February 2, 2021
Are We living in Habitable Cities? Making explicit the connection between social and climate justice
The fourth CIRGE webinar of the series “Committing ourselves to Social Justice…”, carried out on Jan 26th, discussed how doctoral research in urban planning addresses the connection between social and climate justice.
The speakers Professor Vivek Shandas and Lorena Nascimento (soon, Dr. Nascimento) from Portland State University provided a historical analysis of how urban planning decision in big cities in the United States reproduced racial disparities. Dr. Shandas highlighted that the environmental movement has just started to make explicit the connection with environmental justice. Lorena argued for the need to open a new dimension to Urban Ecosystem Services, one that explores how the diversity of cultures in the cities creates opportunities for the reimagination of landscape values.
Vivek and Lorena’s presentation showed how urbanization and land change leads to disconnection between humans and nature. Particularly, Lorena’s dissertation research shows that Black, Indigenous, and people of color have an extra challenge to build a connection with nature due to historically segregation from highly valued ecosystems, such as forest fragments and clean water bodies. Frameworks of reimagination for urban ecosystem services build new relationships and include diverse values to restore the missing link between historically marginalized groups and nature.
Vivek and Lorena challenged the audience with the question of how disciplinary fields, more associated with the natural science, could make explicit the connection of their research with issues of social justice.
We took that question with us and invited the audience to let us know about ideas and initiatives that allow us to explore the conceptual meaning and practice of social justice. At CIRGE we welcome your thoughts and ideas, so drop us a note.
More about the speakers
Learn more about the series “Committing ourselves to Social Justice: Doctoral Education for Complex Times”.
- 1st webinar: November 18th, 2019: Viewing the landscape of doctoral education against the horizon of policy: Placing ourselves in the academic arboretum, by Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe, University of British Columbia
- 2nd webinar: April 1st, 2020: Practicing social justice during doctoral education: Insights from physical sciences & engineering, by Colette Patt & Khalid Kadir (UC Berkeley)
- 3rd webinar: July 29th, 2020: Beyond Theory. Practicing social justice in the design & implementation of doctoral programs in education, by Barbara Grant (University of Auckland) & Sioux McKenna (Rhodes University)
- 4th. webinar: January 26th, 2021. The habitable City: Centering Climate Justice in Research-Based Education, by Vivek Shandas & Lorena Nascimento (Portland University)