Summer Conversations Series

Pollution and the Pandemic: Race, Place, and the Sustainable City

In 2003 Brown sociologist John Logan observed that  “some neighborhoods can kill” pointing to polluted air, high crime rates, disease, lack of health care, segregation and other ills that have since been shown to in fact bring on premature death. The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic, demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd, and long standing structures of racism and inequality undercut what are in fact potentially effective strategies for nurturing the resilience and sustainability of the nation’s cities.  If there was ever any question that sustainability includes key social justice components as well as policies to protect the physical environment, all doubt has now been removed.  This panel will examine how issues of environmental degradation, health disparities, and race intersect to threaten the viability of the nation’s cities and what can be done to create more resilient and sustainable communities.