College of Architecture and Environmental Design
City and Regional Planning Department
BS in City and Regional Planning
As climate change continues to threaten everyday life on Earth, humans from every corner of this planet struggle to keep up with changes due access, attitudes, and most importantly affordability. Over the past decade, governments around the world have invested billions into renewable power. Private investors followed, hoping to cash in on what looked like a transformational shift in the way the world produced electricity and lived sustainability. It felt as though it was a way to add jobs, manage fossil-fuel prices, and curb the impending affects of global warming. Unfortunately, a sustainable world will not happen overnight and requires a sustained effort on all fronts, but are there communities that are more at risk than others?
According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, most North American studies have shown that areas where low socioeconomic status (SES) communities dwell experience higher concentrations of criteria air pollutants (Hajat, Hsia, & O’Neill, 2015). This has put a disproportionate burden on low income cities around the world placed pressure on public and private entities to deliver a sustainable future. However, as many low income families struggle to put food on their tables, the last thing on many of their minds is the environment, and the ones that do want change struggle to make a lasting effect due to a lack of affordability, education, and motivation.
According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an organization that establishes comprehensive global standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and reporting, cities are responsible for more than 70 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (Global Energy & CO2 Status Report). Addressing climate change at the local level is imperative to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by cities. Through the incorporation of resilient and sustainable adaptation strategies, cities can reduce their GHG emissions as they work towards a cleaner, more resilient future. The purpose of this project is to spread affordable sustainability to lower income communities so that every resident can make a difference, no matter where they live or what they carry in their wallet.