Tackling Urban Pollution: Harms, Crimes and Environmental Justice

This event has now passed.

Date: 17 June 2021
Venue: Zoom, via Eventbrite
Time: 15.00-17.00

Tackling Urban Pollution: Harms, Crimes and Environmental Justice

  • A Public Webinar
  • University of the West of England, Bristol
  • 17 June 2021, 15.00-17.00 GMT

Organised by: Dr. Jon Mulholland (Associate Professor in Sociology - UWE Bristol) and Kathryn Wickstead (BA Criminology, UWE Bristol)

In Conjunction with Green Criminology: Environment, Crime and Justice (UZSKFV-15-3), Social Science in the City, and the Social Science Research Group

Registration Free via Eventbrite

Rationale and Format of the Event

Urban environmental pollution, of air, water and land, constitutes amongst the gravest threats to a sustainable future, and more immediately to the health, wellbeing and justice experienced by city dwellers. Public and environmental health research has documented the multitudinous risks associated with urban pollution, whilst green criminologists and environmental sociologists have pointed to the environmental injustices commonly associated with such pollutions. The burden of pollution does not fall equally on the shoulders of all urban populations.

Rather, populations already disadvantaged by a host of social inequalities typically find themselves also burdened by the 'risk multiplier' of unfair and unequal exposure to pollution harm. Whilst a range of responses to urban environmental pollution have been rolled out (locally, nationally and regionally), ranging from mitigation, to regulation, prevention, and prosecution, important debates remain about how to better tackle the ongoing challenges of urban pollution. These include the extent to which a broader criminalisation of pollution harms could and should be considered.

This event seeks to make a contribution to current debates about how best to respond to the increasing challenges presented by urban pollution, as a threat to health, wellbeing and justice, and to a consideration of what kinds of measures will be necessary going forward if both the common and unjustly unequally experiences of pollution harms are to be tackled.

'Tackling Urban Pollution' brings together four leading stakeholders in considering these important debates. The event will commence with a presentation from each of our experts, and be followed by an open-floor Q and A and panel discussion.


  • Professor Jim Longhurst (Professor of Environmental Science and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability at University of the West of England, Bristol)
    "Why is illegal air pollution not taken more seriously?"

  • Professor Avi Brisman (Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University)
    "Pollution as Environmental Crime and Harm: A Green Criminological Approach"

  • Oliver Lord (Head of Policy and Campaigns, Clean Air, Environmental Defence Fund)
    "Advocating action with air pollution data; vehicle pollution and marginalised communities"

  • Olivia Meyonette Sweeney (Ambassador, Black and Green, Bristol)
    "Community Solutions for Clean Air in Bristol"

  • Professor Julian Agyeman (Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, UEP Tufts University, Medford, MA)
    "The Minneapolis Paradox: How one of the US's Greenest Cities became the focus of our introspection over structural racism"

For any further details, contact: Jon Mulholland (jon.mulholland@uwe.ac.uk) or Kathryn Wickstead (Kathryn2.Wickstead@live.uwe.ac.uk)

Cost: Free
Contact: Jon Mulholland
Telephone: 07545573053
E-mail: jon.mulholland@uwe.ac.uk

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