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Environmental Justice

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Sustainable development -- Oregon -- Portland, Environmental economics, Sustainable architecture -- Oregon -- Portland


Despite decade old calls for a "just sustainability," urban sustainability policy and practice remains oriented toward environmental outcomes and eco-lifestyle projects. Notions of equity, justice, and inclusion continue to be marginalized in favor of technological solutions, such as green buildings, that are visible, easy to implement, and help to promote economic development. By examining a controversy over a bikeway development project in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in Northeast Portland, Oregon, this article explores how despite apolitical appeals to broadly shared values or visions of what a sustainable city ought to look like, sustainability projects can be—and perhaps should be—hotly contested. This article illustrates how sustainable development projects become sites of political debate, and provide space for environmental and social justice concerns to enter into the broader discourse on sustainability. Following the work of environmental justice advocates and scholars critiquing urban sustainability, this article contributes to the analysis and practice of efforts to advance a more socially robust, equitable, and political notion of sustainability.


This is a copy of an article published in the Environmental Justice © 2013 copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc; Environmental Justice is available online at:



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