Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Environmental Science and Policy
J. Douglass Klein
environmental justice, housing, residence, climate change, buidling code, hazard
There is a lack of environmental justice in the public housing sector in the United States today. Prejudice in public housing policy and environmental hazards over the last 20th century have disproportionately affected populations based on race, ethnicity, and income. As global climate change becomes a reality, we need to protect the most vulnerable populations from direct and indirect effects of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and heat waves. We can protect residents of public housing by strengthening their homes structurally using green building techniques. Buildings are a huge drain on our nation’s energy sector. If we use green building strategies we can make buildings more efficient, lowering costs and emissions. Green building strategies work to create healthier indoor environments for occupants, using environmentally benign and healthy materials for buildings to improve the safety and well being of occupants. Governments at the local level can implement building policies that employ aspects of green design to reduce environmental health hazards for residents of public housing as well as future risks from climate change. Such building policies are known as green building codes and standards. The city of Bridgeport, Connecticut will be studied as a case of environmental and climate change justice. Bridgeport should develop green building codes of its own to mitigate the health and environmental injustice externalities that are a product of the standard building practices and materials used today and to minimize the impact of deleterious environmental, social, and structural damages resulting from climate change for future generations.
Williams, Jane S., "Adopting Green Building Codes to Mitigate the Effects of Climate Change and Improve Environmental Health Hazards for Public Housing Residents: A Case Study of Environmental Justice and Climate Justice in Bridgeport CT" (2013). Honors Theses. 755.