Browsing by Subject "ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE"

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  • Jalkanen, Joel; Fabritius, Henna; Vierikko, Kati; Moilanen, Atte; Toivonen, Tuuli (2020)
    Maintaining enough green areas and ensuring fair access to them is a common planning challenge in growing and densifying cities. Evaluations of green area access typically use metrics like population around green areas (within a certain buffer), but these do not fully ensure equitable access. We propose that using systematic and complementarity-driven spatial prioritization, often used in nature conservation planning, could assist in the complex planning challenge. Here, we demonstrate the use of spatial prioritization to identify green areas with highest recreational potential based on their type and their accessibility for the residents of the Helsinki Metropolitan area, the capital district of Finland. We calculated travel times from each city district to each green area. Travel times were calculated separately to local green areas using active travel modes (walking and biking), and to large forests (attracting people from near and far) using public transport. We prioritized the green areas using these multimodal travel times from each district and weighting the prioritization with population data with Zonation, conservation prioritization software. Compared to a typical buffer analysis (population within a 500 m buffer from green areas), our approach identified areas of high recreational potential in different parts of the study area. This approach allows systematic integration of travel-time-based accessibility measures into equitable spatial prioritization of recreational green areas. It can help urban planners to identify sets of green areas that best support the recreational needs of the residents across the city.
  • Hakala, Emma Sofia (2017)
    is article explores the role of multi-level governance and power structures in local water securi- ty through a case study of the Nawalparasi district in Nepal. It focuses on economic sustainabil- ity as a measure to address water security, placing this thematic in the context of a complicated power structure consisting of local, district and national administration as well as external devel- opment cooperation actors. e study aims to nd out whether e orts to improve the economic sustainability of water schemes have contributed to water security at the local level. In addition, it will consider the interactions between water security, power structures and local equality and justice. e research builds upon survey data from the Nepalese districts of Nawalparasi and Palpa, and a case study based on interviews and observation in Nawalparasi. e survey was per- formed in water schemes built within a Finnish development cooperation programme spanning from 1990 to 2004, allowing a consideration of the long-term sustainability of water manage- ment projects. is adds a crucial external in uence into the intra-state power structures shaping water management in Nepal. e article thus provides an alternative perspective to cross-region- al water security through a discussion combining transnational involvement with national and local points of view.
  • Nygren, Anja Kaarina (2018)
    Cities in different parts of the world are going through intensive transformations based on institutional efforts to govern urban spaces and populations in the face of global environmental change and neoliberalization of governance. This essay examines inequalities and interconnectivities in urban governance and justice, drawing on a case-study of three, socially-differentiated sectors of the city of Villahermosa, Mexico, between 2011 and 2016. My analysis contributes to a multi-dimensional approach toward justice, and the cognate fields of right to the city, and segregation and inequality, that encompasses: (1) (re)distribution of residents’ exposure to risks and access to services; (2) recognition of the causes and consequences of risks and vulnerabilities; (3) fields of representation available for different residents; and (4) residents’ capabilities to recover from disasters and achieve everyday well-being within the existing urban governance and service provision structures. Instead of conceptualizing segregated cities as composed of isolated worlds, I argue that it is only possible to understand how the prevailing forms of governance produce multifaceted inequalities through a relational analysis of how residents from different parts of the city interact with the authorities and with each other. The study shows how residents’ tactics to accommodate, reconfigure and contest institutional endeavors to place them in hierarchical positions link to their differentiated ways of constructing urban space.
  • Lettenmeier, Michael; Hirvilammi, Tuuli; Laakso, Senja; Lahteenoja, Satu; Aalto, Kristiina (2012)
    The article assesses the material footprints of households living on a minimum amount of social benefits in Finland and discusses the consequences in terms of ecological and social sustainability. The data were collected using interviews and a questionnaire on the consumption patterns of 18 single households. The results are compared to a study on households with varying income levels, to average consumption patterns and to decent minimum reference budgets. The low-income households have lower material footprints than average and most of the material footprints are below the socially sustainable level of consumption, which is based on decent minimum reference budgets. However, the amount of resources used by most of the households studied here is still at least double that required for ecological sustainability. The simultaneous existence of both deprivation and overconsumption requires measures from both politicians and companies to make consumption sustainable. For example, both adequate housing and economic mobility need to be addressed. Measures to improve the social sustainability of low-income households should target reducing the material footprints of more affluent households. Furthermore, the concept of what constitutes a decent life should be understood more universally than on the basis of standards of material consumption.
  • Hohenthal, Johanna Maaria; Räsänen, Marinka; Minoia, Paola (2018)
    Environmental resource management policies worldwide have long insisted on the need to involve local communities and their diverse ecological knowledges in management planning and decision-making. In SubSaharan post-colonial countries, however, formal resource management is still largely dominated by bureaucratic governance regimes that date back to colonial power structures and that rely mainly on professional or formal knowledge. In this study, we use a political ecology approach to analyze disputes over eucalyptus plantations in the Taita Hills, Kenya. The approach recognizes the plurality of socially constructed and powerladen perceptions of environmental resources. We found that local people regard eucalyptus plantations not only as a threat to local water resources but they also highlight historical injustices and the loss of control over, and cultural relationships to their land. Bureaucratic resource management institutions, however, support the planting of eucalyptus to meet national demands for commercial forestry. Management officials also plead a lack of "valid" evidence for the negative impacts of eucalyptus on local water resources, diverting attention away from the formal environmental governance system which has unequal sharing of benefits, unclear policies, and internal incoherence. Recognition of historically rooted asymmetries of knowledge and power provides a step towards social transformation, ending a long-standing reproduction of subalternity, and promoting environmental justice and pluralism in decision-making. Keywords: bureaucratic knowledge; environmental justice; eucalyptus; Kenya; knowledge asymmetries; local ecological knowledge; political ecology; resource management
  • Nygren, Anja (2021)
    Water-related disasters have become more unpredictable amidst human-induced climatic and hydroecological changes, with profound effects on people inhabiting fragile river basins. In this article, I analyse drastic waterscape transformations and people's differentiated exposure to water-related vulnerabilities in the Grijalva River lower basin, southeastern Mexico, focusing on how state authority is reinforced through waterscape alterations and how altered waterscapes shape state-making and scalar politics. Examining interlinkages between 1) state-making and governance; 2) resource-making and politics of scale; and 3) hazard-making and the dynamics of socionature, the article contributes to scholarly and development practice discussions on environmental vulnerability. I argue that the goals of consolidating state power and promoting development through massive waterscape changes and resource extractions have provoked hazards that are difficult to control, resulting in differentiated distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Drawing on archival research, documentary analysis, thematic interviews, and ethnographic fieldwork, the study illustrates the overlapping and cumulative effects of state-making, politics of scale, and the dynamics of socionature on socially differentiated vulnerability. Although the forms of governance shift over time, statecraft as a mode of consolidating state authority and controlling lower basin environments and residents persists. The government prevents social mobilisation through political persuasion and pressure, and disciplines residents to adapt to altered waterscapes, while allowing few changes in prevalent power structures. Simultaneously, the study demonstrates that water cannot be controlled by political rules and requisites, while local residents reinterpret dominant ways of governing through claim-making, negotiation, everyday resistance, and situational improvisation, albeit within unequal power relations. The study enhances understanding of water-related vulnerabilities resulting from recurrent, yet temporally remoulded agendas of state-making combined with socially differentiating politics of scaling and the dynamics of socionature, which altogether reformulate human-nonhuman interactions and make local smallholders and pen-urban poor increasingly vulnerable to floods. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).