Minneapolis is characterized by profound racial and environmental injustices. In this webinar with Hennepin-University Partnership, Dr. Hannah Ramer and Dr. Rebecca Walker will examine key moments over the last century that contributed to the starkly uneven environmental landscape Minneapolis residents experience today. Focusing on the Minneapolis park system, they trace the history of park development alongside racial covenants, zoning, redlining, freeways, and urban renewal, investigating the ways in which housing inequality shaped when, where, and how investments in the park system were made, and their implications for lasting inequalities. They also draw on insights from historic case studies to reframe present-day debates over how to provide high quality greenspaces in historically disinvested communities without triggering green gentrification. In doing so, this research sheds light on the ways structural inequality becomes embedded in and reproduced through investments in infrastructure and urban nature.
Hannah Ramer, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow in Geography, Environment & Society at the University of Minnesota, where she studies the relationship between nature and wealth inequality. Her research has also included urban agriculture, bee lawns, park planning and racial equity, and environmental history, mostly in Minneapolis.
Rebecca Walker, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois. She completed her Ph.D. in urban planning from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Her research sits at the intersection of housing, equity, and the environment in U.S. cities. She examines historic and contemporary housing and environmental policies that have produced and reproduced urban environmental landscapes.