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Neighborhood as RefugeCommunity Reconstruction, Place Remaking, and Environmental Justice in the City$
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Isabelle Anguelovski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026925

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026925.001.0001

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Holistic Community Reconstruction and Tactical Choices

Holistic Community Reconstruction and Tactical Choices

(p.99) 4 Holistic Community Reconstruction and Tactical Choices
Neighborhood as Refuge

Isabelle Anguelovski

The MIT Press

Chapter 4 shows how activists have been working in complementary domains that naturally strengthen each other and help achieve community reconstruction. Activists do not compartmentalize their work into discrete categories. They might work on environmental clean-up and safe farming, move to green spaces and physical activity, and then work on learning and education in newly rebuilt spaces. Urban environmental justice is part of a broader puzzle that involves equitable and sustainable community development and community rebuilding projects. These might be multipurpose community centers (particularly important when outdoor spaces are unused or unsafe), healthy and affordable housing, welcoming venues for healthy food and community activities, and economic opportunities and security through these projects. Community development thus also becomes a tool for advancing environmental justice. The second part of the chapter looks at the broad, diverse, and often unexpected coalitions of residents, community organizations, architects, artists, funders, political leaders, and environmental NGOs that have worked within the existing political context to rebuild each neighborhood. Coalitions have offered residents access to material resources, technical expertise, and financial support. This bottom-to-bottom networking manifested itself in three complementary levels of activism—street activism, technical activism, and funder activism.

Keywords:   Community reconstruction, Holistic revitalization, Strategic and tactics, Bottom-to-bottom networks, Complementary levels of activism

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