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Rebecca Bratspies,  New York City

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Rebecca Bratspies

Rebecca Bratspies

Director, Center for Urban Environmental Reform
Professor of Law
City University of New York,
New York, NY USA

Rebecca Bratspies is a Professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law where she is the founding director of the CUNY Center for Urban Environmental Reform. She has published widely on regulating under conditions of uncertainty—with a focus on GMOs and corporate responsibility. Her recent scholarship focuses on questions of sustainability, and on the intersection of human rights and environmental regulation. She is a scholar with the Center for Progressive Reform, an appointed member of the ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law, and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Law Schools Section on the Environment.

Before entering academia, Professor Bratspies served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable C. Arlen Beam of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar, Professor Bratspies spent a year seconded to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Environmental Protection Administration. She has taught at the University of Idaho, Michigan State University and NYU. She holds a BA in Biology from Wesleyan University and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

February 19, 2014
Oily sheen on Newtown Creek, 7 July 2006. Photo: Riverkeeper

At first glance, Greenpoint seems much like many other ethnically diverse New York City neighborhood struggling with rapid gentrification. Traditional neighborhood businesses jostle for space with trendy new restaurants and shops, while developers hype luxury high-rise development proposals. But, underneath the ground, something is very different. Between the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, nearby … Continue reading Greenpoint’s Environmental Benefit Fund as a Model for Community Participation

August 11, 2013
Denver Comic Con founder Charlie LaGreca, in center. Photo: Denver Post

In my first blog post for The Nature of Cities, I wrote about environmental justice as a bridge between traditional environmentalism and an increasingly urban global population. I suggested that we had work to do to makes environmental concerns salient to a new, ever-more urban generation. Since then, I have been working to test this … Continue reading A Comic Book Sparks Kids Toward Environmental Justice

March 17, 2013

On January 25, 2013, a dolphin swam into Brooklyn, New York’s Gowanus Canal. Poor dolphin! Gowanus canal is a 1.8 mile long Superfund site—a toxic stew of pesticides, heavy metals and PCBs masquerading as “the waters of the United States” (to use the language of the Clean Water Act). A media circus ensued—TV stations set … Continue reading Dolphin as Metaphor for the Limits of Environmental Law

October 14, 2012

The future of the environmental movement lies in the world’s cities. In 2008, for the first time in human history, more of us lived in urban environments than in any other setting.  This trend is only going to accelerate as human population approaches the 10 billion (!) mark by the end of the 21st Century. … Continue reading Embracing Environmental Justice to Green Our Cities