ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

 

SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS

The unequal exposure of populations to environmental hazards is one of the “classic” spatial justice issues. Environmental hazards includes emissions from point-source polluters like coal power plants, location in flood prone areas, or proximity to toxic wastes. Exposure to these hazards can then be potentially related to health outcomes, for example cancer incidence.

LINKAGES TO TRANSPORTATION ISSUES

Chakraborty and others (2002) map a local road network in Iowa to determine the types of neighborhoods that are most affected by pollution. They begin with ananalysis of position in establishing the reach of airborne pollution, then move on to consider the distribution of pollutants across neighborhoods defined by Census Tracts. An analysis of the distribution of pollutants across territories can determine if certain types of neighborhoods suffer more greatly from pollution.

HABITAT AND ECOSYSTEM GEOGRAPHIES

Spatial analysis is often useful in documenting the destruction or restoration of natural ecosystems. Spatial distributions of animal or plant species can be a key indicator of ecosystem health and can be further related to changes in the landscape induced by humans. Although most of the example used on this site are drawn from human geography, all of the techniques considered can be applied to the natural world as well.

Spatial Justice