Isabelle Anguelovski

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Social & Behavioural Sciences

Isabelle obtained a PhD in Urban Studies & Planning from MIT before returning to Europe in 2011 with a Marie Curie fellowship. Situated at the intersection of urban planning and policy, social inequality and development studies, her research examines the extent to which urban plans, policies, and socio-environmental interventions contribute to more just, resilient, healthy, and sustainable cities. She also studies how community groups in distressed neighborhoods contest the existence or exacerbation of environmental inequities as a result of urban (re)development processes. Based at the UAB-ICTA where she leads the research line on Cities and Environmental Justice, she is also an affiliated researcher at IMIM where she directs the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability. Much of her work takes place in marginalized neighborhoods in Europe, the US, L. America, South Africa, and South East Asia.

Research interests

I am a social scientist trained in urban and environmental planning (PhD, MIT, 2011), nonprofit management (Harvard University, 2004), international development (University de Paris-1 Sorbonne, 2001), and political studies (Science Po, 2000). Before starting my PhD in 2006, I held several positions in international development NGOs in France and the US. As part of collaborative EU and international research projects, I study 1) the extent to which environmental gentrification processes lead to new forms of green locally unwanted land uses (GREENLULUs - ERC Starting Grant (2016-2021) in historically marginalized neighborhoods, 2) how municipalities protect vulnerable communities from climate risks and inequality, 3) what opportunities and constraints exist to transitioning towards a low-carbon economy within European urban regions, 4) how the governance of urban nature-based solutions planning in Europe addresses (or exacerbates) environmental injustices. 

Selected publications

- Cole H, Shokry G, Connolly J, Perez del Pulgar C, Alonso J & Anguelovski I 2017 'Can Healthy Cities be made really healthy?', Lancet Public Health, 2 (9). 394-395. 

- Anguelovski I, Brand AL, Chu E & Goh K 2017, 'Urban Planning, community (re)development, and environmental justice.' In R. Hollifield, G. Walker, and J. Chakraborty. Handbook of Environmental Justice. Routledge, London

- Sekulova F, Anguelovski I & Arguelles L 2017, 'A ‘fertile soil’ for community initiatives: A new analytical framework', Environment and Planning A. 49 (10). 2362–2382

- Cole H, Connolly J, Garcia-Lamarca M & Anguelovski I 2017, 'Are green cities healthy and equitable? Unpacking the relationship between health, green space and gentrification', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 71 (11). 1118-1121.

- Arguelles L, Anguelovski I & Dinnie L 2017, 'Power and privilege in alternative civic practices: Examining imaginaries of change and embedded rationalities in community economies', Geoforum. 86. 30-41

- Pirro C & Anguelovski I 2017, 'Farming the urban fringes of Barcelona: Competing visions of nature and the contestation of a partial sustainability fix', Geoforum, 82, 53 - 65.

Selected research activities


- PI, ERC Starting Grant GreenLULUS

- UAB PI, H2020 Naturvation


Director, Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability (