December 5, 2020

Webinar: The Habitable City. Centering Climate Justice in Research-Based Education

When: January 26th 2020

Time: 9:30 am Pacific Time | 2:30 pm Brazil | 7:30 pm South Africa

Register here

The Habitable City. Centering Climate Justice in Research-Based Education

With a few notable exceptions, researchers in the field of ecology and environmental sciences struggle with deeply engaging communities in research efforts. Nowhere are such struggles more apparent than in cities, where traditional research-based models present authoritative narratives that emphasize scientific applications that overlook social and cultural dimensions of the places we inhabit. While laudable, such approaches can reflect an ‘ecological supremacy’ ideology that pits the ascendancy of ecologically sound applications against a community’s needs and preferences.

In this presentation, Dr. Shandas and Nascimiento argue that issues of procedural justice, specifically in the field of urban forestry, require further development. Recentering disinvested communities will require advancing programs of urban ecological restoration through restructuring municipal policies that aim to increase the sharing of resources and power to community groups. Co-producing urban ecological research with local community groups offers a promising opportunity that can dismantle notions and practices of ecological supremacy; ushering in an era where communities can begin to rebuild trust with municipal agencies with clear understandings about co-ownership and shared authority and do this already during doctoral education”


Lorena Nascimento is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Studies at Portland State University and a GIS instructor at Portland Community College. She has been working with local nonprofits and public administration agencies in environmental education, community-based learning, urban mobility, policy review, and urban forestry projects in Portland, Oregon, USA. She participates in the City of Portland Parks Board, the Urban Forestry Commission, and Urban Greenspaces Institute as a board member. Lorena enjoys swimming, writing for blogs, gardening, and practicing plant identification in her free time.


Vivek Shandas is a Professor of Climate Adaptation and Director of the Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) Lab at Portland State University. By examining the assumptions about our built environment, Dr.Shandas supports historically disinvested and marginalized communities in improving their adaptation from climate stressors, including extreme events such as urban heat, air quality, and storms. He has published over 100 articles, three books, and his research has been featured in the NYTimes, National Geographic, Scientific American, and dozens of other national and local media. Dr.Shandas serves as Chair of the City of Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission, and serves on several local and national advisory boards.


Learn more about the series  “Committing ourselves to Social Justice: Doctoral Education for Complex Times”.