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Children breathe their own air: Reflections on children’s geographies, the urban political ecology of air pollution, and ongoing participatory action research with undergraduates near an east London primary school

Gustafson, S; (2020) Children breathe their own air: Reflections on children’s geographies, the urban political ecology of air pollution, and ongoing participatory action research with undergraduates near an east London primary school. Area 10.1111/area.12663. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Children are uniquely socially and biophysically exposed to the toxic and illegal air pollution plaguing many cities around the world. Scholars working in urban political ecology (UPE) and in children’s geographies have a significant opportunity to research these toxic metabolic flows and responses to them, though scholarship at the intersection of UPE and children’s geographies is scarce and falls behind the growing social movements involved in activism regarding air pollution in children’s urban spaces. Additionally, the intersection of children’s geographies and UPE presents a chance for significant pedagogical reflection in UPE, which, to date, has been nearly absent. To address these issues, this paper details a multi‐ method and participatory action research project with undergraduates to locate and intervene in uneven and unequal urban metabolism of air pollution near a primary school in east London. It argues for the increasing relevance of air pollution for UPE scholarship, for further interdisciplinary work at the intersection of UPE and children’s geographies, and for the greater participation of undergraduates in urban environmental politics beyond the classroom.

Type: Article
Title: Children breathe their own air: Reflections on children’s geographies, the urban political ecology of air pollution, and ongoing participatory action research with undergraduates near an east London primary school
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/area.12663
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12663
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: air pollution, children’s geographies, London, participatory action research, urban political ecology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117199
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