Environmental justice in the city? Challenges for policy and resource allocation in keeping the streets clean
This study addresses issues of social or environmental justice in local urban environmental services, through the particular lens of street cleaning services. While UK policy gives some legitimacy to the idea that services should be enhanced in disadavantaged areas, it is unclear how much service and resource discrimination are necessary or appropriate. In practice, this equity perspective may not have much impact at local level. An empirical analysis is presented by drawing on a number of large-scale secondary data sources for England, combining individual and area-based data and subjective and objective inspection-based data. These enable us to draw fairly clear conclusions about the pattern of risk and need based on outcomes and their associations with key socioeconomic, demographic, locational, and urban form characteristics of places. It appears that injustice persists in the quality of local environments across urban England. Some evidence on the impact of local spending levels on environmental outcomes is adduced, but the available data limit this within national studies. While popular debate on street cleanliness highlights the roles of behaviour and values, only limited and indirect inferences may be drawn from large-scale surveys.
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