Each Wednesday you will turn in a reflection memo, with your personal reactions to the course material. You should use this exercise as an opportunity to integrate course material with your own life and experiences, and for you to give me feedback on how the course is going for you. The content of the memos should focus on both the course material and your experiences but are otherwise open to you. For example, you might discuss your reaction to class discussions, films, lectures, or readings, report on an event in your life or conversations you’ve had with friends and family about course material. These are not reading or lecture summaries. Your reflection memos should be no less than a paragraph but no more than a page.
Queering Environmental Justice Through an Intersectional Lens Greta Gaard, PhD
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greta Gaard is with the English and Women/Gender/Sexuality Studies Departments, University of Wisconsin, River Falls.
See also Levy and Hern�andez, p. 48, and Goldsmith and Bell, p. 79.
Bell and Goldsmith’s research(p. 79) establishes a new intersec- tional field of queer environmental jus-
tice through the feminist practice of
“asking different questions” and investi-
gating queer populations and their
health outcomes as exacerbated by
environmental exposures, along with
“social institutions and entrenched dis-
crimination that affect many aspects of
LGBTQ1 [lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-
gender, queer or questioning, and
other] lives, such as education, health
care, and access to resources during
an environmental disaster” (p. 86). They
define environmental exposures in
terms of “where LGBTQ1 people live,”
a decision influenced not only by race,
class, income, and availability of federal
loan programs, but also by local,
regional, state, and national contexts of
institutionalized and interpersonal
homophobia and discrimination.
During the period of data collection
for their article, domestic partnership
registries seemed to be the primary
data source for determining residence
locations for same-sex and queer
domestic partners. Future research
building on this article can be updated
to show the influence of the Supreme
Court’s decision to legalize same-sex
marriage1 and the potential shifts in
residence for same-sex spouses and
their families. This legal protection may
promote greater accessibility to healthy
housing environments, a view that the
2020 Census data—for the first time in
US history—can be used to assess.
Queering environmental justice can
be further developed through the inter-
sectional feminist lenses of gender,
age, ability, and species.2
Bell and Goldsmith identify intersec-
tions between physical and mental
health, noting the ways that “institutional
and social-based discrimination and
stigma” manifest psychologically,
prompting LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisex-
ual, transgender, queer or questioning,
and intersex) persons to conceal iden-
tity, internalize oppression, and live in
fear of identity-based rejection, with
transgender persons facing even more
mental health burdens (40%) than cis-
gendered LGB persons. At the same
time, even cisgendered lesbian and
bisexual queer women experience the
intersections of environmental
sexism and ageism in addition to envi-
ronmental homophobia, producing
intensified relations of dominance
enforced via sexual assault, harassment,
bullying, exploitation, and hate crimes.3
Bringing forward intersections with age,
gender, and sexuality makes visible the
high percentage of sex work performed
by outcast and runaway queer, trans,
and cisgendered youth.4 Because of the
nexus of sexism, heterosexism, ageism,
and racism, the environments of queer
and trans sex workers are inherently
unjust and unhealthy—both physically
and mentally—carrying increased risks
of HIV transmission, alcoholism, drug
use, and environmental toxins.5
Intersections of gender, sexuality,
and environments also play a role in
queer women’s higher rates of obesity6
and their tendencies to avoid breast
and pelvic exams7 at rates comparable
to those of transmen, who also tend to
avoid screenings for cervical cancers.8
Both physical and sexual health exams
carry the risk of homophobic and trans-
phobic harassment or ignorance in
medical work environments. It remains
a well-known tragedy that transgender
author, labor activist, and human rights
activist Leslie Feinberg died in 2014
from the untreated outcomes of Lyme
disease and other tick-borne infections.
Queer disability author Piepzna-
Samarasinha9 argues that genuine
social and environmental justice must
include age and disability justice. Envi-
ronmental disasters such as Hurricane
Katrina support this claim; although
age and disability often co-occur,
impairments of hearing, vision, cogni-
tion, speech, and mobility can affect
people of all ages, making it difficult for
them to seek protection in climate
crises. For elderly people, these impair-
ments are more likely and more chal-
lenging, and for queer and disabled
people, seeking appropriate aid in envi-
ronmental disasters can be triply chal-
lenging. Young people are at greater
risk; given the disproportionate racial
impact of asthma among urban and
lower-income children of color, the abil-
ity of children to breathe while fleeing
Editorial Gaard 57
NEW FRONTIERS OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE A JP H
Ja n u a ry
2 0 2 2 , V o l 1 1 2 , N o . 1
or surviving climate disasters is an envi-
ronmental justice issue, compounded
by homophobia if their parents, siblings,
or extended family are queer or trans.
In addition, the intersections of envi-
ronmental justice, queer justice, and
species justice are entangled in the
lives of multispecies families. Species-
ism obscures the ways that human lives
are lived in relationship with other spe-
cies as well as environments; nearly
half of those who stayed behind during
Katrina refused rescue helicopters and
boats that offered safety only to
humans, and stayed because of their
companion animals. During the
COVID-19 pandemic, queer families
maintained well-being and mental
health through adoption and relation-
ships with companion animals.10 For
older LGBTQ1 adults, both single and
partnered, companion animals are
“lifesaving in every way,” from greater
mental and physical health to enriched
social networks.11 In sum, leading envi-
ronmental justice scholars have recog-
nized that their analytical frameworks
will miss important data unless they
include multispecies lives.12
CORRESPONDENCE Correspondence should be sent to Greta Gaard, Department of English, 256 KFA, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, 410 S. Third St, River Falls, WI 54022 (e-mail: [email protected]). Reprints can be ordered at http://www.ajph.org by clicking the “Reprints” link.
PUBLICATION INFORMATION Full Citation: Gaard G. Queering environmental justice through an intersectional lens. Am J Public Health. 2022;112(1):57–58.
Acceptance Date: July 28, 2021.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks to Katie Poe, associate production editor for AJPH, for her patient guidance in helping to format this response in accordance with AJPH guidelines.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
1. Obergefell v Hodges, 576 US 644 (2015).
2. Gaard GC. Feminism and environmental justice. In: Holifield R, Chakraborty J, Walker G, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice. New York, NY: Routledge; 2018:74–88.
3. McKay T, Misra S, Lindquist C. Violence and LGBTQ1 Communities: What Do We Know, and What Do We Need to Know? Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI International; 2017.
4. Wilson EC, Garofalo R, Harris RD, et al. Transgen- der female youth and sex work: HIV risk and a comparison of life factors related to engagement in sex work. AIDS Behav. 2009;13(5):902–913. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-008-9508-8
5. Glick JL, Lim S, Beckham SW, Tomko C, Park JN, Sherman SG. Structural vulnerabilities and HIV risk among sexual minority female sex workers (SM-FSW) by identity and behavior in Baltimore, MD. Harm Reduct J. 2020;17(1):43. https://doi.org/ 10.1186/s12954-020-00383-2
6. Boehmer U, Bowen DJ, Bauer GR. Overweight and obesity in sexual-minority women: evidence from population-based data. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(6):1134–1140. https://doi.org/10.2105/ AJPH.2006.088419
7. Cochran SD, Mays VM, Bowen DJ, et al. Cancer- related risk indicators and preventive screening behaviors among lesbians and bisexual women. Am J Public Health. 2001;91(4):591–597. https:// doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.91.4.591
8. Bernstein IM. “There Is No Manly Speculum”: The Gender and Power Dynamics of Cervical Cancer Screening for Transmasculine Patients [doctoral dissertation]. Boston, MA: Harvard Medical School; 2017.
9. Piepzna-Samarasinha LL. Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Chico, CA: AK Press; 2018.
10. Matijczak A, McDonald SE, Tomlinson CA, Murphy JL, O’Connor K. The moderating effect of comfort from companion animals and social support on the relationship between microaggressions and mental health in LGBTQ1 emerging adults. Behav Sci (Basel) 2020;11(1):1. https://doi.org/10. 3390/bs11010001
11. Muraco A, Putney J, Shiu C, Fredriksen-Goldsen K. Lifesaving in every way: the role of companion animals in the lives of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults age 50 and over. Res Aging. 2018;40(9):859–882. https://doi.org/10. 1177/0164027517752149
12. Pellow DN. Total Liberation: The Power and Prom- ise of Animal Rights and the Radical Earth Move- ment. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press; 2014. https://doi.org/10.5749/minnesota/ 9780816687763.001.0001
NEW FRONTIERS OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
58 Editorial Gaard
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Leisure Sciences An Interdisciplinary Journal
ISSN: (Print) (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ulsc20
Environmental Justice, Gentrification, and Leisure: A Systematic Review and Opportunities for the Future
Lauren E. Mullenbach & Birgitta L. Baker
To cite this article: Lauren E. Mullenbach & Birgitta L. Baker (2020) Environmental Justice, Gentrification, and Leisure: A Systematic Review and Opportunities for the Future, Leisure Sciences, 42:5-6, 430-447, DOI: 10.1080/01490400.2018.1458261
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2018.1458261
Published online: 14 May 2018.
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Environmental Justice, Gentrification, and Leisure: A Systematic Review and Opportunities for the Future
Lauren E. Mullenbach and Birgitta L. Baker
Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
ARTICLE HISTORY Received July Accepted March
KEYWORDS gentrification; green space; leisure; parks; systematic review
ABSTRACT The concept of gentrification, which has recently been expanded beyond residential displacement to address issues of equitable access to public spaces, is deemed an environmental justice issue. Environmen- tal gentrification presents a new threat to economically vulnerable areas looking to add parks, recreation, or green space to their neighborhoods because gentrification may attract newcomers who displace existing residents from public spaces as well as from housing. Consequently, park, recreation, and leisure scholars should study this phenomenon. A systematic review was conducted to assess current knowledge regard- ing relationships among gentrification and park, recreation, and leisure spaces. A search of three databases uncovered 27 articles. Little leisure scholarship was found, representing an opportunity for leisure scholars to promote environmental justice. Six themes derived from the articles described how policy can negatively impact residents, how strategies can prevent gentrification, and how research methods to study gentrifi- cation can impact how results are interpreted.
Access to quality green spaces in urban areas has been labeled an environmental and social justice issue (Dahmann, Wolch, Joassart-Marcelli, Reynolds, & Jerrett, 2010; Floyd & Johnson, 2002; Heynen, Perkins, & Roy, 2006). Evidence shows some minority and/or low- income groups have disproportionately low access to public city parks (Heynen et al., 2006; Jennings, Johnson Gaither, & Gragg, 2012), and a lack of park access has negative health con- sequences (Gordon-Larsen, Nelson, Page, & Popkin, 2006). Additionally, parks adjacent to low-income and minority neighborhoods tend to be smaller and of lower quality (Johnson- Gaither, 2011; Rigolon, 2016). Thus, exclusion from parks and green spaces and the disparity in quality of those spaces deny vulnerable groups access to health amenities, further perpet- uating injustices. In addition, attempts to remedy this inequitable access may create further injustice. When green spaces are constructed or renovated, the neighborhood may become more attractive and costly to live in, and wealthier groups may replace existing residents, thereby gentrifying the neighborhood (Wolch, Byrne, & Newell, 2014).
CONTACT Lauren E. Mullenbach email@example.com Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, The Pennsylvania State University, Ford Building, University Park, PA .
© Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
LEISURE SCIENCES 2020, VOL. 42, NO. 5-6, 430–447
What is gentrification?
Gentrification is a process of change and displacement of a lower wealth population by a higher wealth population (Atkinson, 2002). Displacement most often refers to the process by which residents are forced or choose to move from their homes to a different neighborhood. A different socioeconomic class often takes the place of those former residents. However, the displacement experienced may be physical or psychological. Residents may be physically dis- placed by gentrification (if they move), or they may feel as if they were displaced from the social and cultural environment of the neighborhood. Delaney (2004) conceptualized physi- cal displacement as material displacement and psychological displacement as discursive dis- placement. Gentrification is a multifaceted phenomenon that encompasses economic, social, and physical changes (Marcuse, 2016). Marcuse refers to these changes as “upgradings,” but he is careful to note that upgradings do not always lead to displacement of existing residents, although they often do. Whether these upgradings and potential related gentrification are evaluated as positive or negative depends on the worldviews and experiences of those evalu- ating (Slater, 2009).
The phenomenon of gentrification has been studied for decades by scholars from diverse disciplines, including sociology, economics, urban planning, and geography, and gentrifica- tion thought has evolved over time. Current paradigms assert that gentrification does not just affect the housing supply and markets, but it also influences an array of different types of places as well as social, economic, and political processes. While a large part of gentrification research remains focused on housing indicators, including property values and residential shifts, some research reflects this widened scope (Pearsall, 2010; Smith, 1987).
Economic changes that often drive or reflect gentrification include increases in property values, rent, and wealth/income of neighborhood residents (Freeman, 2006). Neighborhood wealth may increase when existing residents access higher paying jobs, alternate streams of income, or when the value of property they own increases; more often however, it occurs as lower income residents are replaced by higher income residents (Marcuse, 2016).
Physical upgrading may include renovation or replacement of existing buildings (housing stock and commercial buildings), public infrastructure improvements, and increases in the amount and quality of green and leisure spaces. Indicators of gentrification are thus embedded in renewed public space, businesses, and even grocery stores (Anguelovski, 2016).
Social and cultural changes in a neighborhood that is “upgrading” may be driven by and desired by existing residents. Alternatively, they may displace the norms and mores of existing residents by those of newcomers—a process often characterized by conflict, psychological displacement, or marginalization of existing residents (Shaw & Sullivan, 2011). As described in the articles included in this review, the social and cultural changes are difficult for long-time residents to grapple with (Anguelovski, 2016; Bélanger, 2012). What was once a place to gather and socialize may become an upscale grocery store or coffee shop filled with different people with different values. What was once a favorite spot in the park may have been “taken over” by newcomers who don’t share norms or activities. Justice issues resulting from psychological displacement include the losses of social capital from the breakup of social networks and of voice in local politics (Atkinson, 2002).
Depending on who is judging, these changes can be viewed positively or negatively. The effects of upgradings on a city budget are positive. Increased property taxes, higher income taxes, and sales tax from increased resident spending and additional tourism fill city and state coffers (Slater, 2009). Crime decreases associated with gentrification reduce police and other
LEISURE SCIENCES 431
related costs (Branas et al., 2016). Given this, it is not surprising that cities and states imple- ment pro-gentrification policies (Lees, 2003a; Smith, 2002). These benefits, however, should be weighed against the costs (social and financial) of the displacement of existing residents (Marcuse, 2016; Slater, 2009). Economically vulnerable residents displaced during gentrifica- tion are often from historically disadvantaged groups, making displacement and exclusion of those groups especially concerning (Marcuse, 2016). In addition to perpetuating inequities, the financial costs of moving, increased health costs incurred through moving to unhealthier areas, and the social costs of discrimination, exclusion, and the loss of social networks are injustices imposed upon vulnerable groups. The breaking up of social networks is an often uncalculated cost of displacement but one which may affect displaced residents’ ability to acclimate to a new neighborhood (Atkinson, 2003).
When cities construct or renovate new parks, trails, and other green spaces, particularly in areas that were previously deficient in these amenities, it can cause or perpetuate environ- mental gentrification. Environmental gentrification is a function of physical upgrading and occurs when an environmental amenity, such as a green space, park, or trail, is created or renovated to an extent that it spurs or accelerates gentrification, often facilitated by politi- cal processes (Checker, 2011). Currently, cities are implementing such changes in their built environment, which can exacerbate environmental injustice. Environmental injustice is his- torically linked to disproportionate exposure of lower-income and racial-minority neighbor- hoods to environmental hazards (Cutter, 1995). Because many such neighborhoods possess relatively lower levels of political clout, they are less equipped to lobby for change and are vul- nerable to other environmental injustices, such as environmental gentrification. The primary injustice of environmental gentrification is the reduced access to an environmental amenity, such as a park, due to displacement. Displaced residents are denied the physical, mental, and social health benefits of parks and green space (Mowen & Rung, 2016).
Also called “green gentrification” or “ecological gentrification,” this process has garnered recent attention in the larger urban development literature (Haase et al., 2017; Wolch et al., 2014). An example of this process is when a brownfield, that is, a property on which the pres- ence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant may compli- cate its expansion, redevelopment, or reuse, is cleaned up and replaced with a park, making the neighborhood more attractive, possibly increasing real estate values, and bringing wealth- ier residents to the area (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d.). Rather than the new amenity benefiting residents, the new or renovated public spaces can drive up property taxes and rents, displacing the residents they were meant to serve.
The consequences of environmental gentrification are seldom documented outside of a few well-cited case studies (e.g., Checker, 2011; Curran & Hamilton, 2012). The best approaches for addressing inequities in access to green space without spurring gentrification are still unclear. While a few key instances of physical upgrading of environmental amenities have not led to gentrification (Curran & Hamilton, 2012), more often upgradings spur gentrification. Therefore, more research is needed to determine factors differentiating neighborhoods and situations in which greening is associated with gentrification and those which are not associ- ated with environmental gentrification (Gould & Lewis, 2016). Cities are increasingly invest- ing in their public spaces, especially parks and open space, and it remains unclear whether conventional urban planning considers the consequences of environmental gentrification.
432 L. E. MULLENBACH AND B. L. BAKER
The transformations that occur during environmental gentrification are occasionally the result of city- or state-wide policies to restore brownfields or enhance sustainable develop- ment. These projects are typically undertaken with good intentions but can result in unfore- seen negative consequences for residents (Checker, 2011). Some cities, under the guise of promoting sustainability, recruit businesses with a sustainability focus to increase revenue and achieve their economic goals. Yet these businesses attract a specific clientele and may be cost-prohibitive to working class residents (Anguelovski, 2016). Pearsall (2010) illustrated this practice in his study of New York’s brownfield redevelopment program, which provided important groundwork for research on environmental gentrification. Pearsall assessed eco- nomic vulnerability of residents by observing changes in resident profile over time and found those most vulnerable to displacement or disadvantage
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