Environmental justice in urban greening for subtropical Asian cities: the view from Taipei

Mabon, Leslie (2020). Environmental justice in urban greening for subtropical Asian cities: the view from Taipei. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 41(3) pp. 432–449.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/sjtg.12341


Whilst an extensive body of literature exists on the environmental justice implications of urban greening in North America, Europe and to an extent Australasia, there are fewer analogous studies for tropical zone Asian city contexts. Given increasing global interest in the potential for urban greenspace to contribute to resilience in the face of environmental change and the higher vulnerability of Asian cities to environmental shocks, this is a notable gap. In response, this paper evaluates the contours of environmental justice debates within urban greenspace planning for one subtropical Asian city—Taipei. Through analysis of newspaper reporting on urban greenspace planning within Taipei, the potential and limitations of greenspace planning in contributing to equitably delivering benefits from urban greenspace towards resilience are assessed. Findings suggest that claims to environmental injustice in greenspace debates within Taipei follow broadly similar lines to controversies in Europe and North America. Nevertheless, the need for specific knowledge to understand the different ecosystem services provided by tropical zone ecosystems, and the potential for conflicts over greenspace versus development to be heightened in dense Asian city settings, are highlighted as potential areas where environmental justice debates in an Asian urban greening context may differ from Western cities.

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