Research Topic

Urban Greening in the Global South: Green Gentrification and Beyond

About this Research Topic

There is a need for greener infrastructure in cities around the world. However, academic studies demonstrate urban greening resulting in problems related to social impacts, the displacement of people, and changes in land prices and housing costs. This process has been called "Green Gentrification", "Environmental Gentrification", or "Eco-Gentrification". The situation tends to be even more complex in the Global South where many cities have deficits of green areas and sustainable infrastructure, lack of effective planning policies, combined with large areas of both informal land tenure and illegal occupation and development by land militias. Therefore, green spaces and environmental amenities have become luxury goods that predominantly are accessed by wealthier group of people.

Empirical studies focusing on the Global South or on the North-South and South-South dialogue are still scarce, perpetuating a limited understanding of the relationship between urban greening, unequal and uneven development and growth including the provision of ecosystem services, and social equity. There is a dearth of analyses contributing to more robust academic debate as well as scientific-political interchange. Specialized literature also indicates that successful methods, tools, and practices in the Global North seldom work in the Global South (or vice versa), unless they are carefully tailored to the particularities of recipient territories and communities. To date, many examples of urban greening in the North – especially large scale, flagship projects – have only been shown to contribute to gentrification and inequalities.

Therefore, it is imperative to expand both the repository of case studies and the South-South or North-South comparisons we critically learn from. The main goal of this Research Topic is to expand scientific dialogue on approaches to greening cities in the Global South that contribute or exacerbate green inequalities and gentrification or – in contrast – create greener and healthier cities for all. Our purpose is to include both (1) concrete cases of green inequalities and (2) good practices and interventions.

This Research Topic welcomes articles on the following:

• Theory and practice related to critical green planning and the paths to making Global South cities more just and sustainable.
• Cases of green gentrification, green infrastructure, and nature based solution processes through which implementation has generated (un)desirable effects on urban spaces and communities.
• Empirical cases in which undesirable processes and impacts were reversed or mitigated, whether through new territorial planning tools, new forms of participatory or progressive planning, or legal mechanisms and planning and policy tools.
• New methods, techniques, analysis, tools, and/or indicators for measuring the level of green inequality and its impact on social equity and sustainability of the Global South cities.
• Urban Greening cases on the Global South that successfully increased access to green space and its multiple benefits, addressing healthy and inequalities issues for all citizens, not only for the wealthier group of people.


Keywords: Green Inequalities, Green Gentrification, Urban Greening, Global South, Just Sustainability, Environmental Justice, Green Spaces Equity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

There is a need for greener infrastructure in cities around the world. However, academic studies demonstrate urban greening resulting in problems related to social impacts, the displacement of people, and changes in land prices and housing costs. This process has been called "Green Gentrification", "Environmental Gentrification", or "Eco-Gentrification". The situation tends to be even more complex in the Global South where many cities have deficits of green areas and sustainable infrastructure, lack of effective planning policies, combined with large areas of both informal land tenure and illegal occupation and development by land militias. Therefore, green spaces and environmental amenities have become luxury goods that predominantly are accessed by wealthier group of people.

Empirical studies focusing on the Global South or on the North-South and South-South dialogue are still scarce, perpetuating a limited understanding of the relationship between urban greening, unequal and uneven development and growth including the provision of ecosystem services, and social equity. There is a dearth of analyses contributing to more robust academic debate as well as scientific-political interchange. Specialized literature also indicates that successful methods, tools, and practices in the Global North seldom work in the Global South (or vice versa), unless they are carefully tailored to the particularities of recipient territories and communities. To date, many examples of urban greening in the North – especially large scale, flagship projects – have only been shown to contribute to gentrification and inequalities.

Therefore, it is imperative to expand both the repository of case studies and the South-South or North-South comparisons we critically learn from. The main goal of this Research Topic is to expand scientific dialogue on approaches to greening cities in the Global South that contribute or exacerbate green inequalities and gentrification or – in contrast – create greener and healthier cities for all. Our purpose is to include both (1) concrete cases of green inequalities and (2) good practices and interventions.

This Research Topic welcomes articles on the following:

• Theory and practice related to critical green planning and the paths to making Global South cities more just and sustainable.
• Cases of green gentrification, green infrastructure, and nature based solution processes through which implementation has generated (un)desirable effects on urban spaces and communities.
• Empirical cases in which undesirable processes and impacts were reversed or mitigated, whether through new territorial planning tools, new forms of participatory or progressive planning, or legal mechanisms and planning and policy tools.
• New methods, techniques, analysis, tools, and/or indicators for measuring the level of green inequality and its impact on social equity and sustainability of the Global South cities.
• Urban Greening cases on the Global South that successfully increased access to green space and its multiple benefits, addressing healthy and inequalities issues for all citizens, not only for the wealthier group of people.


Keywords: Green Inequalities, Green Gentrification, Urban Greening, Global South, Just Sustainability, Environmental Justice, Green Spaces Equity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

21 October 2020 Abstract
22 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 October 2020 Abstract
22 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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