I am currently enjoying my Masters of Environmental Governance program at the University of Freiburg, Germany, meanwhile working on the UrbanA project. A Canadian born and raised, I appreciate this opportunity to learn about social and environmental sustainability in a European context.
Vision on & relation to sustainable just cities
From my perspective, the notion that cities should be both sustainable and just is an intuitive yet underrated concept. The purpose of working towards environmental sustainability is to ensure that diverse life on earth can healthily and harmoniously continue on within given limits. Importantly, the necessary task of making our systems more sustainable also poses risks and opportunities for justice in the process of change. To improve, or at least not worsen, the well-being of all people in cities, we need to pay attention to who is suffering from environmental inequalities, who is benefiting from sustainability initiatives, and who is being excluded from them. My involvement in UrbanA has reminded me that the work I do should always go back to these questions. I am grateful for the reminder, and for the many examples of initiatives I've seen through the project which address environmental and social issues together!
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