Urban green gentrification in an unequal world of climate change

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Over the past few decades, notions of environmental, ecological or green gentrification in cities have entered the lexicon of critical urban scholars and activists alike, not least in North American and European settings. This happens amidst growing concerns that the current policy and planning emphasis on making cities more sustainable serves in some cases to exacerbate socio-material inequalities in the city via forms of residential displacement. In this critical commentary, I respond to recent calls for expanding the socio-geographical parameters of green gentrification research, and for enriching the agenda via new theoretical approaches, by highlighting one particular avenue of problematisation that seems so far conspicuously lacking. This is the realisation that, in an unequal world of anthropogenic climate change, green gentrification must be grasped not only at local but also, simultaneously, at transnational scales of risk-induced socio-spatial restructuring. My suggested approach to a more multi-scalar and climate-sensitive notion of green gentrification proceeds via sociologist Ulrich Beck’s theorising of the intensifying socio-material inequalities of climate change in ‘world risk society’, along with ethnographic work on urban climate politics in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and in the North-West Indian city of Surat. While allowing us to analyse the many local ambivalences wedded with urban sustainability politics in the global North and global South alike, Beck helpfully insists that we keep their unequal trans-local interconnectedness in view, yielding a radicalised notion of green gentrification as set in-between and connecting localised and globalised frames of inequality in new ways.
TidsskriftUrban Studies
Udgave nummer14
Sider (fra-til)803–2816
StatusUdgivet - 2021

ID: 235597132