Faculty Book: Melissa Checker

Melissa Checker
The Sustainability Myth
‚Äč(NYU Press, 2020)

Image of book: the sustainability MythFrom state-of-the-art parks to rooftop gardens, efforts to transform New York City’s unsightly industrial waterfronts into green, urban oases have received much public attention. In The Sustainability Myth, Melissa Checker uncovers the hidden costs  — and contradictions — of the city’s ambitious sustainability agenda in light of its equally ambitious redevelopment imperatives.

Focusing on industrial waterfronts and historically underserved places like Harlem and Staten Island’s North Shore, Checker takes an in-depth look at the dynamics of environmental gentrification, documenting the symbiosis between eco-friendly initiatives and high-end redevelopment and its impact on out-of-the-way, non-gentrifying neighborhoods. At the same time, she highlights the valiant efforts of local environmental justice activists who work across racial, economic, and political divides to challenge sustainability’s false promises and create truly viable communities.

The Sustainability Myth is a cautionary, eye-opening tale, taking a hard — but ultimately hopeful — look at environmental justice activism and the politics of sustainability.

Checker is a professor of anthropology, psychology, and urban studies at The Graduate Center and Queens College.

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Submitted on: OCT 29, 2020

Category: Anthropology | Environmental Psychology | Faculty Books