Research using GIS to explore social inequality at a national level (US)

The Equality of Opportunity Project (Harvard and UC Berkeley) – the project explores intergenerational class mobility across the US (e.g., the odds of a child of low-income parents moving up the economic ladder as an adult)

Intergenerational mobility vs. sprawl: Is there a connection? Article by Emily Talen and Julia Koschinsky, in Better! Cities & Towns, based on the Equality of Opportunity Project data set above.

Exploring Racial Segregation and Income Inequality: Patterns and Relationships (an article from The Edge, a publication of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Policy Development and Research)

Examples of exploring spatial justice with GIS

Regional Equity Atlas Project(Portland, OR) – Coalition for a Livable Future – a good site showing how different aspects of a region can be mapped to understand spatial justice issues

Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities (North Carolina) – a non profit that conducts research and analysis for cases involving civil rights, predatory lending, segregation in schools, institutionalized discrimination and community economic development. See links to their work for good explanations of what they do.

Transportation and Land Use Coalition – Report: Roadblocks to Health - analysis of transportation barriersthat  low-income families face in getting to health care facilities, grocery stores, and recreational facilities (Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara Counties, California). See the Resources link on the Coalition’s main web site for other reports –

Kirwan Institute (Ohio State University) – Opportunity Mapping section - from the web site: “Kirwan Institute researchers recognize that inequality has a geographic footprint, and have pioneered the use of maps to communicate the history and presence of discriminatory and exclusionary policies that spatially segregate people.”

Examples of Peer-Reviewed Literature

Maantay, J. 2007. Asthma and air pollution in the Bronx: Methodological and data considerations in using GIS for environmental justice and health research. Health and Place, 13 (1), pp. 32-56

Maroko, A.R., Maantay, J.A., Sohler, N.L., Grady, K.L., Arno, P.S. 2009. The complexities of measuring access to parks and physical activity sites in New York City: A quantitative and qualitative approach. International Journal of Health Geographics, 8 (1), art. no. 34,

Maranville, A.R., Ting, T.-F., Zhang, Y.
An environmental justice analysis: Superfund sites and surrounding communities in Illinois
(2009) Environmental Justice, 2 (2), pp. 49-56.

Jennifer Rogalsky. 2009. The working poor and what GIS reveals about the possibilities of public transit
Journal of Transport Geography, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 24 July 2009

Alexis Comber, Chris Brunsdon, Edmund Green. 2008. Using a GIS-based network analysis to determine urban greenspace accessibility for different ethnic and religious groups. Landscape and Urban Planning, 86(1):103-114

Dolinoy, Dana C., and Marie L. Miranda. “GIS Modeling of Air Toxics Releases from TRI-Reporting and Non-TRI-Reporting Facilities:  Impacts for Environmental Justice.” Environmental Health Perspectives 112 (2004): 1717-724.  

Bolin, Bob, Edward J. Hackett, Edward K. Sadalla, K. David Pijawka, Debbie Brewer, and Diane Sicotte. “Environmental Equity in a Sunbelt City:  The Spatial Distribution of Toxic Hazards in Phoenix,Arizona.” Environmental Hazards 2 (2000): 11-24. 

Faber, Daniel R., and Eric J. Krieg. “Unequal Exposure to Ecological Hazards:  Environmental Injustices in the CommonwealthofMassachusetts.” Environmental Health Perspectives 110 (2002): 277-88. 

Lejano, Raul P., and C. Scott Smith. “IncompatibileLandUses and Topology of Cumulative Risk.” Environmental Management 37 (2005): 230-46. 

Krieg, Eric J. “Methodological Considerations in the Study of Toxic Waste Hazards.” The Social Science Journal 35 (1998): 191-201.

Davidson, Pamela, and Douglas L. Anderton. “Demographics of Dumping II:  A National Environmental Equity Survey and the Distribution of Hazardous Materials Handlers.” Demography 37 (2000): 461-66.

Wolch, Jennifer, John P. Wilson, and Jed Fehrenbach. 2005. Parks and Park Funding in Los Angeles: An Equity-Mapping Analysis. Urban Geography 26(1):4-35.

Chona, Sister, Jennifer Wolch, and John Wilson. 2009. Got green? addressing environmental justice in park provision. GeoJournal (online).