Smokestacks, Parkland, and community composition: examining environmental burdens and benefits in Hall County, Georgia, USA
This case study addresses environmental equity, in terms of African American, Latino, White, and poor communities’ proximity to both industrial facilities and parkland in Hall County, Georgia, USA. The project’s two primary goals are to (a) expand environmental justice analyses to account for both environmental burdens (industrial sites) and benefits (parkland acreage), and (b) extend this broader investigation to the county’s emergent Latino populations. Results show that both Blacks and Latinos are overrepresented in census block groups (CBGs) within 1 mile of industrial facilities, while Whites are underrepresented. Conversely, Latinos and those near or below poverty are, on average, underrepresented in communities within one-quarter mile of parkland, but Whites are overrepresented. This article discusses the environmental justice and planning implications of these findings in terms of converting existing land uses to urban green space and fuller participation of minorities in such decision making.