On December 8, 2016, The Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) convened several Indianapolis/Marion County stakeholders for a conversation on environmental disparities in Indianapolis. The Polis Center and the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health collaborated to present data to inform the conversation. Jay Smirat and Dr. Yi Wang with Fairbanks presented their work on the creation of an environmental index and maps to assess neighborhood vulnerability and environmental burden. Sharon Kandris, Director of Community Informatics at the Polis Center at IUPUI, discussed the intersection of environmental burden and socio-economic indicators for identifying potential environmental justice concerns.
In addition, Dr. Paul Mullins, Professor in Anthropology at IUPUI, presented the history of Indianapolis neighborhoods and industry, and David Hirschl, City of Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, presented the state of the city’s work on environmental justice issues. Indra Frank, MD, MPH, HEC Environmental Health Director, closed the presentation with policy options for urban environmental justice from other cities for consideration in our local context. The community conversation will continue in February and April 2017.
To view the presentation of SAVI’s socio-economic data, click here. The environmental burden data and other relevant maps via the Multi-Layer Data Community Action Tool (created by IU Fairbanks School of Public Health as part of its Healthy Environment and Community Assessment Partnership) are available at the HECAP website: www.HECAP.net
Established in 1986, the Hoosier Environmental Council is Indiana’s leading educator and advocate for environmental issues and policies, protecting the forests, groundwater, and lakes throughout the state. Its efforts seek solutions and alternatives to reduce the footprint of industry, commerce and agriculture on the environment.