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The Sustainability MythEnvironmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice$
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Melissa Checker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479835089

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479835089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021



The Big Green Apple

(p.1) Introduction
(p.iii) The Sustainability Myth

Melissa Checker

NYU Press

This chapter introduces some of the contradictions of urban sustainability in New York City by comparing the glassy, “green” high-rises, rooftop gardens, and waterfront parks of Manhattan and Brooklyn to the heavily industrialized north shore of Staten Island, largely populated by communities of color. The chapter then offers a brief overview of economic redevelopment in New York City during the 12-year mayoralty of Michael Bloomberg who effectively coupled sustainability with luxury real estate development. This pairing forms the basis of environmental gentrification, a process that exacerbates the uneven distribution of environmental benefits and burdens across the city and undermines the very definition of urban sustainability. This chapter lays out a framework for investigating this and other paradoxes that plague today’s “sustainable” cities.

Keywords:   environmental gentrification, Michael Bloomberg, New York City, redevelopment, sustainable cities, urban sustainability

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