Structural racism and classism could profoundly affect the existence of flora and fauna in our cities, according to a recent landmark publication in the academic journal Science.
Urban ecosystems are made up of lots of complex interactions between social and natural systems. The result is a variety of environmental conditions that wouldn’t exist without humans, such as industrial pollution, habitats lacking in biodiversity, and localised climate change in the form of urban heat island effects.
But these conditions can be unevenly distributed as a result of structural racism and classism. The disproportionate exposure of Black, Asian and minority ethic (BAME) and poor communities to unfavourable environmental conditions is referred to as “environmental injustice”. This concept also highlights the variability in fairness and respect for social and ecological systems, which could have profound effects on both human and non-human organisms. MORE
Header image: Children play near an oil refinery in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Etienne Laurent/EPA.