Healthy Built Environment

Why this issue matters for racial equity?      

Public investments in the built environment often leave out low-income communities of color, where they lack access to hospitals, clinics, healthy food, supermarkets, and other environmental resources. Historically, white suburban development has been prioritized while densely populated, inner city infrastructures were defunded. This resulted in increased geographic segregation, that exacerbated unequal public federal and state investments for urban, low-income people.



Park access, commute time for public transportation users, drinking water contaminants, toxic release from facilities, and proximity to hazards.

Key Takeaways

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Toxic Exposure
Asians and Latinos are more likely to be exposed to toxic releases from facilities than Whites and Native Americans.
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Hazardous Land
African Americans and Latinos are more likely to live, play, or go to school near hazardous land uses like railroad facilities, ports, airports, and refineries.
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Drinking Water
Latinos and Native Americans are more likely exposed to drinking water contaminants than Asian / Pacific Islanders.
07 of 7 key issues

Healthy Built Environment

Access to clean water is critical for basic human health as it’s used for drinking, cleaning, cooking and bathing. Drinking contaminated water can increase a family’s risk for disease including cancer.

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