The Death of Carbon: Or the Reincarnation of the Low-Carbon City

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Daniel Aldana Cohen

Sociology Professor, UPenn

Climate change and the housing crisis are the two great existential threats of the 21st-century city. Daniel Aldana Cohen will argue, based on research in São Paulo and New York, that the two crises are linked: movements for affordable housing led by working class people can help decarbonize urban life. Cohen will also revisit his childhood, dominated by talk of the Holocaust and Guatemalan genocide. He will argue that the moral and emotional lessons of genocide suggest precisely the kind of pragmatic, incrementally transformative, and life-protecting approach to climate politics exemplified by housing movements.

Daniel Aldana Cohen is a writer and professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative, or (SC)2. He conducts qualitative and quantitative research on the politics of climate change, social movements, and cities. His research and writing have appeared in publications including Nature, Public Culture, Metropolitics, Jacobin, Dissent, the NACLA Report on the Americas and the UTNE Reader. He is the co-host of Hot & Bothered, a podcast on the politics of climate change. He is also the co-editor of Notes from Canada’s Young Activists (Greystone Books).