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Title: Mapping supply of and demand for ecosystem services to assess environmental justice in New York City
Livability, resilience, and justice in cities are challenged by climate change and the historical legacies that together create disproportionate impacts on human communities. Urban green infrastructure has emerged as an important tool for climate change adaptation and resilience given their capacity to provide ecosystem services such as local temperature regulation, stormwater mitigation, and air purification. However, realizing the benefits of ecosystem services for climate adaptation depend on where they are locally supplied. Few studies have examined the potential spatial mismatches in supply and demand of urban ecosystem services, and even fewer have examined supply–demand mismatches as a potential environmental justice issue, such as when supply–demand mismatches disproportionately overlap with certain socio-demographic groups. We spatially analyzed demand for ecosystem services relevant for climate change adaptation and combined results with recent analysis of the supply of ecosystem services in New York City (NYC). By quantifying the relative mismatch between supply and demand of ecosystem services across the city we were able to identify spatial hot- and coldspots of supply–demand mismatch. Hotspots are spatial clusters of census blocks with a higher mismatch and coldspots are clusters with lower mismatch values than their surrounding blocks. The distribution of mismatch hot- and coldspots was then compared to the spatial distribution of socio-demographic groups. Results reveal distributional environmental injustice of access to the climate-regulating benefits of ecosystem services provided by urban green infrastructure in NYC. Analyses show that areas with lower supply–demand mismatch tend to be populated by a larger proportion of white residents with higher median incomes, and areas with high mismatch values have lower incomes and a higher proportion of people of color. We suggest that urban policy and planning should ensure that investments in “nature-based” solutions such as through urban green infrastructure for climate change adaptation do not reinforce or exacerbate potentially existing environmental injustices.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1934933 1444755
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Ecological Applications
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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