Camilla Hawthorne is Associate Professor in the Departments of Sociology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, author of
Jovan Scott Lewis is Associate Professor and Chair of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of
C.N.E. Corbin, 2023. "Rendering Gentrification and Erasing Race: Sustainable Development and the (Re)Visioning of Oakland, California, as a Green City", The Black Geographic: Praxis, Resistance, Futurity, Camilla Hawthorne, Jovan Scott Lewis
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The City of Oakland, California, released the West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP) in 2014. The plan, which was said to be the “guiding framework for realizing the vision of a healthy, vibrant West Oakland,” was both celebrated and contested based on the spaces it depicted. The visual discourse analysis in this chapter examines Appendix A, the design guidelines for the WOSP, and questions the representations illustrated. Studying the WOSP provides a unique opportunity to deconstruct municipal images while illuminating how historical environmental and racialized discourses continue to be (re)produced in current environmental agendas and municipal plans. This chapter argues that the West Oakland Specific Plan portrays an eco-friendly city while erasing the Black population from the historically African American district of West Oakland as it rebrands the municipality as a white and green city.