Just Neighbourhoods: Socio-Spatial Justice in Urban Neighbourhoods

Principal Investigator: Dr M. Reza Shirazi

Contact: shirazi@brookes.ac.uk

Project start: January 2018

Project finish: January 2021

Funded by: European Commission

About us

The research explores to what extent redevelopment projects at the neighbourhood scale contribute to achieving socially just and fair environments, and who benefits from them. The main objectives of the research include:

  • developing a framework for evaluating different dimensions of injustice in urban redevelopment projects
  • carrying out intensive fieldwork in Bayview-Hunters Point (BVHP), San Francisco, including site observation, participant observation, interview, and archival research
  • studying the conflict between the community and the city
  • producing a documentary film that narrates reproduction of urban injustice in BVHP.

BVHP has been suffering historically from different types of socio-economic problems such as unemployment, crime, displacement, health issues, etc. Part of the neighbourhood, a former naval shipyard, is currently under massive redevelopment that aims to build around 12,000 houses and several thousand feet of office, recreational, and commercial space.

Starting from the mid 1990s, the Navy has conducted clean-up activities dividing the site into different parcels, and the City has prepared plans for redevelopment. Around 2017, it was revealed that a large part of the remediation work was suspect. These revelations sparked off intense debates around the question of urban and environmental justice in the neighbourhood.

Community protest, Bayview-Hunters Point 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 748452.


M. Reza Shirazi

Dr M. Reza Shirazi

Reader in Sustainable Urban Development

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Name Role Email
Professor Ramin Keivani Head of School of the Built Environment rkeivani@brookes.ac.uk

Documentary film: Never Surrender

This documentary film is the result of more than two years of research and fieldwork in Bayview-Hunters Point neighbourhood, San Francisco. It narrates the community fight for environmental justice, and documents the conflict between people and government over the safety of the shipyard.

Events and presentations

Image credits

Per order of appearance:

  • Banner picture: Parcel A redevelopment project © M. Reza Shirazi
  • About picture: Community protest, Bayview-Hunters Point © M. Reza Shirazi