Environmental Equity and Urban Forests
The field of environmental justice is concerned with inequitable exposure to environmental harm and equitable access to environmental goods. Exposure and access is often studied with respect to race, ethnicity, and income. Urban forests provide many benefits to urban residents that live and work among them, but if residents have unequal access to urban forests, then they have unequal access to the benefits they provide. If inequity persists over time, over an array of public goods and services, inequity accrues and manifests in significant effects on health and well-being. Two related projects led by BUFRG researcher Shannon Lea Watkins are examining environmental equity in the urban forest both by studying the distribution of the urban forest (“Meta-analysis”) and drivers of that distribution (“Is Planting Equitable?”).