Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The Legacy Effect: Understanding How Segregation and Environmental Injustice Unfold over Time in Baltimore

Author(s):

Laura Ogden
Steward Pickett
Chris Boone
Geoff Buckley
Charlie Lord
Billy Hall

Year:

2018

Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Northern Research Station

Source:

Annals of the American Association of Geographers

Description

Legacies of social and environmental injustices can leave an imprint on the present and constrain transitions for more sustainable futures. In this article, we ask this question: What is the relationship of environmental inequality and histories of segregation? The answer for Baltimore is complex, where past practices of de jure and de facto segregation have created social and environmental legacies that persist on the landscape today. To answer this question, we examine the interactions among past and current environmental injustices in Baltimore from the late 1880s to the present using nearly twenty years of social and environmental justice research from the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a long-term social–ecological research project. Our research demonstrates that patterns and procedures in the city's early history of formal and informal segregation, followed by “redlining” in the 1930s, have left indelible patterns of social and environmental inequalities. These patterns are manifest in the distribution of environmental disamenities such as polluting industries, urban heat islands, and vulnerability to flooding, and they are also evident in the distribution of environmental amenities such as parks and trees. Further, our work shows how these legacies are complicated by changing perceptions of what counts as an environmental disamenity and amenity. Ultimately, we argue that the interactions among historical patterns, processes, and procedures over the long term are crucial for understanding environmental injustices of the past and present and for constructing sustainable cities for the future.

Citation

Grove, Morgan; Ogden, Laura; Pickett, Steward; Boone, Chris; Buckley, Geoff; Locke, Dexter H.; Lord, Charlie; Hall, Billy. 2018. The Legacy Effect: Understanding How Segregation and Environmental Injustice Unfold over Time in Baltimore. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. 108(2): 524-537. https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2017.1365585.

Cited

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/56190