City Forum: Appropriating Justice

Friday Nov. 2, 2018 , noon to 1:30 p.m.
City Forum, Miriam Solis


This talk examines the social equity implications of redeveloping Locally Unwanted Land Uses (LULUs). A case study of the rebuilding of San Francisco’s Southeast Treatment Plant is used to illustrate that, in line with literature on the public support for LULUs, historically marginalized residents are engaged in the planning process and new infrastructure designs respond to their longstanding concerns. Yet the neighborhood where the plant is sited is rapidly gentrifying. LULU improvement is thus an example of the appropriation of justice, or an instance where the built environment is changed to reflect the concerns of historically marginalized groups but not to serve them. Some recommendations for planning practice are discussed.

Miriam Solis, Ph. D.

Miriam Solis is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at UT Austin. Her research focuses on race and racism, organization change, and social justice in infrastructure planning. Her most recent project investigates how these dynamics play out in the rebuilding of wastewater infrastructure systems in older American cities. Miriam’s scholarly pursuits are informed by professional practice, including work for the cities of San Francisco, New York, and Richmond, CA, as well as for the Greenlining Institute. She holds an MCP from MIT and a PhD from UC Berkeley.