Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Spatial assessment of subsidized housing occupants based on proximity to environmental hazards and availability of conserved lands

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Empirical evidence in support of claims that communities of color and low-income groups experience the disproportionate effects of environmental health risks has accumulated throughout the past three decades developing into a massive body of research under the Environmental Justice (EJ) field (Brulle and Pellow, 2006). In more recent studies researchers have started to expand that traditional focus on environmental risks to include environmental goods or “desirables” as part their analyses (Jennings et al., 2012). With this new research direction centered on one of the fundamental EJ premises that all people have the right to healthy environments, new questions have emerged that need to be addressed. The main objective of this research is to examine the spatial relationship between the location of those historically disadvantaged communities and the location of both environmental risks and environmental amenities. To do so, the research project relies on a number of statistical and GIS-based analyses. The area of study comprises four counties, two in California (Sonoma and Sacramento) and two in Colorado (Boulder and Mesa). Datasets previously assembled for a NSF-funded project have been expanded using data from: assessor’s offices and several GIS files on open space and environmental and natural hazards from governmental offices.

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