The benefits of nature-based solutions are unevenly distributed in cities. This presentation introduces the ‘barrio innovation approach’, which emerged from a university-community partnership to address environmental injustice in Phoenix, AZ. Researchers and teachers designed activities with Latinx youth to name concerns and strengths, and envision more desirable, greener futures. The barrio approach understands time as dynamic, community as abundance, and rootedness as essential, in opening the solution space towards rectifying historical wrongs and finding pathways towards environmental and social justice. In this presentation, we reflect on the potential for small-scale disruptive innovation to catalyze broader transformations in cities.