How does environmental inequality affect the most disadvantaged neighborhoods?

Did you know that wealthy neighborhoods have higher air quality than impoverished neighborhoods? This is due to the environmental inequality that exists in these neighborhoods.


 Do you really know the concept of environmental inequality? Did you know that it is related to social exclusion?


Let’s see it below!

What is environmental inequality?

Environmental inequality is the way in which some people are more at risk from environmental hazards. The lack of a healthy environment leads to poor quality of life for those who suffer from it.


However, the causes of these inequalities are not exclusively environmental, but are also related to political and social causes. This is why it leads to the social exclusion of some people.

Causes of environmental inequality in marginal neighborhoods

We know that the air we breathe is directly related to our quality of life. Therefore, people living in places with high levels of pollution are more likely to suffer from diseases related to the respiratory system.


Also, according to a report by the European Environment Agency, environmental poverty is located in the most impoverished neighborhoods of European cities.

Therefore, the causes of environmental poverty in slums are:

  • High concentration of traffic due to the proximity of roads or highways.
  • Lack of green areas.
  • Very old and unsustainable buildings.

How is environmental inequality related to social exclusion?

As mentioned above, environmental inequality is related to social aspects and depends on political and economic institutions. This is due to the fact that social and economic benefits are not distributed in an equitable manner, leaving aside and harming the most vulnerable groups.


People living in poor neighborhoods are more exposed to environmental inequality because they have no choice of where to live. This situation also affects economically the people with fewer resources, taking into account that due to climate variability the price of food increases.


Therefore, it is said that environmental inequality is related to many other inequalities, such as social exclusion. Social exclusion mainly affects people living in slums, as they are the ones who receive the least opportunities for improvement from institutions


We have already talked on other occasions about the consequences of living in a poor neighborhood. One of the main consequences is that they tend to have a bad reputation, which makes everyone have a negative image of the neighborhood and therefore no one wants to invest in them.

Do you know the Comunitaria project that has a great environmental impact in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods?

How to reduce environmental inequalities in disadvantaged neighborhoods?

Improving the energy efficiency of old buildings located in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods can be a solution to reduce environmental inequalities. The energy rehabilitation of old houses has a positive impact on the environment, which is much needed in these areas.


For example, the installation of solar panels is a great remedy to reduce both environmental inequalities and the energy poverty suffered by the most vulnerable families.


In addition, if you are not yet familiar with Comunitaria’s “Roofs that feed” project, you should know that it is a great ally in the fight against environmental poverty, as it is currently producing a great environmental, economic and social impact in the neighborhood of Los Pajaritos.