movements. Through political education, base-building, advocacy, lawsuits, and protest strategies, community organizations have achieved changes in state practice. These movements have also worked to create alternative spaces of safety and home, rooted in interpersonal care and Latino and O'odham culture.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Managing land, water, and vulnerability on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Description

The manner in which land and water are used and managed is a major influencing factor of global environmental change. Globally, modifications to the landscape have drastically transformed social and

The manner in which land and water are used and managed is a major influencing factor of global environmental change. Globally, modifications to the landscape have drastically transformed social and ecological communities. Land and water management practices also influences people's vulnerability to hazards. Other interrelated factors are compounding problems of environmental change as a result of land and water use changes. Such factors include climate change, sea level rise, the frequency and severity of hurricanes, and increased populations in coastal regions. The implication of global climate change for small islands and small island communities is especially troublesome. Socially, small islands have a limited resource base, deal with varying degrees of insularity, generally have little political power, and have limited economic opportunities. The physical attributes of small islands also increase their vulnerability to global climate change, including limited land area, limited fresh water supplies, and greater distances to resources. The focus of this research project is to document place-specific - and in this case island-specific - human-environmental interactions from a political ecology perspective as a means to address local concerns and possible consequences of global environmental change. The place in which these interactions are examined is the barrier island and village of Ocracoke, North Carolina. I focus on the specific historical-geography of land and water management on Ocracoke as a means to examine relationships between local human-environmental interactions and environmental change.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Sea, storms, & tourism: a case study of the hazards and vulnerabilities of Cape Cod, MA

Description

Drawing from the fields of coastal geography, political ecology, and institutions, this dissertation uses Cape Cod, MA, as a case study, to investigate how chronic and acute climate-related coastal hazards,

Drawing from the fields of coastal geography, political ecology, and institutions, this dissertation uses Cape Cod, MA, as a case study, to investigate how chronic and acute climate-related coastal hazards, socio-economic characteristics, and governance and decision-making interact to produce more resilient or at-risk coastal communities. GIS was used to model the impacts of sea level rise (SLR) and hurricane storm surge scenarios on natural and built infrastructure. Social, gentrification, and tourism indices were used to identify communities differentially vulnerable to coastal hazards. Semi-structured interviews with planners and decision-makers were analyzed to examine hazard mitigation planning.

The results of these assessments demonstrate there is considerable variation in coastal hazard impacts across Cape Cod towns. First, biophysical vulnerability is highly variable with the Outer Cape (e.g., Provincetown) at risk for being temporarily and/or permanently isolated from the rest of the county. In most towns, a Category 1 accounts for the majority of inundation with impacts that will be intensified by SLR. Second, gentrification in coastal communities can create new social vulnerabilities by changing economic bases and disrupting communities’ social networks making it harder to cope. Moreover, higher economic dependence on tourism can amplify towns’ vulnerability with reduced capacities to recover. Lastly, low political will is an important barrier to effective coastal hazard mitigation planning and implementation particularly given the power and independence of town government on Cape Cod. Despite this independence, collaboration will be essential for addressing the trans-boundary effects of coastal hazards and provide an opportunity for communities to leverage their limited resources for long-term hazard mitigation planning.

This research contributes to the political ecology of hazards and vulnerability research by drawing from the field of institutions, by examining how decision-making processes shape vulnerabilities and capacities to plan and implement mitigation strategies. While results from this research are specific to Cape Cod, it demonstrates a broader applicability of the “Hazards, Vulnerabilities, and Governance” framework for assessing other hazards (e.g., floods, fires, etc.). Since there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to mitigating coastal hazards, examining vulnerabilities and decision-making at local scales is necessary to make resiliency and mitigation efforts specific to communities’ needs.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Reassembling hydrosocial metabolic relations: a political ecology of water struggles in Chile

Description

This research investigates the dialectical relationships between water and social power. I analyze how the coupled processes of development, water privatization, and climate change have been shaping water struggles in

This research investigates the dialectical relationships between water and social power. I analyze how the coupled processes of development, water privatization, and climate change have been shaping water struggles in Chile. I focus on how these hydro-struggles are reconfiguring everyday practices of water management at the community scale and the ways in which these dynamics may contribute to more democratic and sustainable modes of water governance at both regional and national scales. Using a historical-geographical and multi-sited ethnographical lens, I investigate how different geographical projects (forestry, irrigated agriculture, and hydropower) were deployed in the Biobio and Santiago regions of Chile during the last 200 hundred years. I analyze how since the 1970s, these hydro-modernization projects have been gradually privatized, which in turn has led to environmental degradation and water dispossession affecting peasants and other rural populations. I frame these transformations using the political-ecological notion of hydrosocial assemblages produced by the different stages of the hydro-modernity—Liberal, Keynesian, Socialist, Neoliberal. I detail how these stages have repeatedly reshaped Chilean hydrosocial processes. I unpack the stages through the analysis of forestry, irrigation and hydropower developments in the central and southern regions of Chile, emphasizing how they have produced both uneven socio-spatial development and growing hydrosocial metabolic rifts, particularly during neoliberal hydro-modernity (1981-2015). Hydrosocial metabolic rifts occur when people have been separated or dispossessed from direct access and control of their traditional water resources. I conclude by arguing that there is a need to overcome the current unsustainable market-led approach to water governance. I propose the notion of a 'commons hydro-modernity', which is based on growing environmental and water social movements that are promoting a socio-spatial project to reassemble Chilean hydrosocial metabolic relations in a more democratic and sustainable way.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Gardens of justice: food-based social movements in underserved, minority communities

Description

Residents of the United States increasingly support organic and local food systems. New Social Movement theorists have described alternative agriculture as a social movement that transcends social class. Other scholars

Residents of the United States increasingly support organic and local food systems. New Social Movement theorists have described alternative agriculture as a social movement that transcends social class. Other scholars have critiqued alternative agriculture for catering to a middle-class, white public. Simultaneously, geographers have identified communities across the United States that struggle with reduced access to healthy fruits and vegetables. In some of these neighborhoods, known as “food deserts,” local groups are redefining an inequitable distribution of healthy food as a social injustice, and they have begun initiatives to practice “food justice.” The overarching research questions of this study are: 1) How do communities become food deserts? 2) How do food justice movements crystallize and communities practice food justice? 3) What are the social outcomes of food justice movements? Using an Ecology of Actors framework, this study analyzes the actors and operational scales of three food justice movements in Phoenix, Arizona. A narrative analysis of historical scholarly materials and other artifacts reveals that, for more than a century, some communities have tried to create minority-operated local food systems. However, they were thwarted by racist policies and market penetration of the conventional US food system. Interviews with residents, garden organizers and food justice advocates living and working in the city create a narrative of the present day struggle for food justice. Results of this work show that contemporary residents describe their foodscape as one of struggle, and carless residents rely upon social networks to access healthy food. Garden organizers and gardeners are creating networks of community gardens, market gardens, and informal farmers’ markets. They are actively transforming their communities’ landscapes with sophisticated garden ecology in an intense urban heat island. However, the movement’s continued success may be threatened. Many new Phoenix-based local food coalitions and national alternative agriculture social movements are now working to alter Phoenix’s foodscape. Composed of well-educated professionals, who have adopted a justice-based language around food, these organizations may unintentionally co-opt the local food justice movements.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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The resonance of place: music and race in Salvador da Bahia

Description

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the

Geography, and the social sciences more broadly, have long operated within what is arguably a paradigm of the visual. Expanding the reach of geographical consideration into the realm of the aural, though in no way leaving behind the visual, opens the discipline to new areas of human and cultural geography invisible in ocular-centric approaches. At its broadest level, my argument in this dissertation is that music can no longer be simply an object of geographical research. Re-conceptualized and re-theorized in a geographical context to take into account its very real, active, and more-than-representational presence in social life, music provides actual routes to geographic knowledge of the world. I start by constructing a theoretical framework and methodological approach for studying music beyond representation. Based on these theoretical and methodological arguments, I present four narratives that unfold at the intersections of race and music in the northeast Brazilian city of Salvador. From the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to the troubled neighborhood of the Pelourinho, from the manic tempos of samba to the laid back grooves of samba-reggae, and in the year-round competition between the oppressive forces of ordinary time and the fleeting possibility of carnival, music emerges as a creative societal force with affects and effects far beyond the realm of representation. Together, these narratives exemplify the importance of expanding geographical considerations beyond a strictly visual framework. These narratives contribute to the musicalization of the discipline of geography.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Phoenix's place for the homeless: stories from the Maricopa County Human Services Campus

Description

This thesis investigates how homeless men and women who use one of only six human services campuses (hscs) in the nation negotiate the stigmatization they may feel as homeless people

This thesis investigates how homeless men and women who use one of only six human services campuses (hscs) in the nation negotiate the stigmatization they may feel as homeless people living in Phoenix, Arizona. An hsc centralizes services to one area of the city to decrease the run around of scattered-site service delivery. It also creates a legitimized space for the homeless in the city. A place for the homeless can be a rarity in cities like Phoenix that have a history of implementing revanchist policies and neo-liberal land use planning, most notably found in its downtown revitalization efforts. During Phoenix's development as a major metropolitan area, the homeless population emerged and lived a life on the margins until the 2005 creation of the Human Services Campus. This research unearths the experiences of homeless men and women who use the HSC today. I used qualitative methods, including document review, 14 in-depth interviews with homeless men and women, 7 interviews with service providers, informal conversations with additional homeless clients, and 14 months of field observations at the HSC to collect the data presented in this thesis. The results of this research illustrate reasons why the homeless clients interviewed were sensitive to the stigmatization of their social status, and how they managed their stigmatization through relationships with homeless peers and staff on the HSC. The presence of an action plan to exit homelessness was critical to the nature of these relationships for clients, because it influenced how clients perceived their own stigmatization as a homeless person.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Urban political ecology of green public space in Mexico City: equity, parks and people

Description

Decades of research confirms that urban green spaces in the form of parks, gardens, and urban forests provide numerous environmental and social services including microclimate regulation, noise reduction, rainwater drainage,

Decades of research confirms that urban green spaces in the form of parks, gardens, and urban forests provide numerous environmental and social services including microclimate regulation, noise reduction, rainwater drainage, stress amelioration, etc. In post-industrial megacities of the twenty-first century, densely populated, violent and heavily polluted such as Mexico City, having access to safe and well-maintained green public space is in all respects necessary for people to maintain or improve their quality of life. However, according to recent reports by the Mexican Ministry of Environment, green public spaces in Mexico City are insufficient and unevenly distributed across the sixteen boroughs of the Mexican Distrito Federal. If it is known that parks are essential urban amenities, why are green public spaces in Mexico City scarce and so unevenly distributed? As a suite of theoretical frameworks, Urban Political Ecology (UPE) has been used to study uneven urban development and its resulting unequal socio-ecological relations. UPE explores the complex relationship between environmental change, socio-economic urban characteristics and political processes. This research includes a detailed analysis of the distributive justice of green public space (who gets what and why) based on socio-spatial data sets provided by the Environment and Land Management Agency for the Federal District. Moreover, this work went beyond spatial data depicting available green space (m2/habitant) and explored the relation between green space distribution and other socio-demographic attributes, i.e. gender, socio-economic status, education and age that according to environmental justice theory, are usually correlated to an specific (biased) distribution of environmental burdens and amenities. Moreover, using archival resources complemented with qualitative data generated through in-depth interviews with key actors involved in the creation, planning, construction and management of green public spaces, this research explored the significant role of public and private institutions in the development of Mexico City's parks and green publics spaces, with a special focus on the effects of neoliberal capitalism as the current urban political economy in the city.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A comparative assessment of community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in Buckeye and Cave Creek, Arizona

Description

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand

With the ongoing drought surpassing a decade in Arizona, scholars, water managers and decision-makers have heightened attention to the availability of water resources, especially in rapidly growing regions where demand may outgrow supplies or outpace the capacity of the community water systems. Community water system managing entities and the biophysical and social characteristics of a place mediate communities' vulnerability to hazards such as drought and long-term climate change. The arid southwestern Phoenix metropolitan area is illustrative of the challenges that developed urban areas in arid climates face globally as population growth and climate change stress already fragile human-environmental systems. This thesis reveals the factors abating and exacerbating differential community water system vulnerability to water scarcity in communities simultaneously facing drought and rapid peri-urban growth. Employing a grounded, qualitative comparative case study approach, this thesis explores the interaction of social, biophysical and institutional factors as they effect the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of community water systems in Cave Creek and Buckeye, Arizona. Buckeye, once a small agricultural town in the West Valley, is wholly dependent on groundwater and currently planning for massive development to accommodate 218,591 new residents by 2020. Amid desert hills and near Tonto National Forest in the North Valley, Cave Creek is an upscale residential community suffering frequent water outages due to aging infrastructure and lack of system redundancy. Analyzing interviews, media accounts and policy documents, a narrative was composed explaining how place based factors, nested within a regional institutional water management framework, impact short and long-term vulnerability. This research adds to the library of vulnerability assessments completed using Polsky et al.'s Vulnerability Scoping Diagram and serves a pragmatic need assisting in the development of decision making tools that better represent the drivers of placed based vulnerability in arid metropolitan regions.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011