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News > Equity + Justice > Improving Racial Equity Through Greener Design

Improving Racial Equity Through Greener Design

Gabrielle Bullock | Site map of Destination Crenshaw
Gabrielle Bullock | Site map of Destination Crenshaw

Climate change affects us all, but doesn’t impact us all equally. “Environmental and social sustainability and gentrification are all entwined. This is particularly true in communities of color, which have been forced to accept the brunt of negative health impacts from the built environment, like bad air quality, bad soil, and contamination. One solution is to facilitate a collaborative design process, in which you have developers, designers, and communities working on common solutions with common benefits.”

3 Ways Green Design Enhances Social Sustainability

  1. Healthy, stable, and affordable housing near public transportation hubs: Diverse housing for different income levels near major transportation hubs ensures easy and affordable access to travel for work or other essential services, like healthcare and food — while also reducing pollution from cars.
  2. Parks and mixed-use green spaces in neighborhoods: Parks and green spaces in neighborhoods improve air quality and mental health while also providing a sense of community and spurring visits to adjoining businesses, enhancing the health, safety, and economic prosperity of neighborhoods.
  3. Green and resilient features in buildings: Sustainable features in buildings improve the health of the environment and its occupants, but the benefits can extend beyond the walls. Features like a tree canopy to reduce the heat island or a rain garden to manage stormwater can provide ambient temperature for those in the area.

For more information check out AIA National's article and resources.

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