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Twin Cities Environmental Justice Mapping Project

The purpose of the Twin Cities Environmental Justice (EJ) Mapping Project is to document environmental justice communities in the Twin Cities and to create a model for data collection and mapping that works proactively to support EJ community planning and organizing efforts. Currently no Twin Cities wide maps identifying EJ communities exist, and the serious data gaps that exist are proving to be a barrier in developing more comprehensive EJ maps at the level that can aid community planning.  

As is well known, visual maps are only a tool, and are most useful when grounded in a community goal. This is so that the information is gathered and presented in a useful form for community use and engagement. Moreover, a map is only as good as the data it represents. Collecting EJ data has not been a priority for the public sector or for the environmental research community. Also, too often EJ communities have been reactive to environmental hazards or infrastructure threats. The intent of our mapping project is to create a baseline of environmental risk information for Minneapolis and St. Paul, and specifically West Side St. Paul, that can be used to help propel the proactive planning and advocacy of the neighborhood. In this case, two community priorities that the West Side Citizen’s Organization (WSCO) has identified are urban agriculture and energy efficiency and production. This process of working on a tangible goal gets to EJ in a proactive way that communities can organize around.

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Center for Earth, Energy, and Democracy
CURA Contact: 
C Terrence Anderson Director of Community Based Research (612) 624-8988

CURA Research Areas: