Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

A New Phase of Just Urban Climate Action in the Rocky Mountain West

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Abstract:  The imperative of climate change has inspired hundreds of cities across the United States to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet in some contexts, urban greening and climate action have exacerbated social injustices, spawning green gentrification or increasing the cost of living. In response, cities are beginning to shift their governing institutions to foster collaboration between departments and build local capacities while leaning into the interconnected nature of climate change mitigation, housing affordability, and social justice. Through a cross-case comparison of Denver, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah, two cities committed to climate action while facing severe housing crises, this study argues that cities are entering a new phase of urban climate action, one that can build a more sustainable and equitable urban environment for all.

Keywords:  climate justice; green gentrification; housing affordability; intersectional planning; urban climate policies



© Clara Stein, Corina McKendry. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.