Sustainable and Just Cities

Skyline Rotterdam

Sustainable cities are about upholding social justice, ecological resilience and economic vitality for current and future generations. Many social movements and organizations across the world, including activists, entrepreneurs, researchers, policy-makers and other citizen, are collaborating to create more sustainable and just cities. They are striving for access to basic needs (e.g. housing, energy, water, food, healthcare), while also respecting future generations and other living creatures.

In this sub-theme, we critically engage with these movements through interdisciplinary research. We take complex political interlinkages between ecological, social and economic challenges in urban contexts as a fundamental starting point. What are the challenges and tensions between ecological sustainability and socio-economic justice? How can we ensure that sustainable cities are also just cities? How are people and networks empowered to transform their cities into more sustainable and just environments?

Theme Lead

Julia Wittmayer

  • Julia Wittmayer works as assistant professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and has worked as (action) researcher in sustainability transitions at DRIFT since 2008. With a background in social and cultural anthropology, she focuses on changing social relations between and meaning making of societal actors in processes of social change. She works on social innovation and transformative change through research projects such as 'Pathways towards low-carbon cities' (TOMORROW) and builds expertise and a university-wide network on transformative research with Erasmus Universities’ Design Impact Transition (DIT) Platform.

Publication Series Just Sustainability Transitions

Exploring the intersections of justice, sustainability and transformative change

A demonstration in a city center

Event Series on Just Sustainability Transitions

Contributing to informed academic and public debates on (in)justice and (un)sustainability

Through collaborating with organizations and social movements working on ecological sustainability and socio-economic justice on a daily basis, researchers can co-produce actionable knowledge on how to create transformative change towards more just and sustainable futures.

JUSTRA Cities Network

Aims to deepen, translate, and connect knowledge and practice on just sustainability transitions

Networks for Sustainable and Just Cities

Urban Arena Podcast with Flor Avelino

JUSTRA Cities Research

Understanding the role of translocal networks in knowledge sharing and co-production.

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