Yasser Payne and I were interviewed and quoted in a News Journal article on Riverfront East development and the community of Southbridge in South Wilmington. The community of Southbridge is organizing for the development to benefit them equitably, and there is strong potential for gentrification and displacement of current Southbridge residents over time. From the article:
“’You’ve got an area that has historic higher levels of poverty, brownfields, as well as active industry and then within half a mile you have hundreds of millions of dollars being invested into upper scale types of housing…and leisure activities,’ said Victor Perez, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware.”
Article information here:
News Journal author: José Ignacio Castañeda Perez
Title: “Southbridge residents call for equal investment in $100M Riverfront East plan”
Published August 3, 2021

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Important video on sharing in the benefits of a green city from the CREATE Initiative. With extraordinary changes coming to South Wilmington, DE, this policy toolkit is a reminder that development and greening for the sustainability class comes with serious potential downsides for historic communities like Southbridge. #affordablehousing #greengentrification #climategentrification

CREATE Initiative

Wilmington’s Riverfront to expand east with new $100 million, 86-acre mixed-use project: “‘The civic association has submitted letters to ask for greater transparency and engagement with the Southbridge community as we face the dual threats of flooding and gentrification, which may be exacerbated by the plans along South Market Street put forth by the RDC,’ Dixon said.”

Southbridge Plan Draws Skepticism

$100 million overhaul planned for Wilmington’s ‘other’ riverfront

South Wilmington Wetlands Park

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I recently published a book chapter for The Delaware Naturalist, edited by McKay Jenkins and Sue Barton at UD. The chapter, titled “Environmental Justice,” is an introduction to the field and focuses on environmental injustice issues in New Castle County, DE. It is a unique introduction of a social and environmental justice perspective to the master naturalist curriculum. I hope that it helps to serve those students, as well as the local public, to integrate a social justice lens into their work on environmental issues in the state.

Citation:

Perez, Victor W. 2020. “Environmental Justice.” Pages 291-310 (Chapter 13) in The Delaware Naturalist Handbook, edited by McKay Jenkins and Susan Barton. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press. Distributed by the University of Virginia Press.

Find it on Amazon and see a video on the overall effort in a recent UDaily article.

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Recently, I joined Madinah Wilson-Anton on the The Highlands Bunker Podcast to discuss her Green New Deal for Delaware and some of my related research. Some of my favorite parts include discussions of renewable energy and fenceline communities, while also cautioning inequitable outcomes of opportunity zones and development driving green infrastructure and community changes. Check it out here!

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