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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 711; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070711

Mapping Environmental Inequalities Relevant for Health for Informing Urban Planning Interventions—A Case Study in the City of Dortmund, Germany

1
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, P.O. Box 6, Enschede 7500 AE, The Netherlands
2
Department of Social Epidemiology, Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research, University of Bremen, Grazer Str. 4, Bremen 28359, Germany
3
Department of Community Health, Hochschule für Gesundheit, Gesundheitscampus 6–8, Bochum 44801, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nelson Gouveia
Received: 24 April 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
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Abstract

Spatial differences in urban environmental conditions contribute to health inequalities within cities. The purpose of the paper is to map environmental inequalities relevant for health in the City of Dortmund, Germany, in order to identify needs for planning interventions. We develop suitable indicators for mapping socioeconomically-driven environmental inequalities at the neighborhood level based on published scientific evidence and inputs from local stakeholders. Relationships between socioeconomic and environmental indicators at the level of 170 neighborhoods were analyzed continuously with Spearman rank correlation coefficients and categorically applying chi-squared tests. Reclassified socioeconomic and environmental indicators were then mapped at the neighborhood level in order to determine multiple environmental burdens and hotspots of environmental inequalities related to health. Results show that the majority of environmental indicators correlate significantly, leading to multiple environmental burdens in specific neighborhoods. Some of these neighborhoods also have significantly larger proportions of inhabitants of a lower socioeconomic position indicating hotspots of environmental inequalities. Suitable planning interventions mainly comprise transport planning and green space management. In the conclusions, we discuss how the analysis can be used to improve state of the art planning instruments, such as clean air action planning or noise reduction planning towards the consideration of the vulnerability of the population. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental inequalities; health determinants; health equity indicators; urban planning; neighborhood; environmental justice; health inequalities; built environment; socioeconomic position environmental inequalities; health determinants; health equity indicators; urban planning; neighborhood; environmental justice; health inequalities; built environment; socioeconomic position
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Flacke, J.; Schüle, S.A.; Köckler, H.; Bolte, G. Mapping Environmental Inequalities Relevant for Health for Informing Urban Planning Interventions—A Case Study in the City of Dortmund, Germany. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 711.

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