Learning From the Complexities of NYC's High Line: The Urban Heat Island Effect and Green Gentrification

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-6274-2654
Fisher, Elizabeth, Environmental Sciences - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Lawrence, Deborah, AS-Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
Galloway, James, AS-Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
Crisman, Phoebe, AR-Arch Dept, University of Virginia

The impact of climate change on cities reverberates across multiple environments: Bio-physically, the intensification urban heat islands underscores the urgency for effective mitigation strategies. Socio-politically and -economically, systemically marginalized communities are structurally positioned to experience the worst of climate injustice. How do we design climate solutions in a way that mitigate the urban heat island and the structural inequality that comes with it? Reflecting on one angle of this complexity, I highlight the importance of scientific research surrounding the biophysical formation and mitigation of the UHI mitigation. Then, through a case study of New York City’s High Line, I demonstrate that urban greening and sustainable redevelopment strategies risk catalyzing green gentrification because of their embeddedness in racialized, capitalist structures. From there, this paper proposes (re)politicized climate solutions through frameworks and examples of justice-centered pedagogy and critical urban theory with an overall goal of supporting a systematic approach to just sustainable redevelopment.

MA (Master of Arts)
climate solutions, green gentrification, urban heat island
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