Search results1 – 10 of over 1000
On the eve of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development's (UNCSD) conference on sustainable development (Rio+20) in June 2012, the United Nation's Environmental Program (UNEP)'s Global Outlook Report (GEO-5) provided sobering data on global environmental progress. The report indicated that world nations are making little headway on significant environmental targets set for themselves under the Millennium Development Goals. The UN indicated that world nations made progress on only 4 of the 90 most significant objectives from the Millennium Plan: reducing substances depleting the ozone layer, removing lead from fuel, increasing access to water supplies, and increasing research on ways to reduce pollution in marine environments. However, in some cases no progress or regression occurred in reaching goals on climate change issues including limiting increases in average global temperatures to less than two degrees above preindustrial levels nor advances in issues such as revitalization of depleted fish stocks, protection of biodiversity, and combating desertification (UNEP, 2012).
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, the category 3 storm’s surge caused nearly every municipal levee to break leaving 80% of the city flooded. In…
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005, the category 3 storm’s surge caused nearly every municipal levee to break leaving 80% of the city flooded. In the aftermath of the storm, television images of stranded residents, drowned hospital patients, looted stores, and chaos in designated shelters ignited an ethical debate over the role of race and class in modern America. As debates raged over how, or whether, to rebuild New Orleans, the idea of cultural sustainability underlies these discussions.
Drawing on the largest diaspora since the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s, I begin by examining the concept of a civil society through Habermas’ (1994) utopian model of an ideal speech community. I extend Habermas’ idea to the environmental justice movement with an emphasis on the utilitarian approach. This includes my discussion of Hinman’s (1998) pluralistic view of moral ethics within a multicultural society coupled with Bullard’s (1993, 1994, 2008) applied environmental social justice in low-income racial minority neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by hazardous waste sites. Then, I expand this argument into the concept of cultural sustainability in which the concept of a free speech community and environmental justice are embedded.
Drawing on a case study of New Orleans, I examine how the city’s divided racial and class cultures provide major challenges to applying cultural sustainability practices in the post-Katrina rebuilding process.
This chapter uses a case study to explore the application of cultural sustainability practices highlighting the concepts implicit roots in Habermas’ utopian free speech community and underlying ties to the environmental justice movement.
Purpose – The vulnerability and adaptive capacities of cities in Latin America have received relatively less attention compared to other regions of the world. This chapter…
Purpose – The vulnerability and adaptive capacities of cities in Latin America have received relatively less attention compared to other regions of the world. This chapter seeks to address these gaps by (a) examining vulnerability to the health impacts from air pollution and temperature, and exploring whether socioeconomic factors between neighborhoods differentiate these risks within the cities of Bogota, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Santiago and (b) assessing the capacity of urban populations to perceive and respond to vulnerability and risk.
Design/methodology/approach – Because of the complex nature of vulnerability, we combined a set of quantitative and quantitative methods and data to determine whether and under what conditions the people in these cities are vulnerable (e.g., Time Series Analysis, Generalized Linear Model, and statistical correlations of exposure and human mortality with socioeconomic vulnerability).
Findings – We found high levels of PM10, ozone, and other criteria air pollutants in three cities for which we had data. However, the pattern of their impacts on health depends on the particulars of pollutant levels and atmospheric and weather conditions of each city. Our results reflect the varied facets of urban vulnerability and shed light on the nature of the associated human health risks. Although wealthy populations have access to education, good quality housing, and health services to mitigate some environmental risks, overall the data show that health impacts from air pollution and temperature in the study cities do not necessarily depend on socioeconomic differentiations.
Research limitations/implications – Although we sought to use quantitative and qualitative methods, given the complexity of the research, it has proven difficult to fully explore these issues across scales and with a full accounting of local context.
Practical implications – Our findings show that wealthy and educated populations may be equally at risk to the health implications of air pollution. Policies designed to mitigate these risks should not use socioeconomic characteristics as predictors of a population's risk in relation to air pollution.
Originality/value – This research contributes valuable insights into the dynamics of vulnerability to air pollution in Latin American cities, a region that has been historically underrepresented in empirical studies of urban risk. We have also combined a range of methods and approaches to improve our understanding of the multifaceted nature of urban vulnerability to global environmental change.