Sustainable Scotland: Putting Environmental Justice At The Heart Of The Policy Agenda?
Free (open access)
E. McDowell & C. McWilliams
The Scottish Executive has declared its intention to ‘put environmental concerns at the heart of public policy and secure environmental justice for all communities’. By way of secondary analysis, we explore two high-profile community campaigns which convey a fundamental tension between the rhetoric and practice of environmental justice within an urban framework. A number of concerns from local communities suggest that the proclaimed enthusiasm for sustainability conceals the true cost of its implementation at a local level. We are of the view that environmental justice – flaunted as a core policy government commitment – throws up a range of contradictions and misconceptions, which implies the need for a more progressive and inclusive approach to the implementation of policy. Keywords: city, sustainable development, environmental justice, Scottish Executive. 1 Introduction The question of who pays and who benefits from current industrial and development policies is central to any analysis of environmental justice. Despite improvements in environmental protection over the past several decades, many people continue to live in unsafe and unhealthy physical environments. Numerous economically impoverished communities and their inhabitants are exposed to greater health hazards in their homes, their jobs and in their neighbourhoods when compared to their more affluent counterparts (Bullard ; Adeola ). The most polluted urban communities are those with crumbling infrastructure, ongoing economic disinvestment, deteriorating housing,
city, sustainable development, environmental justice, Scottish Executive.