Grabbing ‘Green’: Questioning the Green Economy

Grabbing ‘Green’: Questioning the Green Economy

17 May – 19 May 2013
University of Toronto, Canada
Abstracts due: Nov. 7, 2012
Papers due: March 1, 2013


Over the past two decades ‘the market’ has increasingly been represented as the solution to issues of sustainability and conservation, leading to a reimagining of ‘nature’. Market forces are now deeply embedded in the policy, planning and practice, of environmental management and conservation leading to constructs such as ecosystems services (and payments for them), biodiversity derivatives and new conservation finance mechanisms like REDD, REDD+, species banking, and carbon trading. These changes reflect a larger transformation in international environmental governance—one in which the discourse of global ecology has accommodated an ontology of natural capital, culminating in the production of what is taking shape as “The Green Economy.” This “Green Economy” is not a natural or coincidental development, but is contingent upon, and tovarying degrees coordinated by, actors drawn together around familiar (UNEP, States, World Bank, etc) and emergent institutions of environmental governance (TEEB, WBCSB, investment companies, etc). While case studies have begun to reveal the social and ecological marginalization associated with the implementation of market mechanisms in particular sites, this conference seeks to explore the more systemic dimensions involved in the production, circulation and consumption of “The Green Economy,” and the neoliberal ‘logics’ within environmental policy, conservation, development, and business that are mobilizing it.

We seek papers focused on the formation of associations,articulations, alignments, and mechanisms of circulation andimplementation that produce the social relations and metrics that markets require to function. We also seek papers that identify the ‘frictions’ that inhibit the production of these social relations.  This is not meant to avoid the empirical value of case studies but is an effort to link particular cases to the scalar configurations of power that mobilize and give them shape.


This conference builds on ‘Nature Inc.’ held at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague from 30 June – 2 July, 2011 and a number of earlier workshops and conferences that have addressed market engagement with environmental policy and conservation in the context of neoliberal capitalism.  In this meeting we want to build dialogue around substantive papers.  However, rather than host a conference based only on short presentations, we are encouraging moderated discussion sessions with panels of authors, whose papers have been circulated in advance of the meeting. Panels will consist of 4-5 authors. Half of each session will be dedicated to discussion among the authors, and the remainder will consist of engagement with the audience. There will also be round-table discussions and a poster-session to compliment the panels.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Accumulation by dispossession, property regimes, and “new” enclosures
  • The role of institutions in the production of “The Green Economy”
  • Alignment and articulation in environmental governance
  • Spatial variations in market relations
  • Scales of environmental governance and biodiversity conservation
  • Configurations of Transnational Institutional Space
  • The green economy and spectacular consumption
  • Points of friction in the circulation and implementation of market mechanisms
  •  Strategies and practices of organizational alignment
  • Practices of institutional enrollment and capture
  • New conceptualizations of property and waste
  • Financialization and performativity in producing markets for nature.
  • The production of metrological regimes for ‘natural capital’.


The conference website will be available soon, with more information on registration and online submission of abstracts.

Abstract and panel proposals are due by November 7, 2012. Abstracts can be submitted online at under the “Call for Papers” section. Click on ‘Log In’ in the menu bar. This will prompt you to create an account. After you create an account you will be able to log in, submit abstracts, register, view accepted abstracts, and access the conference program. Abstract submission will open Sept. 16, 2012.

To help us in planning please preregister at:

More information can be found on the conference blog and on the Facebook page:


NYC’s Dept. of Design & Construction: Sustainable Design

From the DDC website::

Since its inception, the Department has placed a priority on identifying and implementing cost-effective ways to promote greater environmental responsibility in building design. In 1999, the Department published DDCs High Performance Building Guidelines[PDF], an internationally recognized green building reference. A companion piece for roadway and underground infrastructure, the High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines [PDF], was published in October 2005 and was one of the first of its kind in the world. Both guidelines were made possible through the generous funding and guidance provided by the Design Trust for Public Space.

While the Building Guidelines were in development, DDC launched a pilot program to incorporate sustainable features on several projects. By early 2008, more than 60 projects incorporating sustainable strategies are in design or construction, or have been built. Local Law 86 of 2005, the NYC green building law, requires about half of these projects to achieve a minimum of 20% energy cost and water savings, as well as a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. These requirements ensure that many of the City’s new municipal buildings, additions and renovations meet rigorous standards of sustainability. For more information regarding the LEED rating system, refer to the USGBC website and theUSGBC New York Local Chapter site.

The guidelines are supplemented with a series of in-depth manuals.  Completed to date and posted on this site are a Manual for Cool Roofing [PDF], a Manual for Quality Energy Efficient Lighting [PDF], a Geothermal Manual [PDF], a Construction and Demolition Waste Manual [PDF], and a Manual on Local Law 77, the Ultra-low Sulfur Diesel Law [PDF].

To facilitate the transition to sustainable design, the Department offers a training program for DDC staff through its Office of Sustainable Design. The program covers legal requirements and goals, the design manuals, and related project design precedents.

DDC established this site to disseminate City-specific information on sustainable design and provide resources for its managers, consultants, and client agencies. The resources include detailed descriptions and illustrations for a sampling of our sustainable projects, including LEED projects, and links to relevant documents, publications and forms. Also included are PowerPoint presentations from our training program.

Want to be a green roofer? Go to Green Roof Bootcamp

Green Roof Design 101: Introductory Course
Thursday, October 4th, 2012

This introductory training course on green roof infrastructure design presents many of the tools and techniques needed to meet your green roof project objectives on schedule, to specification, and within budget.

Green Roof Infrastructure: Design & Installation 201
Friday, October 5th, 2012

This is GRHC’s second course in the Accredited Green Roof Professional Program. Registrants should have already taken the Green Roof Design 101 Introductory Course or have a solid understanding of green roof design and available technology.

Green Roof Waterproofing and Drainage 301
Saturday, October 6th, 2012

This course will provide participants with an overview of waterproofing and drainage construction and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It lays out technical vocabulary and materials and presents detailed design solutions and implementation best management practices for waterproofing and drainage in green roofs.

Green Roof Plants and Growing Media 401
Sunday, October 7th, 2012

This course will provide participants with an overview of plants and growing media design considerations and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It establishes design and implementation best management practices for plants and growing media in green roofs.

Click here for more details…

See also: GreenRoof Infrastructure Industry Association.

NYC is Merely Kind of “Green” — But What is Green?

What is green enough? And what is “green”? Who gets to decide? Debates continue but perhaps aren’t as clear as we think they are. Here is a deeper look at the state of NYC’s efforts to go green.

Changing Cities: New York Goes Green…Kind Of

By Carrie Halperin

Jul 29, 2012 4:41pm

gty times square billboards jt 120729 wblog Changing Cities: New York Goes Green...Kind Of

(George Rose/Getty Images)

In the heart of New York City, among the flash and dazzle of Times Square, there is one sign that is at once a boast and an unintentionally sad reminder of how far the city is from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ambitious plan for a greener city.

On the billboard, right underneath the bold words “imagination is what drives us to change,” is the announcement: ”Times Square’s only solar powered billboard.”

In all honesty, it’s a gimmick: America is not driving into a green world — at least not quite yet.

Click here to read more…