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Urban Justice

Access to Basic Necessities

What is Urban Justice?

Urban justice is a term that refers to the need to provide all urban residents with the basic necessities they need to live a healthy and safe life. This includes access to safe and affordable housing, reliable transportation, quality education and health care, fair wages, access to green spaces, and other basic services. To achieve this, cities need to develop comprehensive, community-based policies and initiatives that focus on equity and inclusion. Examples of such initiatives include providing job training and employment opportunities for marginalized communities, expanding access to public transportation, and creating more affordable housing. Additionally, cities should strive to create inclusive and welcoming environments for people of all backgrounds and abilities, as well as protect the rights of all residents.


Chris Seto, Mercury staff. "Workshop Connects Urban Agriculture with Social Justice." Guelph Mercury (ON) 01 Feb. 2015:

Urban agriculture has the unique ability to address social, political and economic community problems in ways nothing else can, says Alex Redfield. The farm manager of Toronto's Black Creek Community Farm spoke as a moderator for a workshop at the 34th annual Guelph Organic Conference on Saturday at the University of Guelph. He introduced three people who spoke of urban agriculture as a tenet of social justice, bringing communities together through the growing and giving of food.


Hilmers, Angela, David C. Hilmers, and Jayna Dave. "Neighborhood Disparities In Access To Healthy Foods And Their Effects On Environmental Justice." American Journal Of Public Health 102.9 (2012): 1644-1654 11p.

Environmental justice is concerned with an equitable distribution of environmental burdens. These burdens comprise immediate health hazards as well as subtle inequities, such as limited access to healthy foods. We reviewed the literature on neighborhood disparities in access to fast-food outlets and convenience stores. Low-income neighborhoods offered greater access to food sources that promote unhealthy eating. The distribution of fast-food outlets and convenience stores differed by the racial/ethnic characteristics of the neighborhood. Further research is needed to address the limitations of current studies, identify effective policy actions to achieve environmental justice, and evaluate intervention strategies to promote lifelong healthy eating habits, optimum health, and vibrant communities. (Am J Public Health. 2012;102:1644-1654.)


Shigley, Paul. "When Access Is The Issue." Planning 75.8 (2009): 26-31.

The article discusses the problems and the impact of not having access to fresh healthy foods in underserved communities in the U.S. It states that access to healthy food in poor neighborhoods remain difficult due to problems in industrial food production and the local distribution system. It adds that grocery store chains remain uninterested in poor urban communities due to demographics and site requirements while fast foods continue to increase people's risk for diabetes and obesity.


Hattam, Jennifer. "Green Streets." Sierra 91.4 (2006): 36-41.

The article focuses on the cities of the United States and their environmental aspects. The mayors of Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles have each thrown down the gauntlet, declaring their city will be the most environmentally friendly. But success takes more than a showcase building or ambitious plans. A truly green city integrates environmental sustainability into everything from its sidewalks to its skyscrapers. It invests in renewables and energy efficiency, protects open space, reduces waste, and provides-clean air and water and access to healthy food for residents of all economic classes. In addition to their individual achievements, most of the cities have signed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, vowing to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Some of the cities with biggest transit turnaround are Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Austin. Denver is honored for its clean energy. City known for healthy food is Madison and hall of fame cities are Chicago, New York City, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.


"U.N. Report: Ending World Hunger Will Cost $267 Billion Per Year." Arabia 2000 (2015)

Geneva, July 10 (QNA) - Sustainable eradication of world hunger by 2030 will require an estimated additional $267 billion per year on average for investments in rural and urban areas and in social protection, a new U.N. report said.


Winter, Joysa. "Closing The Grocery Gap." Natural Foods Merchandiser 32.2 (2011): 14-16.

The article presents an overview on the struggles of low-income areas in bringing healthy choices of food deserts. It highlights the opening of Old North Grocery Co-op in St. Louis, Missouri where fresh fruits, dry goods and meat from local farmers were sold. The nonprofit organization called Uplift Solutions that strives to improve the access to affordable healthy foods in urban areas and provides home delivery of groceries and medications to elderly is also mentioned.


Bellafante, Ginia. "The Gentrification Exception." Nation 296.18 (2013): 37.

The article discusses the history of the Brooklyn borough of New York City as of 2013, with a focus on demographic changes in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville and the role of gentrification in New York City. Topics include the Jewish population of business owners and consumers who made up the majority of Brownsville residents from 1910 to 1950; residents of Brownsville living below the federal poverty line as of 2013; crime rates, violence, and public housing in Brownsville; and research on the issue of family homelessness by community organizer Rosanne Haggerty. Urban renewal projects are discussed.


Moses, Paul. "Gentrification." Commonweal 133.11 (2006): 10-11. Literary Reference Center. Web. 6 Apr. 2016.

The article focuses on gentrification in the U.S. and its effect on the people and the nation. The Southside of Williamsburg in New York has been discovered by pioneers who turned Williamsburg's neighboring Northside into a hip artsy enclave à la Manhattan's Soho district. The trend toward gentrification in urban communities no longer involves homesteading amid rubble or in vacant factories, but it has become a process that pits the interests of poor. According to the results of a study by Harvard's Center for Joint Housing Studies, the U.S. is losing 200,000 rental housing units a year to demolition. Father Jim O'Shea, a priest and social worker, has been facing a challenge in making the poor visible in the public-policy debate over how to renew U.S. cities.