Map of Communities Affected by Environmental Injustice

SWS is embarking on a pioneering mapping project which aims to combine new research on environmental racism in London with the tools to connect communities in local struggles of resistance.

Southall Gas Works

Environmental racism, simply put, is a process by which black and minority communities are disproportionately burdened by pollution.  In the UK, little research has so far been done that demonstrates the severity of this issue, and the communities themselves have been left to struggle against the toxic effects of factory siting, air pollution, and other environmental hazards on their own. In order to address this imbalance, we aim to develop an interactive map resource that not only visualises the connections between race, poverty and  environmental injustice in London, but that also locates community actions that are resisting those injustices, to enable greater solidarity amongst communities who are facing these issues.

We want to go further than simply showing that environmental racism exists.  That, after all, is something that some black urban communities have been aware of for some time. What we hope to expose is the underlying structural processes that privilege the white and well-off residents of London with cleaner air, greener spaces and healthier working environments, while forcing the poor and racialised communities of the same city to shoulder heavy environmental burdens.

Resisting environmental racism is fundamental to the broader social justice movement. We want to produce an informational resource that facilitates that resistance, and that takes the burden of proof away from communities on the frontline.