Urban Cascadia and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice

Urban Cascadia and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice


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In Portland’s harbor, environmental justice groups challenge the EPA for a more thorough cleanup of the Willamette River. Near Olympia, the Puyallup assert their tribal sovereignty and treaty rights to fish. Seattle housing activists demand that Amazon pay to address the affordability crisis it helped create. Urban Cascadia, the infrastructure, social networks, built environments, and non-human animals and plants that are interconnected in the increasingly urbanized bioregion that surrounds Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, enjoys a reputation for progressive ambitions and forward-thinking green urbanism. Yet legacies of settler colonialism and environmental inequalities contradict these ambitions, even as people strive to achieve those progressive ideals.

In this edited volume, historians, geographers, urbanists, and other scholars critically examine these contradictions to better understand the capitalist urbanization of nature, the creation of social and environmental inequalities, and the movements to fight for social and environmental justice. Neither a story of green disillusion nor one of green boosterism, Urban Cascadia and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice reveals how the region can address broader issues of environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, and the politics of environmental change.