Habitable Air

Intersections of Urban Inequality, Political Division, and Pollution in the “Habitable Air” Project

As global temperatures continue to rise and the impact of pollution and climate change becomes increasingly apparent, it is more important than ever to examine the ways in which these issues intersect with other pressing social and political concerns. The “Habitable Air” project is a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to do just that, by exploring the relationship between urban inequality, political division, and the impact of pollution and global warming.


At the heart of the project is a focus on the urban poor, who often bear the brunt of the negative effects of industrial toxicity and pollution. By studying the experiences of these individuals in South Africa, Germany, and the United States, the project aims to shed light on the complex ways in which industrial toxicity intersects with global warming and the ways in which these issues shape the lives and communities of ordinary citizens.


One of the key objectives of the “Habitable Air” project is to examine the ways in which people living on the margins of a jointly owned petrochemical company in these three countries manage the cultural and corporeal effects of chemical air pollution. By shifting the focus to the everyday practices and interactions of these individuals, the project seeks to provide a more nuanced understanding of the impact of pollution and global warming on urban life and politics.


In addition to its primary objective, the “Habitable Air” project also has a secondary objective: to analyze how long-standing struggles over industrial toxicity are being shaped by the increasing integration of climate science into contemporary governance. By studying the networked citizen practices and interactions that drive the reordering of urban life and politics, the project aims to identify both the successes and the failures of these efforts to create more equitable and sustainable cities.


Overall, the “Habitable Air” project represents a significant contribution to our understanding of the complex ways in which industrial toxicity intersects with global warming. By focusing on the experiences of ordinary citizens and their practices and interactions, the project offers a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities of addressing these pressing issues in a rapidly changing world.

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