Isabelle Anguelovski is a social scientist trained in urban and environmental planning (PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011) and international development (Université de Paris I-Sorbonne, 2001), whose research is situated at the intersection of urban planning and policy, social inequality, and development studies.
Her recent research has examined environmental mobilization and revitalization in low-income and minority neighborhoods across political systems and contexts of urbanization (Barcelona, Boston, and Havana). This project -- an attempt to re-conceptualize the traditional environmental justice scholarship -- focuses on long term livability efforts by residents, NGOs, and community organizations and seeks to understand the role of community identity and place attachment in local environmental initiatives and strategic organizing. Through this research, Isabelle has developed the concepts of "safe havens" and "environmental recovery" in traditionally marginalized neighborhoods. She unravels how environmental endeavors such as urban farms, community gardens, farmers' markets, parks or playgrounds represent protective spaces that allow local activists to address traumatic experiences, fear of erasure, and contribute to place-(re)making for residents. As part of this project, she has written a manuscript to be published by MIT Press in 2014: "Neighborhood as refuge: Community Reconstruction, Place-Remaking, and Environmental Justice in the City."
In parallel, Isabelle has collaborated on research projects on urban climate adaptation planning and examined variations in planning approaches across cities, especially Durban (South Africa) and Quito (Ecuador). These projects seek to understand the factors that lead city governments to engage in climate adaptation planning, the challenges they face in promoting and implementing climate adaptation, and the role of civil society actors in shaping and supporting local adaptation projects. This research has been funded by the World Bank and the National Science Foundation. In the past, Isabelle has also studied environmental mobilization and conflict resolution techniques among communities affected by extractive industries such as oil, gas, and mining, with a specific focus on Andean countries and indigenous people.
Her publications include peer reviewed articles on urban planning challenges and conflicts related to neighborhood revitalization, environmental justice and mobilization, alternative conflict resolution, environment and social movement strategies, and planning and justice in climate adaptation. Recently, she was also the Co-Editor-In-Chief of Volume 8 of MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning peer-reviewed journal Projections on Justice, Equity, and Sustainability. Before her PhD, she worked for international development organizations and still occasionally consults for NGOs and international organizations on indigenous peoples' rights, urban and environmental planning, climate mitigation programs, and gender policy.