As the environmental justice movement has gained recognition, community organizers, industry representatives, and public officials have increasingly been called upon to work together to address environmental injustices through collaborative problem-solving processes. However, collaborative processes do not inherently create just, equitable, and legitimate decision-making forums. The characteristics of environmental justice situations, such as past procedural injustices and high levels of distrust, may complicate such processes. Thus, an exploration of the factors that facilitate and impede collaboration in cases of environmental injustice is warranted. The case study of La Villita Park tells the story of how community-based organizations partnered with city and federal agencies to transform a contaminated site into a community park through collaborative problem-solving. The creation of La Villita Park represents a victory for environmental justice but also highlights the challenges and opportunities of using collaboration to achieve environmental justice. An examination of this case sheds light on the value of trusted and legitimate community leadership, the necessity of employing multiple organizing strategies to create space for community voices, and the importance of transparent communication across all parties. As a result of engaging with this case, readers will be able to explain and analyze how the challenges of collaboration in the environmental justice context manifest themselves and how they can be mitigated.

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