Environmental Inequalities: bridging the gap by developing green space in poor communities
Higher levels of environmental risk are often found in disadvantaged population subgroups, leading to a need for targeted environmental and intersectoral action to protect these groups and achieve environmental justice. The quality of the environment varies significantly across the world, but also between countries, regions, and neighbourhoods within cities. Whether you benefit from a high-quality local environment or suffer the impacts of pollution depends on where you live and work.
High-rise buildings, narrow roads, and a lack of green space are all characteristics of urban city life. And economically disadvantages people are the most likely to live in such areas. It is estimated that 23% of all global deaths (and 26% of deaths among children under 5 years old) are due to modifiable environmental factors, but the distribution of environmental risks and benefits is far from equal. In many cases, there is evidence that this impact has a proportionally greater burden on the most deprived population groups in society, as they tend to be more strongly exposed to environmental threats.
Regular measures of harmful traffic noise and air pollution vary depending on where you live. In UK cities, affluent areas are less polluted than more deprived areas. Even within the same neighbourhood, traffic noise and air pollution vary considerably. As a rule of thumb, the more congested and the closer a road is to our home, the higher the concentration of pollution on our doorstep.