Professor C.N.E. Corbin studies the relationships between society and nature within the built environment by investigating the concept of the green city within the United States. As an environmentalist and a political ecologist her work focuses on public green spaces and how urban “sustainable development” initiatives and environmental policies and practices impact and shape land-uses and urban park access. She examines both sides of environmental (in)justice, the uneven distribution of environmental harms and the uneven development of environmental goods in which low-income residents and Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian communities are disproportionally exposed to environmental hazards while also being prevented from benefiting from environmental amenities. She incorporates media studies and visual culture, often deploying speculative fiction and Afrofuturism, to understand how images represent and influence environmental, racial, and spatial understandings of urban spaces. Her research shows how historical processes of urbanization and current urban environmental policies, at scale, influence and contribute to the environmental injustices being (re)produced today, while also questioning what that could mean for future populations living in green cities.
Dr. Corbin received her B.A. at the University of California, Berkeley completing a double major in African American Studies and Media Studies. She completed her doctoral degree at the University of California, Berkeley in the department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Her dissertation is titled, From Redlining to Greenlining: The Political Ecology of Race, Class, and Access to Green Space in Oakland, California from 1937-2020.
She served on the Oakland Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC) from 2015-2020 and was the chair of the PRAC from 2019-2020. She is currently a board member of the Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation.
Research Areas: Community Development, Environmental Justice, Environmental Policy, Environmental Studies, Gentrification, Green Cities, Public Parks and Green Spaces