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Urban Green Infrastructure: Resilient Cities Need Equitable Decision-making

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Speaker: Fushcia-Ann Hoover, Postdoctoral Associate, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center

Full title: Building Resilient and Equitable Cities: Implications of Decision-Making Processes Behind Urban Green Infrastructure 

The promotion of green infrastructure (GI) as a tool for creating resilient and sustainable communities occurs across all levels of government. At the city level, emphasis on health and well-being, equity, and other positive ecosystem services are often used as justification for GI planning and implementation. In practice however, decisions about where to site GI are opportunistic and driven by city finances and political or institutional priorities. With respect to environmental justice and resilience, it is clear that these priorities perpetuate social and environmental inequities, creating 'sustainable' communities for a subset of residents, while ignoring the equally meaningful resilience of communities of color and other institutionally-oppressed groups. Without addressing the disconnect between planning for ecological challenges like stormwater flooding, versus planning for environmental equity, our ability to achieve truly sustainable and resilient cities will forever be limited.

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