Next Article in Journal
Urban Resources Selection and Allocation for Emergency Shelters: In a Multi-Hazard Environment
Next Article in Special Issue
Children’s Environmental Health Indicators for Pacific Island Countries
Previous Article in Journal
Comparison of a 10-Year Cumulative Age-Standardized Incidence Rate of Lung Cancer among Metropolitan Cities in Korea (During the 2000–2009 Period): Review of Occupational and Environmental Hazards Associated with Lung Cancer
Previous Article in Special Issue
Measuring the Impact of Environment on the Health of Large Cities
Article Menu
Issue 6 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

A Novel Environmental Justice Indicator for Managing Local Air Pollution

Marron Institute of Urban Management, New York University, 60 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10011, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1260;
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 13 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Health Indicators for Policy Support)
PDF [1047 KB, uploaded 14 June 2018]


Environmental justice efforts in the United States seek to provide equal protection from environmental hazards, such as air pollution, to all groups, particularly among traditionally disadvantaged populations. To accomplish this objective, the U.S. EPA has previously required states to use an environmental justice screening tool as part of air quality planning decision-making. The generally utilized approach to assess potential areas of environmental justice concern relies on static comparisons of environmental and demographic information to identify areas where minority and low income populations experience elevated environmental exposures, but does not include any additional information that may inform the trade-offs that sub-populations of varying socio-demographic groups make when choosing where to reside in cities. In order to address this limitation, job accessibility (measured by a mobility index defining the number of jobs available within a set commuting time) was developed as a novel environmental justice indicator of environmental justice priority areas at the local level. This approach is modeled using real-world data in Allegheny County, PA (USA), and identifies areas with relatively high levels of outdoor air pollution and low access to jobs. While traditional tools tend to flag the poorest neighborhoods for environmental justice concerns, this new method offers a more refined analysis, targeting populations suffering from the highest environmental burden without the associated benefits of urban living. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental justice; outdoor air pollution; fine particulate matter; job accessibility; mobility index; urban management environmental justice; outdoor air pollution; fine particulate matter; job accessibility; mobility index; urban management

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, J.; Gladson, L.; Cromar, K. A Novel Environmental Justice Indicator for Managing Local Air Pollution. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1260.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top