Book Talk


Thursday, January 12, 2012 
2:30 - 4:00 pm 
Public Affairs Building -School Commons Room 3383


Book Talk: "Urban Sustainability in the Age of Climate Justice: Lessons from Metro Phoenix"

Bird On Fire Book Cover

Presented by Andrew Ross, New York University


About the Speaker:

Andrew Ross is a Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. A contributor to theNation, the Village Voice, and Artforum, he is the author of many books, including Nice Work if You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times, Fast Boat to China--Lessons from Shanghai, Low Pay, High Profile: The Global Push for Fair Labor, No-Collar: The Humane Workplaceand its Hidden Costs, and TheCelebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney’s New Town. He has also edited several collections, including No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade, and the Rights of Garment Workers, and The University Against Itself: The NYU Strike and the Future of the Academic Workplace. His most recent book is Bird On Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City.


Talk Abstract:

Thoughtful people look to cities for evidence that progress is being made in the fight to avert climate change. The “sustainable cities” movement is thriving all across the world, and mayors compete for the title of “greenest city in America.” 

In this lecture, drawing on his own research in the metro Phoenix area, Andrew Ross shows that the key solutions are more social than technical in nature. Marketing a green lifestyle to affluent residents will create showpiece sustainable enclaves, but will not alter the patterns of “eco-apartheid” that afflicts most large U.S. cities.

Ross’s new book, Bird On Fire, based on extensive interviews in the region, looks at some of Phoenix’s biggest challenges–water management, urban growth, immigration policy, pollution, energy supply, and downtown revitalization–in light of his arguments for policies that promote environmental justice.


This event is co-sponsored by UCLA Department of Urban Planning, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainabiltiy and The Lewis Center