Cities have tended to show an unequal distribution of access to social services, infrastructures and livelihoods, as well as of environmental hazards and resources to respond to them. Socio-economic characteristics of the urban population can undermine the local capacity to adapt and respond to the increasing challenges and risks of climate change and urbanization. Urban green infrastructure (UGI) planning and implementation can contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, preserving biodiversity, enhancing urban resilience public health, social inclusion, and ultimately livability of cities.
Elements of the UGI provide multiple benefits, known as Ecosystem Services (ES), such as air purification, temperature regulation, runoff mitigation and recreation opportunities. The provision of ES has a direct impact on ecological and human health and well-being of urban residents and yet, with urban sustainability at the forefront, planning and management must not ignore justice implications and inclusion of urban areas.
This research project aims at understanding what is the role of the ES to the urban environmental justice scholarship. Thus, it will parse out the interconnected dimensions of justice (i.e. distributional, procedural and interactional/recognitional justice) and it will address the contribution of ES to the better planning, design and management of urban areas.
The relevance of this research is potential to incorporate to the aforementioned processes an environmental justice perspective that recognizes plural values and demands of socially vulnerable residents and the effective inclusion of them in urban greening decision making processes.