Understanding climate gentrification and shifting landscapes of protection and vulnerability in green resilient Philadelphia

Galia Shokry*, James JT Connolly, Isabelle Anguelovski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


As resilience strategies become a prominent orthodoxy in city planning, green infrastructure is increasingly deployed to enhance protection from climate risks and impacts. Yet, little is known about the social and racial impacts of such interventions citywide. In response, our study uses a quantitative and spatial analytical approach to assess whether interventions we call “green resilient infrastructure” (GRI) protect social groups traditionally most at risk and/or least able to adapt to climate impacts – or conversely, if the aggregate effect is maladaptive and inequitable outcomes (i.e. shifting vulnerability or climate gentrification). First, we performed a pre-post test of GRI siting distribution relative to socioecological vulnerability in Philadelphia neighborhoods. Second, we examined gentrification trends in relation to GRI siting and whether these interventions contribute to increasing the socio-ecological vulnerability of historically marginalized populations. Our findings point to a strong negative association between GRI siting and increased minority population, and a strong positive association between GRI siting, gentrification, and reduced minority population. The paper contributes to a better understanding of siting inequities and urban climate injustice dynamics and offers a new conceptual frame for critical urban adaptation research and practice of the pathways that shape uneven and unjust outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100539
JournalUrban climate
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


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