Isabelle Anguelovski

Isabelle Anguelovski#

FIELD OF SCHOLARSHIP: Urban Planning and Environmental Studies


Isabelle Anguelovski is a social scientist trained in urban and environmental planning (PhD, MIT, 2011), whose research is situated at the intersection of urban planning and policy, social inequality, and development studies. She also graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Studies from Science Po Lille (2000) and obtained a Master’s in International Development at the Université de Paris-1 Sorbonne (2001). In addition, she pursued a Graduate Certificate in NonProfit Management at Harvard University (2004). Isabelle considers herself as a scholar activist who took several positions in international NGOs before starting her PhD in 2006. She spent 10 years in the US before returning to Europe – to the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 2011 – where she is now a Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator.


Most of her research is centered on studying processes and dynamics that lead to more just, resilient, healthy, and sustainable cities, bringing together theory from urban planning, public policy, urban and environmental sociology, and urban geography. It is divided into three projects.

First, she examines the resistance and mobilization of urban low-income residents, people of color and the coalitions around them against long-term neighborhood degradation and substandard access to environmental goods (i.e.s, fresh food, green space, healthy and energy-efficient homes, improved waste management systems). Case studies include neighborhoods in Boston, Barcelona, and Havana. The newest aspect of this research concerns issues of redevelopment and environmental gentrification in Barcelona, Boston, New York, and Medellín. In this study, she researches the recent adaptation of demands and strategies by community organizations and environmental groups fighting for greater neighborhood livability and environmental quality while resisting speculation, eviction, and displacement.

Second, in collaboration with researchers at MIT in Cambridge, she explores the variety of approaches that growing cities in the Global South take towards climate adaptation planning and addressing vulnerability in view of extreme weather events, changes in vector disease, droughts, and ecosystems from climatic changes. Most specifically, she looks at the ways in which different cities engage with community groups and other stakeholders to promote more inclusive, transparent and locally-driven adaptation projects.

Third, she is part of a collaborative EU project studying the scaling-up and diffusion of community initiatives that can lead to transitions towards a low-carbon economy within European urban regions, looking at domains such as food, housing, energy, and transportation. Specific focus is given to initiatives that entail social innovation dimensions while addressing issues of equity and access. This last project is funded by the FP7 project TESS (2013-2016).


Anguelovski, I. 2013. “New directions in urban environmental justice: Rebuilding community, addressing trauma, and remaking place”. Journal of Planning Education and Research. 33: 2, 160-175

Anguelovski, I. 2014. Neighborhood as refuge: Community Reconstruction, Place-Remaking, and Environmental Justice in the city. Cambridge: MIT Press  
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