Environmental and Climate Justice Assessment and Reporting: A Step to Correct Infrastructure Inequities

As equity commitments in the public and private sectors deepen, environmental justice reporting is maturing and becoming a more powerful tool to redress systemic inequality.
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Disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 did not impact public awareness and government policy to remedy legacies of racism and disinvestment as profoundly as the COVID-19 global pandemic.
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Color-coded illustrated maps known as redlining maps were used to identify residential districts and neighborhoods as low, medium and high-income areas.
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Transportation planning in the 1940s and 1950s often routed U.S. highways through urban neighborhoods, disrupting the homes and businesses of property owners.
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Reporting tools have evolved to assist transportation project sponsors and contractors in analyzing and reporting on environmental justice impacts.
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Upgrading U.S. infrastructure without using the lens of equity to examine priorities and practices puts us at risk of continuing to disenfranchise vulnerable communities.