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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

Introduction

Introduction

The Big Green Apple

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
(p.iii) The Sustainability Myth
Author(s):

Melissa Checker

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479835089.003.0001

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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