Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University in Medford, MA. He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of ‘just sustainabilities,‘ the full integration of social justice and sustainability, defined as:
the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.
Trained initially as an ecologist/biogeographer, he has become a critical urban studies and environmental social science scholar. Using his science and social science background to help frame his perspectives, research and scholarship, he thrives at the borders and intersections of a wide range of knowledges, disciplines and methodologies which he utilizes in creative and original ways in his research.
He was co-founder in 1988, and chair until 1994, of the Black Environment Network (BEN), the first environmental justice-based organization of its kind in Britain. He was co-founder in 1996, and is now Editor-in-Chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability and was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) in the same year. The mission of the RSA is to enrich society through ideas and action. In 2016 he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) whose aim is the development and promotion of geographical knowledge, together with its application to the challenges facing society and the environment.
A highly sought after speaker, in addition to many keynotes around the world, he has delivered a number of key lectures including the Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Homily and Keynote at Bates College in 2012; the Zube Annual Lecture at UMass Amherst in 2013; the UCL Environment Institute Inaugural Conference 2013; the The Wrigley Lecture at Arizona State University in 2014; the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Lecture at Wellesley College in 2014; the George B. Hartzog, Jr. Lecture at Clemson University 2015; the Teale Lecture at the University of Connecticut in 2016; the Big Thinking Lecture at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ (Canada) Annual Conference at the University of Toronto, 2016 and the forthcoming Walker Ames Endowed Public Lecture at the University of Washington in February 2017.
He is Series Editor of Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice published by Zed Books and Co-Editor of the Routledge Series Equity, Justice and the Sustainable City. He is also Contributing Editor to Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and a member of the editorial board of the Australian Journal of Environmental Education.
He is an Affiliate at the Civitas Athenaeum Laboratory, and on the academic advisory board of The Centre for the Future of Places, both at KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, a Studio Associate at The Studio at the Edge of the World, University of Tasmania Creative Exchange Institute and a Senior Scholar at The Center for Humans and Nature, Chicago. He sits on the Advisory Boards of Participatory City, Urban Sharing and Sharecity, and is on the Board of Directors of EcoDistricts
His wide ranging and influential publications, which number over 160, include books, peer reviewed articles, book chapters, published conference presentations, published reports, book reviews, newspaper articles, Op-Eds and articles in professional magazines and journals. His most cited paper (co-authored with Anja Kollmuss) Mind the Gap: Why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? was published in Environmental Education Research (2002 Vol. 8 pp 239-260) and is in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altimetric. His most recent article (co-authored with David Schlosberg, Luke Craven and Caitlin Matthews) Trends and directions in environmental justice: from inequity to everyday life, community, and just sustainabilities was published in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources (2016. vol 41. pp 321–40).
His books include Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (co-edited with Robert D Bullard and Bob Evans: MIT Press 2003), Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice (NYU Press 2005), The New Countryside? Ethnicity, Nation and Exclusion in Contemporary Rural Britain (co-edited with Sarah Neal: The Policy Press/University of Bristol Press 2006), Environmental Justice and Sustainability in the Former Soviet Union (co-edited with Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger: MIT Press 2009), Speaking for Ourselves: Environmental Justice in Canada (co-edited with Peter Cole, Randy Haluza-DeLay and Pat O’Riley: The University of British Columbia Press 2009), Environmental Inequalities Beyond Borders: Local Perspectives on Global Injustices (co-edited with JoAnn Carmin: MIT Press 2011), Cultivating Food Justice : Race, Class and Sustainability (co-edited with Alison Hope Alkon: MIT Press 2011), Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice (Zed Books 2013) and Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, and Possibilities (co-edited with Stephen Zavestoski: Routledge 2014), Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (co-authored with Duncan McLaren: MIT Press) was one of Nature’s Top 20 Books of 2015. His forthcoming book From Loncheras to Lobsta Love: Food Trucks, Cultural Identity and Social Justice (co-edited with Caitlin Matthews and Hannah Sobel) will be published in August 2017 by MIT Press.
His key areas of expertise are just sustainabilities, policy and planning; environmental and food justice; planning in and for intercultural cities. For fuller details of his expertise, take a look at his research interests, complete list of publications and his most recent cv. For measures of the (academic) impact of his work, take a look at his Google Scholar citations, h-index and i10-index. To keep up with his latest ideas, visit his Just Sustainabilities Blog and his Incomplete Streets, Invisible Cyclist and Urban Food Stories websites. You can follow him on his Twitter accounts: