Online Program

Climate justice: Urban vulnerability to extreme weather and the environmental justice movement in historical perspective

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:15 a.m. - 11:35 a.m.

Joyce Klein Rosenthal, PhD, Dept. of Urban Planning & Design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA
This presentation explores the history of the post-World War II Environmental Justice movement in the United States, and its most recent tributary – the social movement for climate justice -- in relation to the recent research on the geography of social and ecological vulnerability to extreme weather. It examines how the global equity dimensions of climate change involve not only inequities between but within countries. At the global level, there is recognition that populations of developing nations, who have contributed relatively little carbon to the atmosphere, are experiencing much greater impacts and face greater risks than those in the world's wealthier developed nations. Less well known is that among cities in developed nations, a growing number of studies document the unequal exposures and intra-urban health disparities that may result from climate change, variability and extreme events. The presentation concludes with thoughts on the equity implications of differential exposures to climate hazards for planning to adapt to climate change, as the urban-scale is the site of innovation for policies, programs and design approaches to mitigate climate hazards and adapt to a changing environment.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the current climate justice movements is historically grounded in the US environmental justice movement. Describe new study findings indicating that global climate change can magnify within-city health inequities in developed countries such as the US.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Joyce Klein Rosenthal is Assistant Professor of Urban Planning. Rosenthals research interests are in environmental planning, sustainable development, and the public health impacts of planning and urban design strategies, with a particular present focus on the spatial and social determinants of climate-related health outcomes, the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.