Virtual Book Talk | How Green Became Good: Urbanized Nature and the Making of Cities and Citizens
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NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge and the Urban Democracy Lab invites you to a book talk for How Green Became Good: Urbanized Nature and the Making of Cities and Citizens featuring the author Hillary Angelo in conversation with Liza Weinstein, Roger Keil, and moderated by Gianpaolo Baiocchi.
As projects like Manhattan’s High Line, Chicago’s 606, China’s eco-cities, and Ethiopia’s tree-planting efforts show, cities around the world are devoting serious resources to urban greening. But why are greening projects so widely taken up, and what good do they do? In How Green Became Good, Hillary Angelo turns to Germany’s Ruhr Valley to uncover the origins and meanings of the enduring appeal of urban green space. Across 150 years, she shows that the impulse to bring nature into urban life has persistently arisen as a response to a host of social changes, and reveals an enduring conviction that green space will transform us into ideal inhabitants of ideal cities. Ultimately, however, she finds that the creation of urban green space is more about how we imagine social life than about the good it imparts.
Hillary Angelo is an urban and environmental sociologist and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work offers a social-theoretical perspective on socio-ecological questions through both historical and contemporary research on urban greening, sustainability planning and policy, infrastructure, and climate change. She has published in leading social science and geography journals including Nature, The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Theory and Society, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Before completing her Ph.D., she worked for five years with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, primarily on issues of participatory design, immigration, and public space use.
Liza Weinstein is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Northeastern University, and is an editor at the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Her research and teaching focuses on urban political economy and the politics of informality with a regional focus on India. Her 2014 book, The Durable Slum: Dharavi and the Right to Stay Put in Globalizing Mumbai (University of Minnesota Press), examines the Indian state’s changing response to residential informality in the context of economic globalization and “world-class” city-making. Her current book project, By the Bulldozer: Demolition, Dispossession, and Resistance in the Governance of India’s Cities, analyzes the shifting politics of “slum” clearance and anti-eviction activism across urban India. She is also leading a National Science Foundation-funded study on the intersection of legal exclusion, embodiment, and territorial stigma in non-notified communities in Mumbai.
Roger Keil is a Professor at the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of Suburban Planet (Polity 2018) and co-editor, with Fulong Wu, of the forthcoming After Suburbia (UTP 2021). Keil’s research areas are global suburbanization, cities and infectious disease, regional governance and urban political ecology. He is a co-investigator in a partnership grant on regional student mobility and currently works at the intersection of global urbanization and (emerging) infectious disease with colleagues in Berlin, Milan and Toronto on the relationship of the COVID-19 pandemic and cities.
Gianpaolo Baiocchi is a sociologist and an ethnographer interested in questions of politics and culture, critical social theory, and cities. He has written about and continues to research instances of actually existing civic life and participatory democracy. His most recent work is Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation (Stanford University Press, 2016), which he co-authored with Ernesto Ganuza. The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life (co-authored with Elizabeth Bennett, Alissa Cordner, Stephanie Savell, and Peter Klein; Paradigm Publishers, 2014) examines the contours and limits of the democratic conversation in the US today. He is also the author, along with Patrick Heller and Marcelo K. Silva, of Bootstrapping Democracy: Experiments in Urban Governance in Brazil (Stanford University Press, 2011) and Militants and Citizens: Local Democracy on a Global Stage in Porto Alegre (Stanford University Press, 2005). He is the editor of Radicals in Power: Experiments in Urban Democracy in Brazil (Zed Press, 2003). An engaged scholar, Baiocchi was one of the founders of the Participatory Budgeting Project and continues to work with groups improving urban democracy. He heads Gallatin’s Urban Democracy Lab, which launched in 2014 and which provides a space for scholars and practitioners to collaborate and exchange ideas for cultivating just, sustainable, and creative urban futures.