Contingencies of environmental justice: The case of individual mobility and Grenobles Low-Emission Zone

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Abstract

Low-emission zones (LEZs) are core urban areas where vehicles that are deemed especially polluting are prohibited, in the hope of reducing the populations exposure to outdoor air pollution. LEZs have proliferated in Europe during the past decade. While an emerging body of literature considers LEZs impacts on pollution, studies thus far have not tackled LEZs impacts on mobility. This article uses household-travel survey data to assess how a projected LEZ in Grenoble, France could affect individuals mobility, specifically enquiring whether or not the impact would be socially differentiated and might constitute a social injustice. Four likely scenarios are considered and logistic regressions show that, indeed, the probability that people will be affected by the LEZ is related to their social group. However, interpretations in terms of social justice may vary, depending on the reference population considered and hypotheses regarding the reduction of pollution exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-218
Number of pages22
JournalUrban Geography
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2014

Keywords

  • Low-emission Zone (LEZ)
  • air pollution
  • environmental justice
  • mobility
  • social justice

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