Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice (Google eBook)

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MIT Press, 2007 - Political Science - 282 pages
2 Reviews

Racial minority and low-income communities often suffer disproportionate effects ofurban environmental problems. Environmental justice advocates argue that these communities are onthe front lines of environmental and health risks. In Noxious New York, Julie Sze analyzes theculture, politics, and history of environmental justice activism in New York City within the largercontext of privatization, deregulation, and globalization. She tracks urban planning andenvironmental health activism in four gritty New York neighborhoods: Brooklyn's Sunset Park andWilliamsburg sections, West Harlem, and the South Bronx. In these communities, activism flourishedin the 1980s and 1990s in response to economic decay and a concentration of noxious incinerators,solid waste transfer stations, and power plants. Sze describes the emergence of local campaignsorganized around issues of asthma, garbage, and energy systems, and how, in each neighborhood,activists framed their arguments in the vocabulary of environmental justice.Sze shows that thelinkage of planning and public health in New York City goes back to the nineteenth century'ssanitation movement, and she looks at the city's history of garbage, sewage, and sludge management.She analyzes the influence of race, family, and gender politics on asthma activism and examinescommunity activists' responses to garbage privatization and energy deregulation. Finally, she looksat how activist groups have begun to shift from fighting particular siting and land use decisions toengaging in a larger process of community planning and community-based research projects. Drawingextensively on fieldwork and interviews with community members and activists, Sze illuminates thecomplex mix of local and global issues that fuels environmental justice activism.


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Review: Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice

User Review  - Kristin - Goodreads

So, this book won an American Studies book of the year prize, but I found it belabored and repetitive. While the information itself was compelling, the form was a la second year college writing: In this chapter I will tell you X, now I am telling you X, I have just told you X. Ugh. Too bad. Read full review


Environmental Justice in a Moment of Danger
Public Health and Planning as Historical Antecedents to New York Citys Environmental Justice Activism
Stigma Blight and the Politics of Race and Pollution
The Politics of Gender Race and Recognition
Local and Global Trash Politics
5 Power to the People? Deregulation and Environmental Justice Energy Activism
6 The Promise and the Peril or Can CommunityBased Environmental Justice Initiatives Reintegrate Planning and Public Health in the Urban Environ...
What We Can Learn from New York City Environmental Justice Activism

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About the author (2007)

Julie Sze is an Associate Professor of American Studies at University of California, Davis, and the director of the Environmental Justice Project for UC Davis's John Muir Institute for the Environment.

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