Environmental justice on the streets: Advocacy planning as a tool to contest environmental racism

Stacy Anne Harwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article argues that environmental racism should be broadened to include the maldistribution of beneficial environmental conditions and proposes that advocacy planning may be an effective way to address the spatial absence of beneficial environmental services and amenities. The article examines advocacy in the context of neighborhood improvement, specifically around the placement of a streetlight and stop sign. Neighborhood infrastructure and transportation planning are vital for safety and quality of life, especially for communities of color, yet planning at this level often revolves around physical aspects of the neighborhood with minimal attention paid to planning processes and outcomes likely to marginalize and even endanger communities. Through an examination of one municipality's neighborhood-based advocacy approach to neighborhood improvement, this article considers the opportunities and challenges in using advocacy planning as a strategy to promote environmental justice on the streets and sidewalks of distressed urban neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-38
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Advocacy planning
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental racism
  • Neighborhood improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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