Mapping for Environmental Justice

Mapping for Environmental Justice

Project Leads: Kelly Armijo, Adam Buchholz, Irene Farnsworth, and Kimia Pakdaman

Sponsor: Center for Environmental Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

TGIF Grant: $63,300.00

Project Theme: Environmental Justice

2020 Application

Project Description: Mapping for Environmental Justice (MEJ) is an initiative to create interactive and publicly-accessible maps displaying environmental justice data for individual states. With guidance from the residents of impacted communities, MEJ combines environment, public health, and demographic data into an indicator of vulnerability for communities in every state. These maps create a powerful picture of environmental justice by combining individual indicators to paint a holistic picture of the cumulative impacts experienced by different communities. For example, analyzing diesel pollution, rent burden, social determinants of health, or poverty data alone tell different stories, but when combined, we see how these factors are interrelated and compounding. The maps make this data accessible, understandable, and most importantly, actionable. MEJ follows in the footsteps of Washington’s Environmental Health Disparities Map and California’s CalEnviroScreen. While the MEJ maps are based on these previous states’ examples, they will differ and expand on these maps using community feedback.

Goals: 1) Fill an existing data gap for individual states without environmental justice mapping tools

2) Provide a valuable tool for advocates, scholars, students, lawyers, and policy makers

3) Support the use of these maps in state and local policymaking to advance environmental justice policies

4) Provide opportunities for Berkeley graduate and undergraduate students to learn and practice the principles of environmental justice in policy-making