A new mapping tool developed by Westminster City Council shows that families living in some of the more deprived communities in the city face the largest number of environmental risks.
The council is the first local authority to produce an interactive Environmental Justice Measure of this kind, mapping the city’s environmental conditions and deprivation together.
The new tool maps 10 environmental indicators, including air quality, building standards, proximity to green spaces and flood risk. This data is then combined with existing information about social, economic, educational and health outcomes.
Council leaders believe this tool will provide a better understanding of the city’s environment, identifying areas for improvement and raising awareness in the wider community.
The council is already using the map to help identify priority areas for environmental improvements, from retrofitting inefficient buildings to informing air quality monitoring and green space improvements.
Ryan Jude, Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Biodiversity said: “This map shows how a combination of factors create unhealthy environments. It’s troubling to see families living in poor quality housing with high levels of air pollution and limited access to more sustainable forms of transport.
“This measure is an important breakthrough. Mapping and highlighting these risks gives us a better understanding of the problem so we can direct support towards communities most in need.”
Matt Noble, Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Regeneration and Renters said: “We’re focused on creating a Fairer Westminster. Improving public spaces and providing high quality housing is central to achieving this. Our new tool shines a light on the environmental inequality across our City with some of our residents facing very different and more challenging circumstances to their neighbours.
Importantly, by taking the time to get under the skin of this issue we can work with communities and start to make significant improvements.”