Environmental Justice in Berlin: GIS-based Method Determining an Aggregated Index for Urban Planning

REAL CORP 2010 Proceedings/Tagungsband, Vienna, 18-20 May 2010

Gesa Geißler, Birgit Kleinschmit, Robert Ahrberg, Battugs Erdenetsogt, Yvonne Heimann, Lisa Heinsch, Laura Hensel, Thomas Herff, Josephine Janke, Philipp Kaufmann, Miriam Kothe, Hendrikje Leutloff, Anja Manzke, Anke Rehhausen, Sebastian Schramm, Stefanie Töpper, Sebastian Unger, and Bartlomiej Wisniewski

“In the early nineties, a wide discussion about Environmental Justice has started among German health scientists, sociologists, and other academics. In this context, several studies focussing on the disproportional burden of discrete environmental hazards on different socio-economic groups were carried out.

“The present paper reviews a method to index several Environmental Justice factors within planning areas of Berlin. In order to examine the current status, the spatial distribution of thermal comfort, green spaces and emissions of PM10 and NOx has been determined, using a GIS-based analysis. These results were then related to data on the social status. The various outcomes show a complex relation between social status and exposure to environmental quality, but reveal a tendency of disproportional distribution, prejudicing groups of lower social status.

“In order to develop a planning area based measure of Environmental Justice, the analysed factors were aggregated into a single environmental impact factor and combined with the associated social status. Finally, possibilities of integrating this factor into urban planning in Berlin were identified.”

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