New green developments around the world are seen as contributing both to the environment and the economy. Recent results worryingly suggest that they also impact inequality.
Whilst undeniable for their environmental outcomes, such developments risk creating “green gentrification” areas. New spaces that are created may not be accessible by people from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds. Prices will also likely increase considerably for buyers.
Claims of those disadvantaged by green developments are often ignored as capitalised stakeholders push forward with moral claims of an environmentally future-proofed building. This has made it more difficult for those inconvenienced, or even evicted, by such developments to complain.
The green gentrification of buildings not only locks the disadvantaged out from the inside by price, it also threatens to lock them out of outside spaces as retailers cater to the typical office worker and house prices around the developments increase further.
Developers are faced with an opportunity to promote environment and society by focusing on social equality and the environment in equal measure. So far, evidence shows that many have failed to do so.