I co-authored an open access paper with Jakub Kronenberg, Annegret Haase, Edyta Łaszkiewicz, Aliaksandra Baravikova, Magdalena Biernacka, Diana Dshkova, Richard Filčak, Dagmar Haase, Maria Ignatieva, Yaryna Khmara, Mihai Razvan Niţă and Diana Andreea Onose. The paper, Environmental justice in the context of urban green space availability, accessibility, and attractiveness in postsocialist cities, has been published in Cities (Volume 106, November 2020).
This article aims to position postsocialist cities in Central and Eastern Europe in the broader debate on urban environmental justice. The article crosscuts through all three dimensions of justice (distributive/distributional, procedural/participatory, and interactional/recognition) in the context of urban green and blue space provision. 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.