GREENLULUS is a Horizon 2020 and European Research Council funded project

 

GREENLULUS (Green Locally Unwanted Land Uses) analyzes the conditions under which urban greening projects in distressed neighborhoods redistribute access of environmental amenities to historically marginalized groups. The study will take place in 40 cities in Europe, the United States, and Canada.

Our research will assess the extent to which urban greening projects such as parks, greenways or ecological corridors seem to encourage and/or accelerate gentrification, as such projects have been recently shown to be factors contributing to residents’ exclusion and marginalization. Through an innovative FUG (Fair Urban Greening) index, we will analyze which cities most equitably distribute the benefits of greening. We will also analyze which cities most equitably distribute the benefits of greening, and provide new tools for municipal decision-makers to conduct an environmental equity performance analysis of new or restored green amenities. Lastly, our research will include an in-depth analysis of cases of community mobilization and contestation, and of the policies and measures that municipalities develop to address exclusion in “greening” neighborhoods. Our hypothesis is that the social and racial inequities present in sustainability projects make green amenities Locally Unwanted Land Uses (LULUs) for poor residents and people of color.

Research Team: Isabelle Anguelovski, James Connolly, Lucia Arguelles, Francesc Baró, Carmen Pérez del Pulgar, Galia Shokry, Stephanie Loveless, Melissa García Lamarca, Tatjana Trebic, Helen Cole

Objectives

  • To assess the social and racial impact of new green amenities in distressed neighborhoods and develop a novel index measuring the inequity of distribution of green amenities in and across cities
  • To identify and analyze the new development projects proposed, approved, and implemented during or upon the completion of greening projects
  • To analyze the community responses developed in response to environmental amenities
  • To analyze the plans and policies put in place during or upon the completion of greening projects to address exclusion from the creation of environmental amenities
 
 

Expected Research Outcomes

  • The development of a new method (i.e., an index called the Fair Urban Greening index) in order to assess the racial and social impact of urban greening projects and compare cities’ performance over time and with each other
  • A paradigm shift in the field of environmental justice to be proposed after measuring longitudinally the racial and social impacts of urban greening processes. This paradigm will reconceive restored or new green amenities as Locally Unwanted Land Uses for historically marginalized groups in the city.
  • A novel theory bringing together environmental justice and gentrification research, presenting a) the magnitude and scope of environmental inequities as triggered by sustainability planning, b) the types and forms of activism produced by urban greening, and c) the policies and measures that can best address gentrification threats in the context of urban greening.
  • The creation of a public-use data repository with primary information collected across 40 cities so that researchers can craft new research questions and test hypotheses beyond the ones proposed here. It will encourage new research on the social and racial dimensions of sustainability planning.

Research Stream 1

Development of New FUG (Fair Urban Greening) Index and Quantitative Data Analysis on Green Amenities
  • Development of Quantitative Methodology and FUG Index
  • Data Access and Organization for 40 cities
  • Municipal Analysis, Evaluation, and Scoring

Research Stream 2

Analysis of New Development Projects (RQ2/RO2)
  • Quantitative Analysis of New Development Projects
  • Qualitative Data Collection
  • Analysis on New Development Projects

Research Stream 3

 Analysis of Community Responses (RQ3/RO3)
  • Qualitative Data Collection
  • Analysis on Community Responses to Green Amenities

Research Stream 4

Analysis of Municipal Policies and Measures against Environmental Inequities
  • Preparation of Methodology for Analysis of Municipal Policies and Measures
  • Qualitative Data Collection
  • Analysis of Municipal Policies and Measures