Pollution of air, soil, and waterways has become a primary concern of urban environmental policy making, and over the past two decades there has emerged a new era of urban policy that links development with ecological issues, based on the notion that both nature and the economy can be enhanced through technological changes to production and consumption systems. This book takes a new look at this application of "ecological modernization" to contemporary urban political-ecological struggles. Considering policy processes around land-use in urban watersheds and pollution of air and soil in two disparate North American "global cities," it criticizes the dominant belief in the power of markets and experts to regulate environments to everyone’s benefit, arguing instead that civil political action by local constituencies can influence the establishment of beneficial policies.
The book emphasizes ‘subaltern’ environmental justice concerns as instrumental in shaping the policy process. Looking back to the 1990s—when ecological modernization began to emerge as a dominant approach to environmental policy and theory—Desfor and Keil examine four case studies: restoration of the Don River in Toronto, cleanup of contaminated soil in Toronto, regeneration of the Los Angeles River, and air pollution reduction in Los Angeles. In each case, they show that local constituencies can develop political strategies that create alternatives to ecological modernization. When environmental policies appear to have been produced through solely technical exercises, they warn, one must be suspicious about the removal of contention from the process.
In the face of economic and environmental processes that have been increasingly influenced by neo-liberalism and globalization, Desfor and Keil’s analysis posits that continuing modernization of industrial capitalist societies entails a measure of deliberate change to societal relationships with nature in cities. Their book shows that environmental policies are about much more than green capitalism or the technical mastery of problems; they are about how future urban generations live their lives with sustainability and justice.
No two cities are more symbolic of the modern American metropolis than New York and Los Angeles. But while New York boasts a recently revitalized urban center, Los Angeles is the classic example of sprawl and decentralization, with multiple clusters of economic and social activity dispersed throughout its surrounding area.
This volume presents advanced studies that consider this fundamental difference between New York and Los Angeles while comparing and contrasting politics and culture in each region. An esteemed group of contributors from a wide variety of disciplines considers issues that include immigration, the effects of race and class on residence, the efficacy of public schools, the value of welfare reform, the meaning of mayoral politics, the function of charter reform, and the respective roles of the cinema and art scenes in each city.
Capturing much of what is new and vibrant in urban studies today, New York and Los Angeles will prove to be must reading for scholars in that field, as well as in sociology, political science, and government.
Andrew Beveridge, Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Geoffrey DeVerteuil, Susan S. Fainstein, Robert Gedeon, Saverio Giovacchini, David L. Gladstone, David Halle, Jack Katz, Karen M. Kaufmann, Rebecca Kim, Mark Levitan, Kevin Rafter, Georges Sabagh, David O. Sears, Heidi Sommer, Raphael J. Sonenshein, András Szántó, Lois Takahashi, Susan Weber, Jennifer Wolch, Julia Wrigley, Min Zhou
This is the first study of Hollywood by an anthropologist. Jorja Prover examines how different groups of individuals, separated from one another superficially by ethnicity, race, and sex, function as writers in Hollywood. She describes the white “majority” Hollywood writers and explores their concerns and creative processes, and then discusses other writers who, until recently, have been virtually invisible in the entertainment industry—women, the physically challenged, gays, African Americans, Latinos, and Asians. In detailing their efforts at gaining professional acceptance, these writers introduce new, previously unmentioned issues involving access, advancement, talent, sexual harassment, and discrimination.