Julian Agyeman Ph.D. FRSA FRGS, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, has extensive experience in local government, environmental and sustainability consulting and in the voluntary sector in the UK. He holds a a Ph.D in Urban Studies from the University of London, an M.A. in Conservation Policy from Middlesex University, UK, and a B.Sc (joint honours) in Geography and Botany from Durham University, UK.
He is the originator of the increasingly influential concept of just sustainabilities, which explores the intersecting goals of social justice and environmental 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. He centers his research on critical explorations of the complex and embodied relations between humans and the urban environment, whether mediated by governments or social movement organizations, and their effects on public policy and planning processes and outcomes, particularly in relation to notions of justice and equity. For example, are we, as urban planners, as good at fostering belonging (recognition, reconciliation, difference, diversity, inclusion) as we are at developing prescriptions for what our cities can become (smart cities, sharing cities, sustainable cities, resilient cities)? His conviction is that just sustainabilities, which foregrounds belonging and becoming, can help us think through both, together.
He is the author or editor of 12 books, including Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World (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 (Policy Press, 2006), Environmental Justice and Sustainability in the Former Soviet Union (MIT Press, 2009), Speaking for Ourselves: Environmental Justice in Canada (UBC Press, 2010), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability (MIT Press, 2011), Environmental Inequalities Beyond Borders: Local Perspectives on Global Injustices (MIT Press, 2011), Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice (Zed Books, 2013), Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, and Possibilities (Routledge, 2014) and Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities (MIT Press, 2015), one of Nature's Top 20 Books of 2015 and Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice: From Loncheras to Lobsta Love (MIT Press, 2017). His latest book is The Immigrant-Food Nexus: Borders, Labor, and Identity in North America (MIT Press 2020).
He was co-founder in 1996, and is now Editor-in-Chief of Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. He is Series Editor of Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning and Practice published by Zed Books and Co-Editor of the Routledge Equity, Justice and the Sustainable City Series. Julian is a Founding Senior Advisor/Thought Leader at PlacemakingX and sits on the Academic Board of The Centre for the Future of Places (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden), the Board of Directors of EcoDistricts (Portland, OR, USA) and on the Advisory Boards of Shareable (San Francisco, USA), Participatory City (London, UK), Urban Sharing (Lund, Sweden), Sharecity (Dublin, Ireland), and the McConnell Foundation's Cities for People and Future Cities Canada programs (Montréal, Canada) and the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy - US (New York City).
In 1996, he was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA) in the UK, a network of people dedicated to enriching society and shaping the future through ideas and action, and in 2016 he became a Fellow of the UK Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), the learned society and professional body advancing geography and supporting geographers.
He has held Visiting Professorships at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia (2008-13); Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK (2010-14); the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada (April-May 2011); The Walker Ames Visiting Professorship, University of Washington, Seattle (Feb-March 2017), Visiting Professor in Urban Planning, McGill University, Montréal, Canada (2017-18) and the TD Walter Bean Visiting Professorship at the University of Waterloo, Canada (2020-21). He held a Visiting Fellowship at The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, hosted by the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (April-May 2011). He was Senior Scholar at The Center for Humans and Nature, Chicago (2013-16) and was a Fellow of the McConnell Foundation Cities for People program in Montréal, Canada (2017-18).
In 2018, he was awarded the Athena City Accolade by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for his "outstanding contribution to the field of social justice and ecological sustainability, environmental policy and planning."
Sustainability policy and planning; environmental and food justice; intercultural cities