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SustainabilityApproaches to Environmental Justice and Social Power$
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Julie Sze

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479894567

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479894567.001.0001

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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: 16 September 2021

Situating Sustainability against Displacement

Situating Sustainability against Displacement

Building Campus-Community Collaboratives for Environmental Justice from the Ground Up

(p.76) 3 Situating Sustainability against Displacement

Giovanna Di Chiro

Laura Rigell

NYU Press

Based on an account of an ongoing campus-community collaboration between students and faculty at Swarthmore College and community leaders in North Philadelphia, this chapter discusses a critical approach to community “sustainability” in an historically African American, urban context. Narrating the development of the “Sustainable Serenity Collaborative,” the chapter examines the Collaborative’s values, best practices, and accomplishments, challenging conventional notions of both sustainability and community-based academic engagement. It highlights the generative possibilities and tensions associated with building genuine and reciprocal alliances to advance environmental justice and sustainable community development across differences marked by race, gender, class, geography, and expertise. Resisting “green gentrification,” the Collaborative embraces a vision of just sustainability without displacement driven by the needs and dreams of the predominantly Black, low-income residents of North Philadelphia. The chapter focuses in detail on one of the Collaborative’s projects – Serenity Soular – a community sustainable development initiative that aims to establish worker-owned solar enterprises to solarize and preserve the neighborhoods in North Philadelphia at risk of displacement.

Keywords:   environmental and climate justice, just transition, gentrification, urban sustainability, community solar, campus-community collaboration

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