Welcome to the October 2023 edition of the EUC Research Update - bringing you highlights from research activities at York's Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change. We invite you to view our past updates on our Research News page.
Sergio Guerra on hauntology, Hip-Hop and diasporic memory in the colonial Anthropocene.
Behnaz MoradiGhiasabadi on forest management systems based on IoT technology.
Kaitlin Pal on applications of ecological footprint and biocapacity to Saugeen Ojibway Nation land claims.
Accolades, Appointments, and Awards
Congratulations to York University Honorary Doctorate Nnimmo Bassey. Bassey is a Nigerian architect, poet and environmental activist. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws at EUC’s convocation ceremony (shared with Glendon, Education, Lassonde and Science) this October.
Bassey is director of the ecological think tank Health of Mother Earth Foundation (based in Nigeria) and member of the steering committee of Oilwatch International – a network resisting the expansion of fossil fuels extraction in the Global South. Bassey’s books include To See the Invisible (2023), Oil Politics – Echoes of Ecological War (2016), To Cook a Continent: Africa: Destructive Extraction & Climate Change (2014), among others. He recently authored an article titled "The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Africa" (Resilience, 2023). For more info, see YFile News.
A warm welcome to our new EUC postdoctoral researcher Niloofar Mohtat. Mohtat graduated with Ph.D. in Planning from the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on equity and justice in urban climate change adaptation, flood risk management, and green infrastructure planning. She has experience in developing GIS analysis, participatory mapping activities, and public engagement processes for advancing climate justice. She has an MA degree in post-disaster reconstruction and a BSc in architectural engineering. As EUC's post-doctoral researcher in climate change, housing, and equity, she will engage in exploratory research to generate insights into the current state of knowledge on how climate change is impacting the most vulnerable communities in urban Canada. Her postdoctoral fellowship is funded by Gore Mutual Insurance in partnership with Social Innovation Canada.
CITY Institute and EUC postdoctoral fellow, Araby Smyth, has been awarded a "Right to the Discipline" grant from the Antipode Foundation for a project called "Beyond Esri: Making Abolition in Geography" with Jane Henderson (Dartmouth College), Leah Montange (University of Toronto), and the Making Abolition in Geography collective. The project aims to uncover the carceral-financial relationships between Esri and law enforcement actors, increase awareness among geographers about Esri’s role in policing and surveillance, and encourage critical reflexivity for abolitionist praxis within the discipline of geography. Smyth is part of Linda Peake's GenUrb project (Urbanization, Gender, and the Global South project. Her role in the project is to comparatively analyze interview and life history data on the theme of money, debt, and finance in women’s everyday lives. Her research has been published in Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space; Gender, Place & Culture; Geoforum; and The Conversation. Smyth's research work has been featured in the EUC research spotlight.
Publications and Reports
Basu, R. (2023) Neoliberalized Private Education – Main themes and Counter Hegemonic Futures. Concluding chapter in David Giband, Kevin Mary, Nora Nafaa (Eds) Geograph(ies) of globalized education privatization(s). Springer, Human Geography collection.
Biorklund, L. (2023). Undocumented Bordering Practices: Protagonism and Spaces of Making. Journal of Refugee Studies. August.
Creutzig, F., Goetzke, F., Ramakrishnan, A., Andrijevic, M., and Perkins, P. (2023). Designing a virtuous cycle: Quality of governance, effective climate change mitigation, and just outcomes support each other. Global Environmental Change, Volume 82.
Duker, P., Vandergeest, P., & Klanarongchao, S. (2023). Ontological politics of conservation in Thailand: Communities making rivers and fish matter. Conservation and Society. Advance online publication. 10.4103/cs.cs_129_22, October.
Keil, R. (2023). Covid, Contagion and Comparative Urban Research in The Routledge Handbook of Comparative Global Urban Studies edited by Patrick Le Galès and Jennifer Robinson. 1st Edition, September. London, Routledge.
Keil, R. (2023). Mike Davis: Erinnerungen an einen Giganten der Großzügigkeit. sub\urban. zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung.
Montero, S. and Sotomayor, L. (2024). Judicialización y política urbana: Ciudadanos, políticos y jueces en la suspensión de Transmilenio por la Séptima en Bogotá. EURE, Vol. 50, No. 149.
Olusegun, C., Ojo, O., Olusola, A. et al. Solar radiation variability across Nigeria’s climatic zones: a validation and projection study with CORDEX, CMIP5, and CMIP6 models. Modeling Earth Systems and Environment.
Remmel, T. (2023). Package 'aspace'. Functions for Estimating Centrographic Statistics. License GPL-3. CRAN Repository.
EUC Media Coverage and Events
EUC's online seminar series kicks off this November! With the theme "Aim high, Degrow: Dialogues on Degrowth," the series will bring together degrowth scholars with EUC faculty moderators for dialogues on degrowth.
Organized by Lina Brand Correa with and MES Degrowth IDS group members -- Kelly Gingrich, Elaine Howarth, Shahed Shafazand and Anna Stratton -- the seminar series will explore the concept of degrowth - what it is (and isn’t), some key debates in this emerging academic field and social movement, and how it connects to big questions around environmental and urban change.
Session 1 will be held on Wednesday, November 22, 1pm on the topic “Degrowth: A slogan, a movement or a concept?” with guest speakers, Peter Victor and Elena Hofferberth with Anna Zalik as moderator. Discussion will focus on the origins of degrowth, the controversies around its name, the advances in recognition of degrowth in academia, grassroots initiatives and political debates, and the directions of future research and action on degrowth. Register here.
Deborah Barndt has been recently interviewed in Spanish by EUC PhD graduate Tania Hernandez who works in the Mexican parliament for a weekly podcast, Espacio Cultural San Lorenzo.
The focus of the interview is their new collective book, Earth to Tables Legacies: Multimedia Food Conversations Across Generations and Cultures co-authored with EUC PhD alumni Lauren Baker and Alexandra Gelis.
The City Institute held a research seminar series chaired by Stefan Kipfer titled "Divide and displace: The birth of carceral urban planning in Montreal featuring Ted Rutland from Concordia University with EUC alumna, Jamilla Mohamud as discussant.
The talk examined the history of les Belangers, a group of young Haitians in northeast Montreal who decided to stand together against white racial violence in the early 1980s, the police response to the group, and how the police response was part of a larger political-economic transformation in Montreal. The talk argued that dynamics of racial violence and counter-violence - the struggle of groups like Belangers - are an essential part of the gradual emergence of neoliberal and carceral forms of urban planning.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) Press recently sponsored a live discussion of Abidin Kusno's new book: Jakarta: The City of a Thousand Dimensions. In this book, Kusno teases out some of the dimensions that have given shape to contemporary Jakarta, including the city’s expanded flexibility in accommodating capital and labour, the formal and the informal, and the consistent lack of planning which can be understood as both politics and poetics of governing.
The book, which has been described as "richly textured, revealing, brilliant and original", is the first publication in NUS new book series, Across the Global South - Built Environments in Critical Perspective featuring Kusno and series editors Anoma Pieris, Farham Karim, and Lee Kah Wee.
October is Fair Trade month and York is ready to announce that it will be a Fair Trade Campus soon!
The event coincides with the re-launch of Las Nubes coffee at York and in celebration, EUC, LAPS and Las Nubes held a Fair Trade panel event with the theme: Fair Trade and Sustainable Development: How fair trade benefits farmers, their communities, and the environment.
Las Nubes Director Felipe Montoya and Associate Director Ana Martinez participated in the panel discussion along with Jonathan Duran (CoopeAgri), Bill Barrett (Planet Bean Coffee) and Gavin Fridell (St. Mary's University).
What is Indigenous Design and Planning and why do we need it in our communities? Listen and find out as Dr Ted Jojola, a distinguished professor from the University of New Mexico (and visitor at EUC in February 2023) drops by The Aunties Dandelion podcast hosted by Paulette Moore, EUC PhD candidate and founding member and co-owner of the media-arts collective informed by traditional Onkwehon:we (Indigenous) teachings and focused on revitalizing communities through stories of land, language, and relationships. The Aunties Dandelion is partnering with Jojola and his Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (ID+PI) beginning in late January on a limited podcast series (6 episodes - every two weeks) about ID+PI's work in rematriating brownfield sites. Each episode will highlight a case study including a burn site on Navajo Nation, an Indigenous community battling climate change and relocation in western Alaska, and the rematriation of an historically contaminated site that eventually became the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City.
Luisa Sotomayor and Mark Winfield were featured in YorkU Magazine on Building Sustainability: Green Design Takes Root at York.
The article authored by John Lorinc highlights the environmental features of the Markham Campus that reflect York’s commitment to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and are part of the University’s strategy to achieve net zero by or before 2049. York is also part of a broader move across the post-secondary sector to drive low-carbon design, including in new student residence projects.
Sotomayor underscores the importance of looking into the potential benefits of affordable and sustainable housing especially for students. The potential synergies, adds Winfield, Co-Chair of EUC’s Sustainable Energy Initiative, should have particular resonance with post-secondary institutions that are under increasing pressure to provide or develop better and more affordable housing for students.
Patricia Wood and David Rossiter (Western Washington University, and York Geography PhD Alumnus) launched their book Unstable Properties: Aboriginal Title and the Claim of British Columbia (UBC Press, 2023), which has been shortlisted for the 2023 Lieutenant Governor's Historical Writing Awards.
Commentaries were provided by Leora Gansworth (York Geography Alumna/Provostial Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow at Osgoode Law School) and Matt Farish (Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto).
During the talk, the authors highlighted the unstable ideological foundation of land and title arrangements in British Columbia such that divergent historical geographies – land as sovereignty, land at the disposal of the state, land as a site to invest capital – have been used to secure citizenship for some and undermine it for others.
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