Incorporating accessibility into environmental justice assessments: applications in the Atlanta metropolitan region
Brodie, Stefanie Rachael
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Local agencies must comply with environmental justice regulation and as such, it is important that they possess practical tools to identify target populations and assess impacts of projects, programs, and policies on these populations. These tools are not readily available or fully developed to evaluate impacts on a regional level, especially when the impacts are benefits rather than burdens. This issue comes into play when accessibility is assessed. This analysis measures accessibility for an environmental justice evaluation using spatial statistical clusters and cumulative opportunity. It shows that the majority of schools, libraries and local transit lines are within areas with high concentrations of target populations, however, park space is limited in these areas. Alternative approaches for environmental justice assessments of regional outcomes such as accessibility provide opportunities for MPOs to gain a greater understanding of the regional impacts of transportation improvements as well as more accurately comply with the spirit of environmental justice regulations.