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IMF Riot and Urban Problems (Winter/Spring 1993)

Special Issue Produced in Cooperation with the United Church of Christ
(Vol.3, No.4/Vol.4, No.1: Winter/Spring 1993)

Since its early inception at the beginning of the last century, the more established environmental movement has shown an overwhelming tendency to focus on the problems of the larger environment, more remote in space and time, while ignoring the ones where most people live. It has had relatively little to say about the dense concentrations of large numbers of people engaging in occupations other than mining, farming, ranching, and fishing. Yet seventy percent of Americans, and almost half of humanity, live in cities. Many global environmental problems result from the way we live in such urban communities.

Since 1990, after decades of neglect, the environmental movement has begun to pay more attention to these human habitats. A great deal of this attention has promoted new patterns of thought, development, and action which link urbanism to nature. These efforts are resulting in greater appreciation for wildness in the city, community gardens, and in designing cities to conserve land, air, water, and energy. Attempts to link environmental values to urban design, however, have paid very little attention to the nexus between racial issues, social class, and the quality of urban life.

The insurrection in Los Angeles in the wake of the Rodney King verdict in April of 1992 riveted national attention on these other dimensions of our urban experience, long absent from public discourse: the persistence of urban  poverty, racially separate societies in our metropolitan regions, public safety, crime violence, and homelessness.

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1  LA'S IMF Riots
     by Cynthia Hamilton

1   Restoring Cities From the Bottom Up
     by Mike Helm and George Tukel

3   Developing Working Definitions of Urban Environmental Justice
     by Charles Lee

6   The Need For A New Economics
     by Stephen Viederman

7   Residential Apartheid In Urban America
     by Robert  Bullard

9   Get The Lead Out
     by Janet Phoenix

10 Recycling As Economic Development: We Can Invent Our Future
     by Neil Seldman

12 After The Uprising: Metro Rail, Social Justice, and Urban Form
     by Raymond L. Rhodes

14 Environmental Justice Organizations in Urban Areas

18 The Cultural Climate of Cities
by Luz Cervantes

19 Billboards in San Francisco
     by Josh Konecky

28 EDGE Conference 1993
     by Karla Brundage

30 Curitiba Commitment to Sustainable Development

31 Leaking Underground Storage Tanks and Urban Neglect
     by Daniel O'Connor