We're thrilled to welcome Julian Agyeman, professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, to Shareable’s advisory board. Please read more about Agyeman's prolific and impactful work in sustainability and environmental justice below.
I trained initially as an ecologist/bio-geographer, but would now call myself a critical urban studies and environmental social science scholar. Earlier in my career, I worked in local government in the U.K. as an environmental adviser, working with communities on urban environmental projects.
The activist in me drove me to form, in 1988 the Black Environment Network, the first environmental justice-based organization of its kind in Britain. In the early 1990s, I set up and ran my own environmental and consulting business, working with communities and local governments on what was then the "new" sustainability agenda, until I came to the U.S. and became a full time academic in 1998.
The driving force behind my work for the past 15 years has been my concept of "just sustainabilities," the full integration of social justice and sustainability defined as: "The need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems."
To get the concept out there, I use many avenues.
I'm editor-in-chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability and series editor of Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice published by Zed Books, and co-editor of the Equity, Justice and the Sustainable City series published by Routledge. Through these, I can shape people's thinking, develop agendas, and mentor the next generation of thinkers.
My books are another avenue. Key books include "Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World" (MIT Press 2003), "Cultivating Food Justice : Race, Class and Sustainability" (MIT Press 2011), "Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice" (Zed Books 2013), and most recently, "Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities" (co-authored with Duncan McLaren, MIT Press 2015).
I see sharing, especially sharing cities, as fundamental to achieving the just and sustainable futures I know humanity is capable of. In this I am completely aligned with Shareable's goals, and it is why I am so excited to be joining the advisory board.