Equity and Climate Change
Last night I attended a conversation at the Civic Garden Center talking about equity in Cincinnati. Equity is the second theme of "A Year of Living Sustainably" presented by the City of Cincinnati. This was my first time attending their conversations and I learned a lot and even picked up a couple of tips on how to be more "green".
I'm not a Cincinnati native and I have always wondered why the 52 neighborhoods of Cincinnati were so diverse. I learned this was not an accident and it was planned when the city built the highways causing a physical barrier to keep certain neighborhoods from progressing. We talked about other barriers that are not as apparent like access to fresh produce and the food deserts in Cincinnati. A map was shown where full grocery stores are located throughout the city. Now if you have a car like me no problem, however if you are amoung the 21.5% that does not have a car then you could spend a long time on the bus just to get your groceries.
Another map was presented where each neighborhood's life expectancy and the difference between each neighborhood was dramatic! What are the factors that contribute for a healthy neighborhood? Tree coverage was mentioned. Trees provide shade which reduces heat and also provide oxygen. If you live in a flood zone then you become vulnerable to mold which affects people with asthma. Also if you live close to a highway then chances of having asthma is increased.
We are all being affected by climate change, however some do not have the same resources or live in an area that is being affected more severely. How do we make Cincinnati a more equitable place to live?
We were asked to make a pledge and I decided I wanted to see from the eyes of someone without a car. I plan on taking the bus to do my errands this weekend to see the challenges I face. I also want to learn more about why Cincinnati neighborhoods are so diverse. I will update you on how it all goes!