The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Environmental justice, urbanisation & resilience

In recent years, the role of cities in sustainable development has been acknowledged to a higher degree within both academic and development communities.

EJUR cluster

There are however significant blind spots in the understanding of how urbanisation operates in metabolising nature and in the creation and distribution of risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities among urban dwellers. There is a need for a deeper understanding of urban responses to these challenges.

This cluster explores the so-called 'urban transitions' faced by the global south, by unearthing emerging relationships and contradictions between resilience and environmental justice in the contemporary geographies of capitalist urbanisation and accumulation.

This challenge is approached through the following cross-cutting core questions:

  • Why and how does the 'urban' produce and reproduce environmental (in)justices?
  • Under what conditions can resilience shift from coping to transformation?
  • How can planning support synergistic relationships between resilience and environmental justice?

These questions are addressed through five specific focal areas of DPU research as follows:

More information

The Cluster Coordinator is Prof Cassidy Johnson. For more information, and to find out how to take part in our activities - including the EJUR Reading Group detailed below - please contact Nick Anim (nick.anim.12@ucl.ac.uk).

Cluster members should use the EJUR Moodle page for the latest updates.

EJUR Reading Group

We are pleased to announce the launch of the EJUR Reading Group which, as the name suggests, will provide an online platform to share reviews of articles and books relating to the cluster’s overarching interests. For the first in the review series, we invite cluster members to propose recent articles and books for consideration. Reviews will be published periodically on these webpages and, as an added incentive, the four most prolific contributors will receive £50 book tokens.

For more information please contact Nick Anim (nick.anim.12@ucl.ac.uk)

Proposed Reading List


Twigg, J. (2014). Attitude before method: disability in vulnerability and capacity assessmentDisasters, 38(3), 465-482. Available at:

Arboleda, M. (2015). The biopolitical production of the city: urban political ecology in the age of immaterial labourEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33, 35-51.

Broto, V. C., & Bulkeley, H. (2013). Maintaining climate change experiments: urban political ecology and the everyday reconfiguration of urban infrastructureInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(6), 1934-1948.

Angelo, H., & Wachsmuth, D. (2015). Urbanizing urban political ecology: a critique of methodological cityismInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(1), 16-27.

Tacoli, C., McGranahan, G., & Satterthwaite, D. (2015). Urbanisation, rural–urban migration and urban poverty.

Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International, Thailand Environment Institute, and Vietnam National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies, (2014), Urban Vulnerability in Southeast Asia: Summary of Vulnerability Assessments in Mekong-Building Climate Resilience in Asian Cities (M-BRACE)Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International, Bangkok.

Bardgett, Richard D. and Wim H. van der Putten (2014). Belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, Nature 515, 505–511.  27 November

Drury King R. and Currier B. (2012), Food Shortages, Social Unrest and the Low-Input Alternative, Union for Radical Political Economics Newsletter, Fall, pp. 10-14 [4 pp.]


Samara, T. R., He, S., & Chen, G. (2013). Locating right to the city in the global south (Vol. 43). Routledge.

Hackenbroch, K. (2013). The Spatiality of Livelihoods: Negotiations of Access to Public Space in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Spencer, J. H. (2014). Globalization and urbanization: The global urban ecosystem. Rowman & Littlefield.

Vasudevan, V. (2013). Urban Villager: Life in an Indian Satellite Town. SAGE Publications India.

Parnell, S., & Pieterse, E. A. (2014). Africa's urban revolution.

Anguelovski, I. (2014). Neighborhood as Refuge: Community Reconstruction, Place Remaking, and Environmental Justice in the City. MIT Press.

Kurian, M., & Ardakanian, R. (Eds.). (2014). Governing the Nexus: Water, Soil and Waste Resources Considering Global Change. Springer.

Research Projects 

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