When Is Housing an Environmental Problem?

Across disciplines, deep anxieties animate recent accounts of
global urbanization and its dire environmental consequences.
Scholarly work calls for a complete rethinking of “the urban”
as an object of study (e.g., Amin and Thrift 2002; Low 1999),
while policy literature nervously proclaims that for the first
time in human history,1 the majority of the world’s population
now resides in cities (UN Population Division 2003). Against
a backdrop of extraordinary wealth and equally extraordinary
wealth disparities (e.g., Dawson and Edwards 2004; Sen 2002),
scholars and policymakers question the socioecological consequences
of rapid urbanization with increasing alarm, asking…


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