Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Lily Geismer

Reader 2

Brinda Sarathy

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Emily C. Haynes


This thesis analyzes how social and environmental inequalities have interacted throughout Washington, D.C.’s urban and environmental history to shape the Anacostia River and its Near Southeast waterfront into urbanized and industrialized landscapes. Drawing on the principles of environmental justice, urban political ecology, and environmental history, I examine the construction of urban rivers and waterfront space over time. I link the ecological and social decline of the Anacostia River and Near Southeast neighborhood to a broader national pattern of environmental degradation and social inequality along urban rivers that resulted from urban industrialization and federal water management. Finally, I discuss the recent national trend in redevelopment of formerly industrial urban waterfronts. In particular, I focus on two brownfield redevelopment projects in Near Southeast: the Washington National’s baseball stadium at Nationals Park, completed in 2008, and the ongoing construction of The Yards mixed-use development complex. The Anacostia River has served as a touchstone throughout Near Southeast’s shifting neighborhood identity and land use. This thesis uses the river as a starting point at which to begin an exploration of a long history of social and environmental inequality in waterfront Washington, D.C.