CUER was founded on the belief that environmental justice is a critical aspect of social justice and that communities are entitled to participate fully and meaningfully in environmental decisions that affect them. CUER will be a clearinghouse and focal point for the data, experts, and training needed to ensure a level playing field. The goal is to expand participation in public decision-making and to increase transparency and overall access to information in order to enhance both the legitimacy of environmental decision-making processes and the fairness of decisions reached.
CUER provides resources for community groups wanting to obtain full and meaningful participation in environmental decision-making. The Center also produces scholarly research to influence an ongoing theoretical discourse about urban environmental justice and participatory democracy; and then converts that research into policy tools useful to planners, policymakers and advocates, including grassroots community-groups. The Center will publicize on-going environmental decision-making processes to ensure that communities know what is happening or is being considered, and will focus on developing training workshops, on-line tutorials, and sample documents to facilitate wider and more effective participation in those decision processes.
CUNY Law Professor Rebecca Bratspies is the director of CUER.