Individual Paper: Where’s the Green?: The Environmental Justice Implications of Green Space Access in Los Angeles, California
Green spaces are important places within the geography of urban areas as they serve both health and environmental benefits. The presence and access to green space enhances the built environment and reduces the urban island heat effect. However, for some neighborhoods, parks are either not present or inaccessible. Los Angeles, California has one of the lowest percentage of green spaces of any major US city and more than half of its population lives farther than walking distance to a park. This disproportionate distribution of green space negatively impacts low income neighborhoods, in addition to favoring predominantly white neighborhoods.
In this light, the current governance of green space and historical real estate developments impact the health and environment of residents within these “park poor” neighborhoods. Through the lens of environmental justice, this paper claims that historical injustices constitute the beginning of unequal distribution of green space. It argues that the current governance system within Los Angeles should utilize different justice approaches, such as justice as capabilities and participatory justice, to increase green space access while avoiding eco-gentrification. In addition, this paper presents a description of possible methods to increase green space in “park poor” neighborhoods while preventing displacement.
Start time: 11:30
Room: Moriskan (Bistron)
Track: Climate Change, Climate and Environmental Justice