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Columbia Climate School: Heat Mapping New York City and Environmental Justice

Columbia Climate School, April 8, 2022, Heat Mapping New York City and Environmental Justice

The New York City heat mapping project is part of a nationwide initiative. Williams’ team produced the heat map data shown in the map below using data collected by citizen scientists; Yoon is the principal investigator in the New York City initiative. In the following interview, they discuss how the heat map was made and what it can tell us about historical racism and present-day social inequities.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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