Theses Master's

The Production of Just Space: Climate Change and the Future of the New York City Housing Authority

Perles, Michael

The scientific community is all but certain that the planet is warming as a direct result of human interference with natural climatic systems. Climate change will affect everyone and everything on the planet but these effects will not be distributed equally or in the same way. It is clear that the most marginalized populations on the planet - the (urban) poor, women, children, people of color, the LGBTQ community and the elderly - will be most severely affected. Historically, national and international progress has been inadequate in addressing the profound issues surrounding climate change. Substantive progress is being made, however, in cities, especially in New York City. This thesis seeks to understand the idea that progress at a local, community level can affect city-wide policies and, potentially, larger scale (inter)national climate goals. The New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Resident Green Committees (RGCs) are used as a lens to examine how pressure from communities can affect change in a climate agenda. Through a review of critical urban and spatial theory; interviews with RGC leaders, NYCHA officials, and public housing residents; and an analysis of the agendas and projects taking place at different housing projects and in NYC housing activism circles, an understanding of the ways in which socio-spatial justice influences our collective future will be completed.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Klein-Rosenthal, Joyce E.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 22, 2016