Practices of urban environmental citizenships: rights to the city and rights to nature in Toronto
This paper examines the conflicts and confluences of urban and environmental rights. To this end, we offer a brief summary of Henri Lefebvre's conception of 'right to the city', followed by an exploration of contemporary expressions of environmental rights and citizenship. We assert that citizenship should be critically understood not only as rights granted by a government, but also as practices through which the limits of established rights are (re)defined and (re)affirmed. Emphasizing a dialectical relationship between environmental and social relations, we present two Toronto, Canada case studies which we consider as enactments of re-appropriation of fundamental urban and environmental rights: home and water. These particular claims directly challenge the naturalness of dominant forms of discrimination and marginalization in the urban environment. We contend that these two cases push the boundaries of conventionally understood urban and environmental rights and emerge as claims to socio-natural or socio-ecological rights.
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