racial justice

From Progressive Cities to Resilient Cities: Lessons from History for New Debates in Equitable Adaptation to Climate Change

March 3, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Linda Shi (Cornell University) | Advocates for a Green New Deal forcibly argue that climate action must be racially just and transform institutions that govern social welfare. However, these proposals have focused on cutting carbon emissions and been vague on how the country should adapt to an already changing climate. Early proposals suggest that a Green New Deal for adaptation should emphasize large-scale investments in infrastructure for marginalized communities. But evidence suggests that adaptation infrastructure projects can worsen the well-being of the most vulnerable. For instance, cities tend to prioritize investments for high value real estate or enforce land use and other regulations more stringently on those with less political voice. There also isn’t enough money to protect everyone and every place. Given the prevailing dynamics of urban development, an adaptation moon-shot must go far beyond giving the poor a sea wall or sand dune. Read More