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Your next-door neighbor should be a park, not a smokestack

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece in Yahoo News or enjoy below 

🗞️ Driving the news: “Fenceline communities”, areas predominantly occupied by Black, Indigenous, or communities of color, face the brunt of urban air pollution and oppressive heat
• Studies reveal that such communities experience higher rates of health issues such as asthma and lead poisoning
This is due, in large part, to historical racist land use policies like redlining

🔭 The context: Climate change-induced heatwaves and wildfire smoke have amplified outdoor activity difficulties in the East Coast, notably in Washington, D.C.
• Rising temperatures, escalating urban pollution, and scant tree cover have deteriorated air quality, prompting alerts and compelling families to remain indoors

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: Urban green spaces can drastically reduce air temperature, pollution, UV radiation, and carbon dioxide levels locally
• For instance, U.S. urban park trees alone remove 75,000 tons of pollution per year, highlighting the urgent need to increase such green spaces, especially in fenceline communities

⏭️ What's next: The Biden Administration has proposed measures to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants, but there is still a lot to be done
• Further investments are needed to expand urban green spaces and improve air quality

💬 One quote: "We all deserve to enjoy time outside on public lands without having to worry about whether we will be able to breathe, strong air quality standards and more tree canopy are tangible ways to turn that hope into a reality." (Jackie Ostfeld,Director of Sierra Club Outdoors for All)

📈 One stat: According to a 2017 report from the NAACP and Clean Air Task Force, Black Americans are 75% more likely than the average American to live in a fenceline community.
• The American Lung Association's 2023 State of the Air report found that people of color are 3.7 times more likely to live in a community with poor air quality

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability

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