Mapping Environmental Justice Hotspots

A new map of Virginia illustrates the stark contrasts in pollution burdens depending on location.

June 18, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Car-Centric Planning

Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock

A new interactive map of Virginia identifies hotspots of environmental justice failures—where residents face disproportionate public health socioeconomic effects as the result of pollution.

An article by Sarah Vogelsong provides additional insight into the findings of the Mapping for Environmental Justice initiative, which worked with the Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative and funding from the Earth Island Institute. According to Vogelsong, "the Virginia map assigns a 'cumulative environmental justice impact' score to each census tract in the commonwealth. The higher the score, the greater the tract’s overall environmental impacts and vulnerabilities are considered to be."

According to the initiative's website, parts of Virginia facing disproportionate environmental burdens are "nearly five times more likely to be exposed to air pollution from traffic and are 3.6 times more likely to live near a Superfund site" [emphasis from the original].

"Pollution burden includes data on ozone, particulate matter, lead paint, air toxics, traffic, mines, hazardous waste and high-risk chemical facilities and federal cleanup sites," explains Vogelsong.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 in The Virginia Mercury

A group of people gather in front of a row of small homes.

Georgia's First Tiny Home Village Now Open, and Sold Out

Eight single-family houses on a half-acre of land.

July 25, 2021 - Urbanize Atlanta

Tall buildings in Downtown Phoenix.

Arizona's Tallest Building Will Soon Be Vacant

The tallest building in the Grand Canyon State will enter a new era.

July 21, 2021 - KJZZ

Raleigh, North Carolina

It's Good to Be a Small Business in These 6 U.S. Cities

Here are six U.S. cities where small companies are thriving.

July 20, 2021 - Devin Partida

Junior Designer

Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates

Executive Director/Administrator of City Planning

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency/City of Chattanooga

Assistant Planner

City of Willits

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.