Climate change disproportionately affects low-income and BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color) populations because of socioeconomic disadvantages and the lack of investment in resilient infrastructure in these communities. But marginalized communities are often the least responsible for greenhouse-gas emissions. At Thornton Tomasetti, we work alongside owners, public agencies and governments to advance climate equity by informing policy, planning and processes that empower communities and promote resilience.
Breaking the Cycle
Environmental injustice, like poverty, is a reinforcing feedback loop: those most vulnerable to environmental burdens will continue to be disproportionately at risk until something – or someone– intervenes. A holistic framework is required to address climate inequity and improve the accessibility of sustainable and resilient infrastructure in poor and marginalized communities. The first step in correcting urban inequalities is to identify them. We help our clients develop diplomacy and actionable policies to bring about positive change, equity and accessibility.
Taking socioeconomic factors, zoning, land use, regulations and developments in the urban grid into consideration, we analyze, map and interpret spatial data to identify the communities at greatest risk and expand opportunities for investment in equitable and resilient infrastructure. These include sustainable measures like green infrastructure, increased tree canopy, and access to waterfront and green spaces. Improving the wellness and livability of the built environment in vulnerable communities is imperative for ensuring a climate-equitable future.
Our climate policy & equity capabilities include:
- Climate resilience design guidelines
- Climate risk assessment framework
- Community resilience policy and initiatives
- Greenspace equitable access
- Unified hazard mapping
- Urban heat island effect reduction
- Waterfront equitable access consulting