Environmental and Social Justice in the City

Historical Perspectives

Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud and Richard Rodger (eds)

The world is full of environmental injustices and inequalities, yet few European historians have tackled these subjects head on; nor have they explored their relationships with social inequalities. In this innovative collection of historical essays the contributors consider a range of past environmental injustices, spanning seven northern and western European countries and with several chapters adding a North American perspective. In addition to an introductory chapter that surveys approaches to this area of environmental history, individual chapters address inequalities in the city as regards water supply, air pollution, waste disposal, factory conditions, industrial effluents, fuel poverty and the administrative and legal arrangements that discriminated against segments of society.

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Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud is Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, where she holds a chair in Environmental History. Her last book, Histoire de la pollution industrielle, France 1789-1914, was published in 2010 (Paris: EHESS). She is currently completing, with Stephen Mosley, a book entitled Common Ground: Integrating the Social and Environmental in History (forthcoming, Newcastle: CSP). Since 2007 she has been the president of the European Society for Environmental History. In France, she initiated the RUCHE (Scholarly Network of Researchers in Environmental History). At the beginning of 2010 she was appointed by the Humanities and Social Sciences Institute and the Ecology and Environment Institute of the CNRS to lead their common interdisciplinary research network in Environmental History.

Richard Rodger is Professor of Economic and Social History at Edinburgh University. He has published widely on the economic, business and urban history of Britain since 1800, was editor of Urban History from 1987-2007, and joint editor for a series of forty books under the title of ‘Historical Urban Studies’, published by Ashgate. His book The Transformation of Edinburgh: Land, Property and Trust in the Nineteenth Century was awarded the Frank Watson Prize for works on Scottish history. Ongoing research includes a project on the development of public and environmental health in Victorian Scotland. In recognition of his contributions to the study of economic and social history, Rodger was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2004.

‘Because of the excellent framing of the issue by the editors and the provocative and wide-ranging topics discussed in the essays, this is a very satisfying volume.‘

Martin V. MelosiEnvironmental History

‘ … a useful collection, which begins to place the issue of urban environmental inequalities on the European research agenda.’

Barry Doyle Environment and History

‘ … an agenda-setting collection of studies led by a thoughtful introduction.’

R.J. MorrisThe Economic History Review


Chapter One: Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud and Richard Rodger,
Reconsidering Justice in Past Cities: When Environmental and Social Dimensions Meet

PART 1. Constructing the Injustice

Chapter Two: Geoffrey L. Buckley and Christopher G. Boone,
‘To Promote the Material and Moral Welfare of the Community’: Neighbourhood Improvement Associations in Baltimore, Maryland, 1900-45

Chapter Three: Joanna Dean,
The Social Production of a Canadian Forest

PART 2. Managing Risks

Chapter Four: Tim Soens, 
Threatened by the Sea, Condemned by Man? Flood Risk, Environmental Justice and Environmental Inequalities along the North Sea Coast 1200-1800

Chapter Five: Craig Colten,
Floods and Inequitable Responses: New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina

PART 3. Water-related Inequalities

Chapter Six: Jonas Hallström,
Urban or Suburban Water? Working Class Suburbs, Technological Systems and Environmental Justice in Swedish Cities in the Late Nineteenth Century

Chapter Seven: Christoph Bernhardt,
At the Limits of the European Sanitary City: Water-related Environmental Inequalities in Berlin-Brandenburg, c.1900-39

PART 4 Waste and Inequalities

Chapter Eight: Marcus Stippak,
German Cities and their Sewage Systems: Darmstadt and Dessau in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Chapter Nine: Stéphane Frioux,
Managing Urban Waste Disposal Facilities in France c.1900-40: A New Source of Inequality?

PART 5 Energy and Industry

Chapter Ten: Richard Oram,
Social Inequality in the Supply and Use of Fuel in Scottish Towns c.1750-1850

Chapter Eleven: Chloé Deligne and Wanda Balcers,
Environmental Protest Movements against Industrial Waste in Belgium 1850-1914

Chapter Twelve: Janet Greenlees,
Technological Choice and Environmental Inequalities: The New England Textile Industry

31st January 2011, 250pp.
ISBN 13 978-1-874267-61-4 (HB) £70