GIS-based Environmental Equity and Risk Assessment: Methodological Problems and Prospects

Robert B. McMaster, Helga Leitner, Eric Sheppard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Geographic information systems increasingly have been applied in the domain of environmental risk assessment. One area of research that appears to have excellent potential is in GIS as applied to the assessment of environmental equity. This paper reviews the methodologies used in recent GIS-based environmental equity studies and their results. From this review, a framework for a more comprehensive discussion of methodological issues and challenges is provided, addressing questions of data and measurement, scale and resolution, and methods of analysis. A preliminary environmental equity analysis for the Twin Cities metropolitan region illustrates the complexity of the relationship between the methodological approaches used and the resulting assessments of environmental equity and risk. This analysis is based on multiple sources of hazardous materials, uses fine-resolution census data including site-specific institutions, includes more sophisticated measures of risk than the location of hazardous sites, and investigates the potential of a neighborhood-scale analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-189
Number of pages18
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Environmental equity
  • GIS and society
  • Hazardous materials
  • Neighborhood mapping
  • Risk assessment

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