Articulating justice and intertemporality in urban mobility issues: The crux of climate change

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Cities constitute vital empirical and eco-political arenas for understanding and addressing the unpredictable and unconventional ways in which climate change affects human im/mobility. It is within, but also between cityscapes that uneven explanations and experiences of climate-induced displacement – alongside just, inclusive and sustainable solutions thereto – are manifesting. But despite emerging scholarly attention for re-historicising and decolonising the climate-mobility nexus, linear, Eurocentric and developmentalist stereotypes continue to colonise these developments. Consequently, climate-induced displacement resembles a rigid spatial specificity as a “developing world” issue (critically curtailing research and recommendations on the role of “developed” cities therein) as well as a crisis condition wherein contemporary “unprecedented disaster” overshadows longstanding exploitative and colonial structures underpinning climate-related im/mobility.

Drawing on interviews with British urban stakeholders, this paper explores how preparing cities for climate-induced displacement creates space for intertemporal and interspatial reimaginations of climate-mobility inequalities and responsibilities. Through an inter-urban lens, it responds to the urgent task of cross-fertilising climate change, im/mobility and colonialism studies. I propose holistic urban placemaking projects (e.g. Gardens of Sanctuary) as spaces where contextual, continuous and colonial injustices enshrined within climate-induced displacement become visible. Here, city-dwellers can interact with/through their cityscapes to expand urban geographies of responsibility vis-à-vis climate change and im/mobility challenges beyond contemporary, space-specific crises: traversing North-South, developed-developing, polluter-displacee, and other dichotomies. Such projects can operationalise and re-politicise climate-mobility issues within urban contexts, but also the under-explored and still overly theoretical intersection between climate justice and mobility justice.


Conference19th International Migration Research Network Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleIMISCOE
Internet address


  • Climate change
  • Mobility
  • Intertemporality
  • Justice
  • Cities


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