Understanding minority residents' perceptions of neighborhood risks and environmental justice: New modalities, findings, and policy implications

Raul P. Lejano, Daniel Stokols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is a pressing need to more deeply understand how incompatible land-use patterns intersect with place attachment and experiences of environmental injustice. While environmental policy is strongly influenced by the classic, probabilistic model of environmental risk, the present research instead aims to develop notions of environmental impact that more closely reflect the lived experience of community residents. This entails employing a phenomenological stance toward the analysis of environmental impacts, as well as research methods that seek to uncover the narratives and cognitive representations that residents actually employ. In our exploration of these issues in the town of Val Verde, California, we discover how a nearby landfill encroaches on the everyday lives of the residents in ways that go beyond the classic model of risk. For example, rather than employing a positivist measure of environmental hazard, residents experience the landfill viscerally and emotionally in terms of its impacts on their everyday lives. Broadly stated, analysis is not simply to be associated with thought, but also with lived experience. We conclude the article by reflecting on the implications of this type of research for policy analysis.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages107-123
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Volume27
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Fingerprint

environmental justice
landfill
environmental impact
justice
minority
resident
Land fill
Environmental impact
policy analysis
environmental hazard
research method
environmental risk
environmental policy
everyday life
experience
environmental research
land use
Land use
Hazards
town

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Architecture
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

Cite this

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