Planning and Community Health Research Center

Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is the pursuit of fairness and equity in environmental and land-use decisions and policies for people of all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, education and income status. Principles and goals of environmental justice seek to equitably balance the distribution of environmental harms and benefits by race and class, to achieve fairness in environmental and land-use decisions; and to empower low-income communities of color to shape the environments in which they live and work. Planners play an important role in:

  • Ensuring environmental and land-use planning processes and plans are fair, ethnical, balanced, and responsible;
  • Providing opportunities for public participation at every level of the decision making process; and
  • Assessing the socioeconomic, racial and ethnic impacts of proposed environmental and land-use policies.