Zuzana Poorova and Zuzana Vranayova
The need to house population in urban areas is expected to rise to 66% in 2050, according to United Nations. The replacement of natural permeable green areas with concrete constructions and hard surfaces will be noticed. The densification of existing built-up areas is responsible for the decreasing vegetation, which results in the lack of evapotranspiration cooling the air. Such decreasing vegetation causes urban heat islands. Since roofs and pavements have a very low albedo, they absorb a lot of sunlight. Environmental justice is still an emerging topic in postsocialist cities, constrained by market-orientation and neoliberal trends within society, privatization, and the primacy of private interests. The respective situation in postsocialist cities provides insights into the international debate on environmental justice, by highlighting some extremes related to neoliberal and populist governments and very rapid processes that lack long-term democratic consensus within societies. The findings of this study are discussed in the context of a postsocialist legacy, which includes broad tolerance for inequalities, a lack of solidarity in society, a lack of responsibility for the public interest, and extreme individualization and disregard for social interests. This has gradually led to the corporatization of local authorities and various business–government coalitions. This setting is more likely to favor business models related to the use and management of urban green and blue spaces than the environmental justice discourse.
Published Date: 2021-03-31; Received Date: 2021-03-10