Course Subject
Course Number
Course Credit

Environmental Planning: Communities, Fairness, and Beyond

Course Description

What are the possibilities and limits that communities, broadly conceived, encounter for achieving environmental justice at the intersection of race, class, gender and caste? This course develops a framework for understanding key issues in Environmental Planning and Activism from the perspective of communities, collective action and fairness. Students will also be encouraged to begin developing their own philosophical orientation and toolkit for practice. In the first part, Justice, we will examine four key debates in the field: fairness of process, outcome and practice; scarcity, renewability and growth; utilitarian ethics and the alternatives; scientific expertise and indigenous knowledge. In the second part, Institutions, we will examine the institutions of state, market, community and their combinations for addressing environmental problems. In the third and final part, Tools, we will critically assess common techniques and strategies to approach environmental problems with reference to the ideas developed in the class. Comparative cases will be drawn from domestic and international settings to introduce emerging issues. In addition, we will use simulated, role playing exercises to reflect on implementation. The class will touch topics such as sustainability, resilience, the local and global commons, environmental impact assessments, urban air quality, climate change adaptation, deep ecology, social ecology, feminist environmental ethics, and digital activism.


CORE-GP.1011 and URPL-GP.2660 or CORE-GP.1022